Block 11 in Seattle’s South Lake Union and the Batik apartments in Yesler Terrace are among the city’s first Salmon-Safe-certified projects
SEATTLE – December 14, 2016 – Vulcan Real Estate and Portland, Ore.-based environmental certification organization Salmon-Safe today announced that two multi-family development projects currently under construction in Seattle have gained Salmon-Safe certification for low-impact development practices that protect habitat and water quality through the adoption of salmon-friendly stormwater management practices.
The Salmon-Safe certifications are part of Vulcan’s commitment to sustainable development practices which include dense urban infill development, brownfield remediation, natural ground water treatment and reuse, the incorporation of green roofs and pea patches and historic preservation.
Salmon-Safe is complementary to LEED and is focused primarily on stormwater quality and management that protects and restores salmon habitats in the Pacific Northwest. The program challenges developers to think comprehensively about the health of the watershed on a project- by-project basis to assure both water efficiency and water quality throughout a real estate asset’s life cycle.
Vulcan’s 384-unit, full-block development at 1255 Harrison Street, Block 11, includes the installation of the second half of the Swale on Yale joint venture project with Seattle Public Utilities to treat stormwater before it reaches Lake Union. The newest two block-long swales will be situated on the eastern and western margins of the development, along the Pontius and Yale Avenue sides of the block. The first half of the Swale on Yale was completed in 2013 alongside Vulcan’s Stack House and Supply Landry development, one block north.
Together, the four swales will treat stormwater from 435 acres of Capitol Hill streets and sidewalks each year. The Swale on Yale project works by slowing and capturing the stormwater in a diversion vault. Stormwater then passes through four biofiltration swales to organically filter out solids – motor oil, heavy metals, fertilizer and more – before entering Lake Union. At completion, about 190 million gallons of stormwater will be treated annually. This voluntary retrofit of a storm system in an urban setting is the first of its kind in the U.S.
Green roofs will be installed atop the Block 11 building and its ground-floor awnings. All other roof drainage will be directed to one of five bio-retention planters, the total size of which exceeds best management practices outlined in the city of Seattle’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure guidelines.
Vulcan will also target Salmon-Safe certification for two commercial office projects in South Lake Union, the 621,000-square-foot Google campus and 388,000-square-foot Arbor Blocks project that will be occupied by Facebook.
In another part of town, Vulcan’s multifamily project Batik at Yesler Terrace will feature bioretention planters, vegetated roofs and water efficient irrigation, which contributed to its Salmon-Safe certification.
Batik, being built on an approximately one-acre site at 123 Broadway, will be a seven-story residential building with 2,400 square feet of retail and 195 apartments. Its stormwater management features will be particularly evident along both sides of Fir Street, where rain collected from the roof will empty into street-side planters. Stormwater from approximately 80 percent of the project’s surface area will be treated on-site through the use of vegetated bio-retention structures.
“Through their extensive use of bioretention planters, vegetated roofs and water-efficient irrigation, Block 11 and Batik exemplify Salmon-Safe’s philosophy of encouraging low-impact practices that go beyond environmental regulations,” said Dan Kent, executive director of Salmon-Safe. “In particular, the second phase of the Swale on Yale project will make a significant contribution toward improving the quality of stormwater from the Capitol Hill watershed located to the east.”
An interdisciplinary team of scientists – comprised of stormwater management experts from the University of Washington, Washington State University, Mithun and Coho Environmental – conducted separate comprehensive assessments for each project on behalf of Salmon-Safe and also conducted a field visit to the project sites before certifying them.
Together, the projects join Vulcan’s Allen Institute building and the EMP administrative office building as among the first commercial developments in Seattle to achieve Salmon-Safe certification. To qualify, each project pledges to meet the Salmon-Safe development principles of protecting habitat and water quality during construction, incorporating plants that filter contaminants and installing stormwater detention.
In addition to project certifications, Vulcan is piloting a Salmon-Safe developer accreditation program with the aim of becoming the world’s first Salmon-Safe accredited developer.
“Stormwater pollution continues to pose the biggest ecological hurdle for Puget Sound’s marine habitat,” said Ada M. Healey, vice president of real estate for Vulcan Inc. “We believe that incorporating Salmon-Safe principles into our projects, and encouraging our project partners to become accredited, will help inspire the widespread adoption of this important standard.”
Earlier this year, the general contractor building Block 11 and Batik, Exxel Pacific, became Salmon-Safe accredited through the organization’s Construction Management Accreditation program, which engages contractors in consistently applying best construction site management practices with the goal of achieving zero sediment runoff.
About Vulcan Real Estate
Seattle-based Vulcan Real Estate directs all real-estate investment activities for Vulcan Inc. Through strategic acquisitions and innovative development, Vulcan Real Estate has created a diversified portfolio of high-performing quality assets including office, life sciences, residential and mixed-use projects.
The company’s integrated team of real estate professionals offers a full range of development and portfolio management services from site selection and urban planning to build-to-suit construction, leasing, financing and asset repositioning. Its real estate model is based on quality, sustainable development that builds new value across the entire community.
Since 2000, Vulcan Real Estate has delivered $2.9 billion in assets in 32 projects comprising 7.9 million square feet and 1,555 residential units. Eighty percent of the development projects have occurred in South Lake Union, renowned as one of the largest urban redevelopment projects in the country. The company also has a near-term development pipeline of 13 projects, including 2.6 million square feet and 1,870 residential units.
Salmon-Safe’s mission is to inspire the transformation of land management practices so Pacific salmon can thrive in West Coast urban and rural watersheds. Salmon-Safe has worked cooperatively with more than 500 public and private landowners and certifying properties in critical West Coast salmon ecosystems. In Washington State Salmon-Safe works cooperatively with Stewardship Partners to deliver the program in Puget Sound. More information about Salmon-Safe is available by visiting www.salmonsafe.org.