Greenfire wins top award from ASHRAE

Link to the article published in the Seattle DJC.

The Greenfire campus in Ballard won a top award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers for energy management, indoor air quality and mechanical design.

The developer is Greenfire Group LLC. The campus is the new headquarters for an environmental philanthropy called Wilburforce Foundation. The foundation wanted office space in an urban location that reflects its mission and demonstrates cost-effective green design.

Johnston Architects designed Greenfire, which is on a .85-acre lot in Ballard near the library. Work started in 2012 and it opened in 2013.

There are two main buildings: an 18-unit apartment building that is targeting LEED platinum, and a four-story, 18,000-square-foot commercial building that is targeting LEED gold. The certification process is under way but not complete.

Here are the other firms on the project team: structural engineer DCI Engineers; civil engineer 2020 Engineering; landscape architecture The Watershed Company; mechanical & electrical engineer WSP Flack & Kurtz; interior design Robin Chell Design; acoustic design SSA Acoustics; general contractor Walsh Construction Co.; MEP design and construction PSF Mechanical; electric design and construction Merit Electric; project management The Seneca Group; and land use attorney McCullough Hill Leary, PS.

Here are some of the green systems and design elements in Greenfire:

• Natural ventilation, passive cooling and heat recovery ventilators

• Heat pumps, a hydronic-based HVAC system, radiant floor heating, exterior solar shades and chilled beams

• Photovoltaic panels

• Rain screen siding

• Rainwater collection and systems for reusing graywater

• A green roof with edible and native plants

• Open space on half the site: bioswales, pervious walking surfaces, resident P-patches, riparian zone and green community spaces

• Materials that are low-VOC and low-toxin, locally sourced and recyclable

• Design that maximizes daylight

Johnston Architects said the apartment building is expected to use 42 percent less energy and the commercial building is expected to use 70 percent less energy than others of comparable size and type.

Some commercial space and apartment units are still available in Greenfire.

More details are at