Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Opera Center is now LEED-certified

Sean Airhart photo

Seattle Opera is thrilled to announce that its civic home, The Opera Center, is now LEED Silver certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence. LEED-certified buildings are helping to make the world more sustainable.

Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. But "green" buildings allow people to live healthier lives and work more sustainably. (For example, LEED buildings contribute to better air and water quality, thus increase overall human health). In addition to a better quality of life, these structures also lower global carbon emissions, reduce electricity and water bills, and create new jobs.

Sean Airhart photo

In the United States alone, buildings account for almost 40 percent of national CO2 emissions, but LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy, and 11 percent less water. They have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills, as well.

The Opera Center, Seattle Opera's $60 million operations center, was completed in 2018. Created by NBBJ (architect) and Lease Crutcher Lewis (general contractor), the four-story, 105,000 sq. ft. building sits adjacent to McCaw Hall and anchors the northeast corner of the Seattle Center campus.

Meanwhile, McCaw Hall, Seattle Opera's performance venue has also become more sustainable in recent years. Built in 1928, totally renovated for the World’s Fair in 1962, and reimagined again in 2003, McCaw Hall has had a variety of projects funded by Seattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment. The building now includes a solar panel system that produces enough electricity to power the grand lobby lighting, for example.

Sustainability at McCaw Hall: The scrim lighting, known as Dreaming in Color, was reconfigured to use all LED lighting fixtures, saving more than 80 percent of electricity. David Conger photo

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