The five-story, 225,000-square-foot Helen Sommers Building is the result of the construction project called the 1063 Block Replacement Project.
The project, initiated by the 2013 Legislature, was designed to be within the top 1 percent of office buildings nationally in energy efficiency. It embodies the vision for improved sustainability and resource efficiency on the campus. The building is constructed with smart features that conserve water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is a five-year performance agreement with the builder that guarantees results. Here's a snapshot of some building features:
The new building is expected to help the state avoid more than $100 million over its lifetime compared to leasing space, according to 2015 life-cycle cost estimate by the Office of Financial Management. A building's typical "life" is estimated at 50 years, though many stay in use longer than that time frame.
The Helen Sommers Building provides a transitional gateway from the City of Olympia to the historic West Capitol Campus.
Ten public benches as well as plants that were selected to weave the Capitol Campus landscape design together with an urban, Pacific Northwest palette are featured outside the building. An estimated 400,000 pounds of CO2 will be absorbed by the building's plants over the life of the building.
Rain gardens add texture and also collect and absorb stormwater runoff from nearby paved surfaces, helping to remove pollutants and slow the water's movement.
Learn more about the building's sustainable landscape design features.
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