Developed to support the Experience Music Project Museum, a five-story office facility was designed and built to achieve LEED-Platinum certification on a nonprofit budget.

The team determined that to achieve its sustainability goals the project would require an extremely high-performing envelope. The team took a compartmentalized approach and determined the U-values required to meet project goals. Competitive requests for proposals for subcontractors were as much performance based as they were cost and aesthetic based. Specialty subcontractors were brought on early during the envelope design process.

Other sustainable features include rainwater reclamation for toilets; passive cooling; variable refrigerant flow systems for heating and cooling load sharing and distribution; installation of a reclaimed photovoltaic system; extensive green roofs for stormwater quality and quantity control; and pervious sidewalks to reduce runoff.

Building information modeling added to the project's green approach. Howard S. Wright processes submittals, shop drawings and other documents in editable electronic formats. On the EMP Administrative Building, electronic construction documents were available on flat-screen displays in the jobsite office, on moveable smart boxes in the field and on touchscreen tablets carried around by staff. The firm says this approach reduces paper consumption, increases productivity and results in significant savings for the client.

The team had ongoing daily quality-control surveys with the architect, field staff and management. Everything was tracked using cloud-based BIM software, which meant up-to-date information was available to the entire project team at any time.

Howard S. Wright's in-house BIM department also modeled the underground shoring system, which helped minimize damage to existing underground utilities.


EMP Administrative Office Building, Seattle

Key Players

Owner Vulcan; EMP

General Contractor Howard S. Wright

Architect Collins Woerman

Geotechnical Engineers GeoEngineers

Civil Engineer CPL; Bush, Roed & Hitchings

Mechanical Engineer Coffman Engineers

Structural Engineer DCI