Leading the charge in market education overseas, Brian Court of Seattle-based Miller Hull has given seminars in Guadalajara and Beijing on Green Building during August and October, using the award-winning design for the Bullitt Center as a case study. In addition to a waterless composting toilet system, rainwater harvesting system, and rooftop solar panels that yield an annual net zero energy use, the six-story office building features warm softwood interiors made up of glu-lam Doug Fir columns and beams.
Court mixes materials for the most effective structure and exposes the lumber frame not only to save on materials and time, but also for the texture and richness that wood visually provides within the space. The natural finish is an expressive element of the building's design, and resonates with tenants: surveys from employees working in the Bullitt Center report that the number one most-loved aspect of the building is the exposed wood, a critical component that brings life to the workplace during the Pacific Northwest's long, gray winters. "There is a movement where spaces are more flexible, fluid, less prescribed--timber is an element of that," explains Court, "it resonates with people on a primal, emotional level."