Watershed Building

Three Petals of Sustainability: Watershed meets Seattle’s Living Building Challenge

This seven-story, mixed-use office building in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood captures and treats more than 500,000 gallons of stormwater each year, thanks to its slanted roof and a set of bioretention planters. The project meets three of the ‘petals’ for City of Seattle’s Living Building Challenge: materials, place and beauty. It also meets requirements for reducing total energy usage by at least 25% and total water usage by 75%.

DCI Engineers was the structural EOR responsible for Watershed’s primary lateral and gravity framing systems. The engineering team also detailed the connections for the exposed steel castellated beams. Integrating castellated beams into the building design saved 20% to 30% in material weight.

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Seattle, Washington
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Square Feet:
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Commercial, Sustainable Design
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Primary Material:
Concrete, Steel

Creating a greener design.

One of the key challenges during the design process was finding manufacturers for castellated beams. Many steel fabrication shops stopped specializing in fabricating those specific beams as they are not commonly used in steel design.

Project Highlights

  • Watershed’s roof will capture and treat roughly 200,000 gallons of stormwater while bioretention planters will collect and treat about 300,000 gallons of runoff from the nearby Aurora Bridge.
  • Features exposed castellated steel beams and floor-to-ceiling glass.
  • Living Building Challenge Certified.
BWP Watershed 30

Castellated beams were essential to the design of Watershed due to their ability to allow more natural light into the space. DCI was able to use the steel brace frame in order to allow for more expansive views of Lake Union. Steel x brace frames ran down to the concrete, which is an atypical configuration that served to let in natural light.

BWP Watershed 23

A Daily Journal of Commerce Project of the Week

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Greg Gilda

Vice-President, Seattle


I have always loved the building process – whether it is building a structure or a partnership with our clients. My most satisfying projects are those that require collaboration with all of the members of the team - from the owner to the design team to the construction team. The exciting part is coming up with a constructible design together that isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. That approach brings the most value to the client and the project."

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