Top ASHRAE Honors for Stack House Apartments

December 28, 2015

Ecotope Inc. of Seattle WA was awarded one of five first place National ASHRAE Technology Awards for the Stackhouse Apartments. The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize outstanding achievements by members who have successfully applied innovative building design in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality and energy conservation. The Stackhouse project covers an entire city block in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, and includes two new multifamily buildings and one adaptive reuse of a historic building, which helped to retain some of the historical character of the neighborhood while providing over 300 new apartments.

The Stackhouse Apartments include an innovative central heat pump water heating system to provide domestic hot water. Commercial Reverse Cycle Chillers (RCCs) located in the below grade parking garage make use of the waste heat in the garage from lights, cars, building heat loss, and the large thermal mass and ground contact area to provide high efficiency water heating year-round without the need for gas or electric back-up. The design was developed with support from the Bonneville Power Administration’s Emerging Energy Efficient Technologies program (E3T), and partial funding was provided by Seattle City Light’s energy conservation rebate programs.

Other sustainability features of the project include ductless heat pumps for 40 percent of the apartment units and common spaces, and rainwater catchment and reuse for urban agriculture on the roof. The historic building was included in the City of Seattle’s pilot of an outcome-based energy code; the first program in the nation to predicate energy code compliance on post-occupancy proof of highly efficient operations. The project also participated in a stormwater treatment pilot project with Seattle Public Utilities with two biofiltration swales providing primary treatment to stormwater run-off from the Capitol Hill neighborhood before discharging to Lake Union.

The apartment building with the Reverse Cycle Chiller water heating system is among the most energy efficient in the Pacific Northwest with a measured Energy Use Index (EUI) of 19.8 kBtu/square foot/year.

Other team members included Vulcan Real Estate, Runberg Architects, EXXEL Pacific, O’Brien and Company, Emerald Aire, and Wolfe Plumbing.

(Photo Credits to Spike Mafford).

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