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Seattle's Bertschi School Is Alive! West Coast's First Living Building

Capitol Hill's Bertschi School has been deemed a living building, so please stop hitting tennis balls into its walls.

Actually, it's the school's Living Building Science Wing, which has been named the first Living Building on the West Coast and the world's fourth fully certified Living Building.

Completed in February 2011, Bertschi's Science Wing is a 3,380-square-foot interactive learning environment for students ages 5-11. It is the first built project to meet the standards of version 2.0 of the Living Building ChallengeSM, a green building certification program which integrates urban agriculture, social justice and universal access issues, and the use of healthy building materials. The International Living Future Institute is the group behind the honor. Their standards for bestowing the living building title includes:

· Generates all of its own energy through clean, renewable resources
· Captures and treats its own water
· Incorporates only non-toxic, appropriately sourced materials
· Operates efficiently and for maximum beauty.

A building must also perform as designed for one full year and pass a third-party audit before receiving certification as "Living."

The Science Wing includes an ethnobotanical garden that serves as an outdoor classroom. It's net-zero energy, includes a water collection system, green roof, living wall of tropical plants and grey water treatment processes.
· Seattle School Certified as World's Fourth Living Building, First on West Coast [BusinessWire]