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Guest blog: How a living building helped our business grow

I’ve always said I can’t be a hippie because I can’t grow my hair that long. Yet Earth Day 2013 is a special one for our company.

Guest blog: How a living building helped our business grow

Greg Goldfinch

From the desk of Greg Goldfinch, Owner of Goldfinch Bros., Inc.

I’ve always said I can’t be a hippie because I can’t grow my hair that long. Yet Earth Day 2013 is a special one for our company.

Today, The Bullitt Center in Seattle cuts the ribbon on the first commercial office building to pursue the Living Building Challenge. It has truly been an honor to be on the team developing the most energy efficient commercial office building ever constructed.

Based in Everett, Washington, Goldfinch Bros., Inc. (GBI) is a full-service glass and glazing company with over 100 years of experience serving Puget Sound communities for all residential and commercial needs. We were first contacted about the Bullitt Center back in 2011 by the Schuchart Corporation, general contractor for the project. To meet the Living Building challenge, all heavy materials for the Center need to be sourced from a radius of 300 miles.  

The problem?  

To achieve the ambitious goals of meeting Living Building Challenge and Net Zero Energy standards, it was essential that the Bullitt Center team give particular attention to the building envelope design and construction, including installing super energy-efficient windows. Yet the manufacturer of one of the best windows, Schuco, was in Germany.

That’s where Goldfinch stepped in. We worked with Schuco and now locally manufacture and distribute the windows. The Bullitt Center could then meet both the needs of a highly efficient product to maximize its energy use, and source the material locally to meet the radius challenge as well.  Goldfinch is now the sole West Coast manufacturer of these windows which remain in high-demand as both building retrofit and new construction firms look to save energy.

The Bullitt Center can now boast net-zeros in energy, carbon, waste, water and toxics. Yet the Center’s construction has provided a net gain for companies like ours. And that’s not only in dollars but in demand: the knowledge gained through this highly collaborative design and construction process is invaluable as the demand increases for more sustainable buildings of all types.

The entire Goldfinch team is proud to have partnered with the Bullitt Foundation, Schuchart Construction, Schuco, Point32, the Miller Hull Partnership, and all others on the project. The Bullitt Center represents both a milestone for collaboration and a model to drive innovation. Goldfinch Brothers is already working as a glazing subcontractor for two additional Living Building Challenge projects, Bertschi School and Stone 34, and continues to see a growing demand for higher standards of energy efficient envelope design. 100+ year old companies can and should lead in building the clean energy economy and our eyes remain open to new opportunities for our business, our community and solving our climate crisis.

Check out the Solutions Story on Goldfinch and the Bullitt Center:

 

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