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One of Seattle’s First Green Buildings Sets the Stage for a New Civic Center

Seattle City Hall

A new “transparent and open” City Hall showcases improved facilities, seismic resistance, and a high standard of sustainability.

Hoffman completed this 200,000 SF, seven-story facility in the heart of downtown Seattle while keeping surrounding roadways and sidewalks safe and flowing. Performing demolition on the preexisting Municipal Building garage in a tight urban space was a major challenge and required close coordination with neighbors to avoid impacts. Hoffman successfully completed the building’s complex security, communications, mechanical, and lighting systems, which were critical to delivering a flexible and functional facility. In addition, the team helped meet the City’s desire to achieve LEED Gold through incorporation of energy savings, power generation, and structural systems, including double walls, photovoltaic glazing, and raised floor HVAC.


What strategic decisions helped one of Seattle’s first green public buildings achieve LEED gold while using durable materials that would stand the test of time?


Our team assisted in selection of green materials that would thrive in Seattle City Hall’s high-traffic environment. Over a quarter of the building materials used at least 40% post-consumer waste. In addition, paneling was backed by wood produced in sustainable forests. Sustainability features include glazing and sunscreens to regulate temperature while maximizing daylighting. An underground cistern harvests rainwater for reuse in the building and in irrigation. The project also includes a green roof that absorbs rainfall, reducing storm runoff.

Contract Type



City of Seattle


Bassetti Architects, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson


Seattle, WA







The Seattle City Hall is that special building, that unique architectural moment that engages the common person in the pragmatic and poetic possibility of sensual beauty in the man‑made environment. Will Bruder "A Civic Lesson...," Nature of Circumstance

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