The October 2017 Sustainable Development Breakfast centered on the lively Seattle neighborhood of Fremont and the various ways local businesses are meeting their sustainability goals. 

From the NAIOP:

President Kristin Jensen opened the meeting by thanking our sponsors, Rushing, Baylis Architects, Venture GC, and Vulcan Real Estate. Kristin reported that we currently have 924 members and are the fourth-largest NAIOP chapter. Kristin also reported that the Community Enhancement Project at Farmer Frog was a success. Good work everyone!

Tony Toppenberg, our 2018 President, presented the NAIOPWA app to the members. Ann Wallace from the Government Affairs Committee presented a slate of candidates in the November general election.


Rushing’s Principal and Director of Sustainability: Alexandra Ramsden served as the breakfast’s moderator.

Alexandra introduced the panel:

  • Mark Grey, Principal and Property Manager for Stephen C. Grey and Associates
  • Stefan Riedl, Regional Facilities Manager for Google
  • Mike Ross, Director of Global Real Estate for Tableau


From the NAIOP:

Mark began by talking about stormwater issues. He related that nine billion gallons of untreated stormwater inflows to Lake Union every year. Mark highlighted what the new Tableau Building was doing in a very cost-effective manner to treat some of that water through the use of bio-retention swales. He did comment that although this is a very effective method, there are multiple jurisdictions that need to be consulted with and that this is a challenge.

Stefan outlined how Google looks at sustainability. He made several key points:

  • Google strives to create a user work environment to allow Googlers to perform at their very best.
  • Sustainability helps the personal health of employees and the communities in which they live and work.
  • Stefan outlined the design priorities and drivers for Google:
    • Density – having enough space so that Googlers can be productive
    • Space ratios
    • Acoustics – how to cut down on noise and distraction in an open office environment
    • Access to daylight
    • Colors & textures to support Googlers
    • Floor plans

Mike Ross from Tableau talked about his background and how that has led him to embrace sustainability. He also talked about how the Fremont community is alive with art, technology and innovation. These are things that he wants to support with Tableau’s buildings and Tableau’s commitment to Fremont. From his perspective, some of the advantages of sustainable design are:

  • Healthy workplace
  • Supporting the local community
  • Environmental performance
  • Recruitment, retention and productivity
  • It’s just the right thing to do!

Mike also talked about how the future of sustainability will be continuous measurement to insure that the initial promise of sustainability will continue to offer advantages.


Learn More — Sustainable Development in Fremont [October 2017 Breakfast Recap]