Rushing provided mechanical and electrical engineering and energy and ventilation modeling for the new face and central hub of Seattle University. This building is home to undergraduate and graduate admissions offices, alumni offices, two art galleries, several small meeting rooms, and a large gathering space all within 11,360 SF. Seattle University utilized an existing 1970’s wood-framed industrial building on the edge of its campus, expanding into the building’s existing parking lot with 3,600 SF of new construction. Almost 90% of the existing building’s infrastructure was incorporated into the new building.
It’s not often that the architectural centerpiece of a room is the building’s ventilation system, but in Seattle University’s new Admissions and Alumni building, the brick stacked chimney plays to both beauty and function. The natural cooling and ventilation it provides is just one of the many sustainability strategies Rushing designed for this LEED-NC Gold certified project completed in 2009.
Some of the energy efficiency features designed by Rushing include photovoltaic roof top plates (supplying 3% of the building’s yearly electricity), energy efficient indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures designed to work with natural daylight, and a small high-efficiency chilled water plant with under floor air distribution unique for the project size. Most notably, a natural ventilation system draws fresh air from the garden-adjacent vestibule through the chimney, thereby employing a passive chimney effect to draw warm air into the building and out of the top tower.