8th & Howell: Redefining the Skyline of Seattle

Sponsored by MacDonald-Miller

With technical expertise and groundbreaking creativity, MacDonald-Miller is a major player in the ever-changing landscape of the Emerald City.

We interviewed Reagan Perry, Executive VP of Construction Sales, for an inside look into MacMiller’s role in one the biggest projects the city has ever seen--the 8th & Howell Hotel.

How big is this project?
The building, which is over 1 million square feet in size, will soar over 46 stories high and alter the skyline on 8th Avenue between Howell & Stewart Streets, encompassing an entire city block. It will be the tallest hotel in Seattle.

What is the scope?
Specifically designed to complement the soon-to-be expansion of the Washington State Convention Center, 8th & Howell's completion will provide 1,264 luxury hotel rooms to visiting guests. The hotel will include underground parking, street-level restaurants and retail, as well as a 7-story podium level featuring banquet and ballroom space, high-end meeting rooms, and a banquet-capacity commercial kitchen.

What will set 8th & Howell apart from other Seattle buildings?
The energy efficient design will be one of the first projects of its size designed to meet the 2012 Energy Code. It will include a 3000-ton high efficiency chiller plant, roof-mounted cooling towers, heat recovery systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, domestic water pre-heat, and variable speed pumping throughout the building. Ballroom and meeting rooms will be designed with low velocity ceiling diffusers and sound attenuation to ensure sound levels support the intended use in the large meeting spaces.

The final system will be designed and verified to a LEED Gold certification, meaning that 8th & Howell will be one of the most efficient structures in the city.

Why is MacMiller uniquely equipped to handle this project?
MacMiller loves a good challenge and a project this size certainly has its share of them. To create operational efficiency for such a large project, we are utilizing our pre-fabrication capabilities and multi-trade rack innovation for high-level implementation. Multi-trade racks, manufactured in our own prefabrication facility, will drive efficient installation and space planning for the crowded ceiling spaces in the public areas. This approach is designed to move labor off the site and into the shop, doing a significant amount of work before certain aspects of the job site are even ready.

What is the most innovative aspect of 8th Howell?
The most innovative feature is how the building will be monitored. Our building performance team will install the building controls, and this includes hotel rooms that possess occupancy sensors that identify whether people are actually in their rooms. If the system identifies vacancy, the HVAC system and lights will be automatically shut down, resulting in significant energy savings.

At the heart of the efficiency initiative is the presence of an ICONICS Energy Dashboard. This tool monitors and controls energy usage to match the baseline established in the original design and gives the building owner real time data to determine whether or not the building is operating at optimal efficiency. Adjustments can then be made based on the data delivered to flag systems in need of repair and to ensure the building operates at peak performance.  

Watch this video for more on how MacMiller approaches construction projects like this one:

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