Green Washington Awards 2013: Special Recognition for Cutting-Edge Buildings


Rice Fergus Miller

When Rice Fergus Miller outgrew its offices, the architecture and design firm transformed Bremerton’s long-vacant Sears Automotive Center into the Puget Sound region’s most energy-efficient commercial building.

The firm, which specializes in design for the health care, senior housing and hospitality sectors, didn’t simply throw money at an old building. Its designers wrapped the structure in super insulation. Passive heating and cooling as well as high-efficiency lighting and water systems reduced the building’s energy use by more than 70 percent. Existing materials were repurposed or recycled, diverting all but five percent of construction waste from the landfill. The end result? The firm’s efforts

created a 91-point LEED Platinum certified structure—the highest-scoring LEED certified renovation at the time—for the staggeringly low price of $105 per square foot. Among its many accolades, the building has earned the American Institute of Architects’ “What Makes It Green?” Award and the Gold Reconstruction Award from Building Design + Construction magazine.


U.S. General Services Administration

The three-story building, administered by the General Services Administration, is among the nation’s most efficient air-conditioned structures and one of the first in the region to integrate geothermal heating and cooling systems within its structural piles. Radiant heating, under-floor air distribution and large windows with external shades allow users to control the internal climate. A 25,000-gallon cistern provides gray water for toilets, irrigation and water features. The center, designed by ZGF Architects and built by Sellen, reused nearly 300,000 board feet of structural timber and decking salvaged from a nearby decommissioned warehouse.Built to house the seattle District offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the $72 million Federal Center South is situated on the east bank of the Duwamish River in South Seattle.


Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

FHCRC employees were thoroughly educated on how to conserve the building’s power use and the results speak for themselves: The building’s data center achieved a

power usage effectiveness (PUE) score of 1.04. (PUE is calculated by dividing total power used by the amount of power used only for computing devices. A perfect score is 1.0.) The building boasts an energy use intensity (EUI) of 100k Btu per square foot per year, which is two-thirds less energy consumed than other LEED-certified laboratory buildings. And though it’s 45 percent lab space, 1100 Eastlake uses 30 percent less energy than a smaller, Energy Star-certified office building nearby.When it comes to inefficient structures, laboratory buildings and data centers usually rank among the worst. The 1100 Eastlake Building, which houses the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, turns that stereotype upside down. FHCRC bought the 177,000-square-foot building in 2010 for $36 million and transformed it into one of the nation’s cleanest lab and data center structures. It was retrofitted with “free cooling” improvements that allow the building to use outside air for cooling 90 percent of the time. High-performance power-delivery systems enable the use of the right amount of power at just the right time.

2016 Community Impact Awards: Green Products & Services

2016 Community Impact Awards: Green Products & Services

Winner: Optimum Energy, Itek Energy, Rice Fergus Miller

Gold Award:
Optimum Energy
Location: Seattle  |  Employees: 60  |  Top Exec: Bert Valdman, president/CEO   |

“Being green” is not a trend at Optimum Energy. The company, which enables campuses, health care facilities, pharmaceutical plants, data centers and other commercial buildings to cut energy costs by up to 50 percent, believes society must reverse the pace of climate change. The firm’s cloud-based platform and its associated technology optimize heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, the largest consumer of energy in most buildings. This technology has enabled customers to save about 500 million kilowatt hours of electricity, reduce carbon emissions by nearly 290,000 metric tons and save more than 100 million gallons of water. “We have to reverse the pace of climate change, and we can’t do that unless we’re able to do more with fewer economic and physical resources, without comprising the environment,” says CEO Bert Valdman. “Accepting the status quo is not an option. We must develop the tools and technology to become more sustainable. And we must do so on a straight-up economic basis, without subsidies.”

Silver Award: 
Itek Energy
Location: Bellingham  |  Employees: 88  |  Top Exec: John Flanagan, founder/CEO  |

Itek Energy manufactures high-powered solar modules in Bellingham. The company also works with nonprofits to power low-income housing, the Bellingham Food Bank, homeless shelters and community buildings. In the past four years, Itek Energy has locally built and sold in Washington more than 160,000 solar modules, which will produce more than 50 gigawatt hours of renewable energy every year. 

Silver Award:
Rice Fergus Miller
Location: Bremerton  |  Employees: 44  |  Top Exec: Steve Rice, principal  |

Architectural, interior design, planning and visualization services to several markets, including senior living, fire and emergency services, health care, hospitality and community. For almost three decades, the firm has focused on projects that build and strengthen community. The company is housed in a reclaimed auto service center that is one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the United States.