Buildings/Construction: Vulcan Real Estate, Cochran, Unico Properties

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Vulcan SLU
Vulcan Real Estate's South Lake Union developments.

Vulcan Real Estate

Green winner logoVulcan Real Estate has become the leader in the development of environmentally friendly buildings in Seattle. As part of the United States Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Neighborhood Development pilot program, Vulcan helped transform Seattle’s South Lake Union into one of the nation’s first certified green neighborhoods.

Vulcan partnered with the Urban Environmental Institute to develop a “Resource Guide for Sustainable Development,” with South Lake Union serving as a case study. The guide showcased cost-effective and repeatable strategies for reducing environmental impact through a decreased reliance on cars, convenient access to jobs and services, and promoting efficient energy and water use.

Location: Seattle

Employees: 30

Website: vulcanrealestate.com

“We know that sustainable buildings offer healthier, more satisfying work and lifestyle environments, so we design and build innovative projects with natural daylight, fresh air ventilation and low-maintenance landscaping,” says Ada Healey, vice president of real estate for Vulcan. Vulcan has built nine LEED-certified projects, totaling more than 1.6 million square feet, more than any other private new construction developer in the state.

Runners-up:

Cochran Inc.

Location: Seattle

Employees: 500

Website: cochraninc.com

Cochran Inc., in addition to setting aggressive goals for reducing its own carbon footprint, is working to trim the emissions of ships coming into port. Cochran’s shore power system allows boats in port to tap into electricity generated on land so vessels’ engines need not be kept running. This change saves up to 87 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per call. Currently the company has deployed its systems in Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., and will soon do so in California. (For more, see our recent feature story on Cochran here.)

Unico Properties LLC

Location: Seattle

Employees: 105

Website: unicoprop.com

While Vulcan Real Estate is busy focusing on new buildings, Unico Properties LLC is updating existing ones. Ten of the 22 office buildings Unico manages in Washington have received an Energy Star label from the U.S. Department of Energy. High-efficiency lighting and enhanced cooling have led to a 13.25 percent reduction in energy consumption. Unico’s green efforts have trickled down to the employee level, with 65 percent using alternative transport.

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