AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects

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LOTT Clean Water Alliance

This photo shows the lab entry of the building.
Photo credit: Nic Lehoux


  • Location: Olympia, Washington
  • Building type(s): Laboratory, Commercial office, Interpretive Center
  • New construction
  • 32,500 ft2 (3,020 m2)
  • Project scope: a single building
  • Urban setting
  • Completed July 2010

Making the invisible visible

While most sewage treatment plants are invisible to their communities and separated by a chain link fence, the LOTT Clean Water Alliance Regional Service Center is a visible and active participant in the public life of Washington's capital city. The LOTT Clean Water Alliance provides Class A reclaimed water and emphasizes water conservation through a strong community outreach program, in addition to providing wastewater treatment services to 85,000 people in four local communities. The new facility, located on the site of its existing Budd Inlet Treatment Plant, brings all management and staff together in one location. The facility includes three major elements:

  • a renovated 7,700 ft2 water quality laboratory
  • a new 21,300 ft2 office
  • a 3,500 ft2 education and technology center

Project as "pioneer" species

Like the first seed of a pioneer species blown onto disturbed soil, this facility has taken root as the first project of an urban revitalization master plan where underutilized industrial buildings once stood. The heart of the master plan is a large public plaza featuring a pond supplied with LOTT's reclaimed water.

Environmental Aspects

The concept of celebrating water as a precious resource is one that informed almost every design decision. It informed the building's relationship to its site and adjacent projects, anchored the landscape design and public plaza, influenced the selection of native plants and irrigation design, informed the interpretive exhibits, and fostered significant water reduction strategies.

The pinnacle of this concept is the reclaimed water pond, a physical manifestation of LOTT's vision to elevate the concept of reclaimed water in the community. The water feature engages visitors as they walk over one of two bridges that span the pond in order to enter the building. Once visitors are inside, the pond continues to be a primary design element, as it is visible from both the offices and the interpretive center. The water feature also provides a pleasant auditory connection when employees take advantage of the operable windows in the adjacent offices. The pond's perimeter is surrounded by multiple interpretive exhibits that explain the pond and reclaimed water.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned by LOTT Alliance
  • Typically occupied by 28 people; and 200 visitors per week


Design charrette, Training, Commissioning, Performance measurement and verification, Operations and maintenance, Transportation benefits, Brownfield redevelopment, Wildlife habitat, Wetlands, Indigenous vegetation, Stormwater management, Water harvesting, Efficient fixtures and appliances, Efficient irrigation, Drought-tolerant landscaping, Wastewater treatment, HVAC, On-site renewable electricity, Cogeneration, Durability, Salvaged materials, C&D waste management, Connection to outdoors, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Ventilation effectiveness

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Last updated: 4/14/2011

Our thanks to the ENERGY STAR program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and to the U.S. Department of Energy, and to BuildingGreen, Inc. for hosting the submission and judging forms.

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