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Joseph Vance Building, The (Vance Building)

Exterior of the 14 story Joseph Vance building.
Photo credit: William Wright Photography


  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Climate Region: 4C: Mixed - Marine
  • Building type(s): Commercial office
  • Renovation of a 1929 building, last renovated in 2007
  • 134,000 ft2 (12,400 m2)
  • Project scope: 14-story building
  • Urban setting
  • Completed 2007
  • Rating: EPA Energy Star --Level: 98
    Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED EB O&M --Level: Gold

In 2006, the Rose Smart Growth Investment Fund acquired the historic Joseph Vance Building with the purpose of transforming it into "the leading green and historic class B" building in the marketplace. The terra cotta Vance Building was constructed in 1929 and has 14 floors – 13 floors of offices over ground-floor retail with a basement for mechanical equipment and storage.

In 2009 the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded the Vance Building LEED for Existing Buildings (EB) Gold certification.

Environmental Aspects

The owner considered a full range of retrofit strategies such as total glazing replacement and HVAC replacement to address problems with original windows and an inefficient steam heating system; however, the design team soon recognized that substantial energy efficiency improvements could be made by thoughtfully optimizing the existing building features. Some key strategies used include:

  • Removed ducted heating systems
  • Recalibrated steam heating system
  • Localized thermostats
  • Operable windows
  • Automated sunshades
  • Lighting retrofit with automated controls
  • Light shelves
  • CO2 sensors
  • Re-commissioning

[Added to the HPB Database by New Buildings Institute - White Salmon, WA]

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned by Rose Smart Growth Investment Fund, Corporation, for-profit
  • Occupants: Corporation, for-profit

Building Programs

Indoor Spaces:

Office, Retail general


Integrated team, Green framework, Commissioning, Operations and maintenance, Passive solar, HVAC, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, Salvaged materials, Connection to outdoors, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Indoor air quality monitoring

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Case Studies Database provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's
Building Technology Program, High Performance Buildings.


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