Greenfire Mixed-Use Development Sustainable Landscape

The Greenfire Group (
Ballard, Seattle, WA

A new mixed-use development in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle incorporates sustainability into every aspect of its users’ daily lives. The Watershed Company created a landscape design complementary to Johnston Architects’ buildings, completing the owners’ vision of a practically sustainable urban campus. Fully integrated green practices minimize resource use through efficiency and recycling, offering residents a life in harmony with the environment. All apartment residents have their own P-patch, kept green by rainwater harvesting. Rainwater is stored in two large cisterns, providing irrigation for the native and drought-tolerant landscape, a water feature, and 3 green roof gardens. Any runoff not captured for irrigation is treated by a central rain garden. Many site materials, including retaining walls and paving, are recycled or salvaged. The Watershed Company provided service from design through construction for the 0.84-acre site.

The Greenfire Campus is the recipient of a 2012 What Makes It Green? Award from the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the 2013 Futurewise Livable Communities Award for Overall Excellence in Commercial Community Development.

Partners: Johnston Architects

Rendering of the landscape at the Greenfire Campus, by Studio 216

Overview rendering of the Greenfire Campus, courtesy of Studio 216.

Greenfire Campus landscape from above

Site overview. P-patches sit beside a cistern and water feature.

Green roof with patio

Green roof plantings make the roof a wonderful place to relax after dinner.

Grasses soften corten steel planters surrounding a patio.

Custom cement water feature with plantings

Water zigs and zags between planting boxes as it flows through the custom water feature.

Stormwater runoff from the roof fills a cistern beside p-patch plots.

Corten steel planters line a patio.

Garden shed with p-patch agriculture plots

A garden shed, compost bin, trellises and p-patch plots offer backyard urban farming.

Street plantings outside a sidewalk cafe.

Street plantings attract visitors to the sidewalk cafe at the mixed use campus.

Green roof plantings

The green roof provides habitat with native and drought-tolerant plantings and large woody debris.

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