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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool boasts energy efficiency in design and use

1/23/2014  2:30:00 PM

Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool
boasts energy efficiency in design and use

The Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool is 40% more energy efficient than a 2009 Seattle Energy Code baseline building. The hallmark building boasts low utility and operating costs by conserving energy, water and other resources. Sustainability, a core value of Seattle Parks and Recreation, was incorporated throughout the design and construction of the new community building. 

Seattle Parks and Recreation, ARC Architects, Stantec Engineers, and Counsilman-Hunsaker aquatic designers set sustainable design goals with a focus on reducing energy and water use at the start of design. Working within constraints of a limited budget, the building is poised to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold.

“This building is an excellent example of the City of Seattle leading by example when it comes to improving our community while reducing climate impacts,” said Jill Simmons, Director of the Office of Sustainability & Environment. “High-performance buildings like this prove what’s possible and Seattle Parks and Recreation is to be commended for going above and beyond the City’s already strong policy for sustainable construction.”

The building’s energy efficiency measures include: heat-recovery dehumidification units for space heating and pool water heating, radiant slab heating, ground-source heating and cooling, and evacuated tube solar water heating.  Light fixtures and controls are above code standards with daylight illuminating all public spaces. Activity and gymnasium spaces in the building are cooled through natural ventilation, saving energy that would have been required for mechanical cooling. Rainwater harvesting provides 90 percent of the water for toilets and urinals.

Built on the site of the former community center and pool, the new facility makes creative use of recycling. Wood beams were repurposed for siding; concrete foundations were used for onsite landfill, and the wood ceilings from the old locker rooms were re-milled and installed for the lobby ceilings. 

The $25 million facility opened in September 2013 and includes a gym, a large dividable multipurpose room, a kitchen, teen rooms, a computer lab, and arts and crafts room, a childcare facility with its own entrance, a recreational pool with waterslide and wading pool, and a lap pool with an additional space for birthday parties.

Visually, the new building opens to the neighborhood, providing a welcoming atmosphere. The gym is located on the north end of the building for indirect daylighting and opens to a large plaza for multipurpose events. The pools are located on the south end, which saves energy by heating the rooms naturally rather than mechanically.  The existing plaza south of the center was extended to the building with added terrace seating and landscaping.

Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool is located at 8825 Rainier Ave. S, 98118 at the corner of Rainier Ave S. and S. Henderson St. For more information on this project please visit

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Seattle Parks and Recreation

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