About the building

The roof sweeps north to bathe the interior with indirect light; a lower roof section provides an intimate scale for reading along the north wall. A covered porch area provides a civic face along the pedestrian corridor of 22nd Avenue Northwest.
A "green roof" is planted with more than 18,000 low-water-use plants. A built-in periscope inside the branch gives you a view of the roof and the Olympic Mountains. At select times, you can visit the indoor viewing deck.

Environmental Features

Environmental green roof feature at the Ballard Branch
Environmental green roof feature at the Ballard Branch

Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Landscape Architect: Swift & Co.
Contractor: PCL Construction Services Inc.

Key features include: 

  • 18,000+ low-water-use plants on the " green roof." The plants provide insulation and reduce water that otherwise would rush into storm drains. A biodegradable coconut fiber mat on top of the 4-inch thick dirt helped the plants get established on the green roof. 
  • 17 solar panels on the roof and solar film in the windows of the nearby Neighborhood Service Center. The Seattle City Light Green Power Program, which provided the solar equipment, monitors how much electricity it produces.
  • Building designed to shade harsh light and take advantage of natural daylight, decreasing need for artificial light. Seven skylights at key points.
  • Motion sensors that turn lights on and off in offices and rooms.
  • Recycled carpet, glass, ceramic and ceiling tiles.
  • Environmentally-friendly adhesives, sealants and paints.
  • Ventilation systems that monitor indoor air quality.
  • Waterless urinals in restrooms.
  • Light wells in the parking garage that provide pools of natural light to help with security.

Plant list

  • Achillea tomentosa - Woolly yarrow
  • Armeria maritima - Sea pink, sea thrift
  • Carex inops (pensylvanica) - Long-stoloned sedge
  • Eriphyllum lanatum - Oregon sunshine
  • Festuca rubra -Red creeping fescue
  • Festuca idahoensis - Idaho fescue
  • Phlox subulata - Creeping phlox
  • Saxifrage cespitosa - Tufted saxifrage
  • Sedum oreganum - Oregon stonecrop
  • Sedum album - White stonecrop
  • Sedum spurium - Two-row stonecrop
  • Sisyrinchium idahoensis - Blue-eyed grass
  • Thymus serphyllum - Thyme
  • Triteleia hyacintha - Fool's onion