The city of Seattle is known for its innovation and creativity, and MacDonald-Miller has been part of this forward-thinking mindset for decades. We’ve leveraged our technical expertise to become a major player in the ever-changing landscape of the Emerald City.

A current initiative that reflects our level of ingenuity is the construction of the 8th & Howell project for the R.C. Hedreen Company. This immense undertaking will consist of over 1 million SQFT, encompass an entire city block, and become the largest hotel in Seattle history.

Specifically designed to complement the soon-to-be expansion of the Washington State Convention Center, 8th & Howell’s completion will provide 1,264 luxury hotel rooms to visiting guests. The hotel will include underground parking, street-level restaurants and retail, as well as a 7-story podium level featuring banquet and ballroom space, high-end meeting rooms, and a banquet-capacity commercial kitchen. This 60 million dollar project will soar over 46 stories high and alter the skyline on 8th Avenue between Howell & Stewart Streets.

MacMiller was selected through an extensive interview process and is performing the HVAC, controls, plumbing and piping scopes of work. The depth of our internal resources spurred the design team to request we take on a joint design-assist role with the consulting engineer to ensure that a cost effective and energy-efficient design was achieved. Given the sheer size of the project and to eliminate redundant efforts, our detailing group was tasked with assisting in the creation of the construction documents, while continually advising the engineers on constructability and cost.

MacMiller loves a good challenge and a project this size certainly has its share of them. To create operational efficiency for such a large project, we are utilizing our pre-fabrication capabilities and multi-trade rack innovation for high-level implementation. Our detailing efforts have included targeting both repetitive bathroom and guest room spaces to maximize the use of wall pre-fab rough-ins, guest room ceiling assemblies, and vertical riser systems. Multi-trade racks, manufactured in our own prefabrication facility, will drive efficient installation and space planning for the crowded ceiling spaces in the public areas. This approach is designed to move labor off the site and into the shop, doing a significant amount of work before certain aspects of the job site are even ready.

The energy efficient design will be one of the first projects of its size designed to meet the 2012 Energy Code. It will include a 3000-ton highefficiency chiller plant, roof-mounted cooling towers, heat recovery systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, domestic water pre-heat, and variable speed pumping throughout the building. Custom air handling units, VAV terminal units, hot water heating and a high-efficiency boiler plant will serve ductwork systems throughout the building. Ballroom and meeting rooms will be designed with low velocity ceiling diffusers and sound attenuation to ensure sound levels support the intended use in the large meeting spaces. The final system will be designed and verified to a LEED Gold certification, meaning that 8th & Howell will be one of the most efficient structures in the city.

Another detailing triumph is found in the full scale laundry facility. Careful design and planning has been required to accommodate the size and height of the specialty laundry equipment while still allowing operation within the confines of the tight clearance issues that a basement presents. Our detailing group was a critical part of designing a method where the ducts and piping for the ceiling actually fit!

Creating energy efficiencies is right up our alley, and one unique feature of the laundry design is the incorporation of a laundry water recycle system that will save the owner thousands of gallons of water over a standard application. When combined with our low flow plumbing fixtures, the system will reduce water usage by 30% as compared to a typical hotel.

The most innovative feature regarding our energy savings approach is how the building will be monitored. Our building performance team will install the building controls, and this includes hotel rooms that possess occupancy sensors that identify whether people are actually in their rooms. If the system identifies vacancy, the HVAC system and lights will be automatically shut down, resulting in significant energy savings. At the heart of the efficiency initiative is the presence of an ICONICS Energy Dashboard. This tool monitors and controls energy usage to match the baseline established in the original design and gives the building owner real time data to determine whether or not the building is operating at optimal efficiency. Adjustments can then be made based on the data delivered to flag systems in need of repair and to ensure the building operates at peak performance.

Sellen Construction is the General Contractor and the underground portion of the 8th & Howell project has just begun with completion slated for June 2018, making it a two and a half year timeline. This is the type of project that truly brings to light why MacMiller is so respected in the marketplace – we’re known for our ability to harness several complicated systems into one integrated system that performs perfectly. When finished, the project will be one of the largest in city history and MacMiller will be able say that we helped make it happen!

Renderings by LMN Architects 

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