The Red Line - Edition 2, Fall 2017



Our civil practice talks designing for urban spaces, navigating the Department of Ecology’s new requirements, and Seattle’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) standouts. 



How an employee appreciation concept brought together MiiR, Coughlin Porter Lundeen, and IslandWood.



Q&A with Principal Bryan Zagers to understand what made this project so special.



How we're supporting the Mary's Place mission.


Where you'll find us this winter.



Honoring history, telling a building’s story, and ultimately, attracting tenants. Featuring The Publix, Augusta Apartments and The Sanctuary at the Mark. 


Back by popular demand, we've assembled our team's favorite activities to get you through the winter. 




The recent changes to Seattle’s Stormwater Code have added one more hurdle to an already challenging course.


The Puget Sound region continues to struggle with water quality, even as stormwater regulations increase. Released this October, The Seattle Times article, “Stormwater Pollution in Puget Sound Streams, Killing Coho Before They Can Spawn,” points to the issue’s reach and reveals what a priority it is in the region. The salmon are dying, and the same contaminants continue to damage the Puget Sound, affecting everything from orcas to oysters.

To protect, preserve and enhance natural resources, the Department of Ecology’s Stormwater Guidelines continue to evolve. The most recent guidelines put more emphasis on Low Impact Development (LID) or Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) - think rain gardens, rainwater harvesting, sustainability efforts, etc. In 2016, the State Department of Ecology and local jurisdictions (including the City of Seattle) adopted a more restrictive drainage standard related to GSI, strictly interpreting the guidelines. Where previously GSI was encouraged, it is now required.

The City of Seattle began enforcing this additional requirement immediately at its release, in January 2016, changing the way we execute local projects. In this new setup, projects must explain why they can’t apply the city’s preferred (sometimes unattainable) GSI approach. The explanation must be in-depth, with specific cost details from the building team. For example, a team may propose bioretention planters in place of the city’s rainwater harvest and re-use system.

Implementing GSI strategies into tight sites and urban environments is challenging, as there are very few places to incorporate the systems. At urban infill projects, additions like green roofs and rainwater harvesting systems become expensive quickly. Add the new layer of regulation complications, and urban projects could quickly become the things of nightmares.

However, we’ve recognized that by carefully coordinating elements that were already planned for projects and making early changes to how roof drainage was managed, we can bypass the more difficult and costly systems while still achieving the positive goals of GSI and aligning with requirements.

Pictured: Terry Avenue Building

Pictured: Terry Avenue Building

When the new requirements were first implemented, they wreaked havoc within the project process. Plumbing design didn't occur until the later stages of the design process, but now, to appease requirements, teams had to modify previously approved roofscapes, or put thousands of extra dollars toward plumbing systems and design redo costs.

What do we recommend? Align the team - everyone from architect and owner to the civil engineer and plumbing consultant. Create the drainage plan early so the team can make decisions against code requirements and ensure no opportunities are lost. Consider the roof and the roof drain plumbing system an integral part of the stormwater approach and permitting process. Leverage your civil partner’s experience and expertise. Prioritize GSI, avoid steep redesign costs and potential project delays.

So, what has the last year taught us? Put simply: Plan for GSI early. Instead of considering GSI a last-minute add-in, it must be prioritized. The requirements disrupt the traditional design process. Now, teams must enter the schematic design phase knowing what the plumbing system and landscaping areas on and/or next to the building can do.

What do we recommend? Align the team - everyone from architect and owner to the civil engineer and plumbing consultant.
— Tim Brockway, Senior Civil Project Manager

Let’s go back to basics. Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) systems are designed to mimic natural drainage patterns and treat our Earth’s resources with care. Our civil engineers regularly design creative GSI systems for sites in the Pacific Northwest, everything from green roofs and rain gardens to stormwater re-use and bioretention systems.

Stormwater management is especially relevant in the Pacific Northwest for two reasons. First, the culture. Locals sincerely care about sustainability efforts and hold businesses, municipalities and themselves accountable. Certifications like Salmon-Safe and regulations like the GSI ordinance were created because the community demanded them. Second, there’s simply a lot of water here. Natural drainage patterns differ from region to region, and there are special considerations for the Pacific Northwest’s zone. The amount of water and the resources affected by it make stormwater management critical for our fragile natural systems. In the Seattle area alone, resources to consider include rivers, salmon populations, and groundwater. Looking at the context of the Pacific Northwest may help us understand why the Department of Ecology continues to enhance the requirements for stormwater.

Important Keywords:

  • Bioretention: a regenerative upland-based water quality and quantity control practice that collects stormwater and uses the physical, biological and chemical properties of plants, microbes and soils to remove pollutants from the runoff.

  • Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI): synonymous with Low-Impact Development (LID). Systems and practices that use or mimic natural processes for infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of stormwater to protect water quality and associated aquatic habitat. GSI emphasizes conservation and use of on-site natural features to protect water quality.

Pictured: Eleanor Apartments

Pictured: Eleanor Apartments

Urban environments undoubtedly complicate things, and with the added challenge of meeting the state’s requirements, it’s more important than ever to meet challenges head on and adhere to best practices when designing and implementing stormwater systems.

1.  Marry the Science with the Story.
As with all design decisions, the incorporation of a GSI system must be purposeful. Ensuring stormwater system innovations complement programming can be a challenge, but the payoff is a functional, differentiated project with a strong story and identity.

2.  Commit to Coordination.  
Most GSI plans affect every discipline: landscape, civil, architectural, structural, plumbing, construction. And they require sign-off from municipalities. Coordinating among so many parties requires proactivity, clear communication, and quite frankly, a time commitment. Civil engineers, who are traditionally responsible for managing the GSI plans and process, especially need to prioritize collaboration and understand the responsibility they’re shouldering.

3.  Maximize Space.
The less space, the more puzzle-like the project. In urban settings, there’s less space overall, so bioretention-over-structure designs (stormwater systems integrated into a building’s footprint) need to be adapted to tight areas.

4.  Communicate Value.
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The challenge with GSI systems is to ensure that they, as the metaphorical fallen tree, make a sound. It’s important to communicate value (what you did and why it matters) beyond the project team to the community, thereby raising awareness, crediting your project partners, and ultimately, attracting tenants.

5.   Exceed the Requirements. Development in the Pacific Northwest can be challenging enough as it is. The recent changes to the stormwater code have added one more wrinkle to this already tricky terrain. Strive to create unique systems and solutions, so instead of only satisfying regulations, systems are designed to add value to the project beyond just meeting the code. It’s important to partner with team members who understand the challenges, are adept at navigating jurisdictions and municipalities and have a strong portfolio of work from which to draw inspiration.


What happens when best practices are applied? These PNW projects converted challenges into opportunities with sophisticated GSI systems and strategies.



Located in Belltown, Walton Lofts symbolizes a convergence of style, sustainability and premium downtown living. Walton’s location along the Growing Vine Street watershed and street park served as inspiration and allowed the team to explore designs not typical for the area or multi-unit residential designs.

What makes it a GSI standout: Quite a few things - a block-long swale collects, treats, and then gently guides water toward Elliott Bay and seamlessly integrates with the neighboring P-Patch. It earned three Green Globes, and overall, is a brilliant example of sustainability merging with urban environments.

Project team: Architects: Shoesmith Cox Architects, VIA Architecture, Owner: The Schuster Group, Structural Engineer & Civil Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, General Contractor: Turner Construction, Landscape Architect: Kenneth Philip Architects

Read our article, "Growing Vine Street"



The Fire Station 20 team created a model of sustainability in an industrial neighborhood, achieving LEED Platinum certification by incorporating solar panels, green roofs, geothermal wells, and LED lighting on a sensitive, steeply-sloped urban site.

What makes it a GSI standout: A gray water reuse system captures and stores shower water in a large cistern, allowing it to be recycled onsite – perfect for washing fire trucks! Retaining walls prevent erosion of the 30-foot slopes and integrated, tiered rain gardens treat and manage stormwater runoff. Water and energy savings are communicated to the community via signage and a custom flip-dot display just outside the building.

Project Team: Architect: Schacht Aslani Architects, Owner: City of Seattle Fire Department, Structural Engineer: Swenson Say Faget, Civil Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, General Contractor: FORMA Construction Co., Landscape Architect: Nakano Associates

Fire Station 20 Sustainability Brochure



Terry Avenue Building was rehabilitated and incorporated into Amazon’s South Lake Union campus. Originally constructed in 1915, it now houses three Tom Douglas restaurants and is flanked by Amazon’s Dawson and Ruby office buildings.

What makes it a GSI standout: First, Terry Avenue Building’s GSI system is celebrated as a design element as stormwater is collected and flows through a tiered planter alongside the staircase. Pedestrians and passersby interact with it daily. Second, and just as notable, is the efficiency born from a creative approach to GSI. When the site plan closed groundwater flow, our team developed a unique overflow system that rerouted trapped water to free-flowing areas. This solution was applied to multiple projects in the area, simplifying design challenges and allowing more efficient building layouts across the campus.

Project Team: Architect: Callison, Owner: Vulcan Real Estate, Structural & Civil Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, General Contractor: GLY Construction, Landscape Architect: Walker Macy



The Roosevelt District’s Eleanor is a two-building apartment complex featuring 270 units with floor-to-ceiling windows and open floor plans. Outside, a boardwalk and greenscape separate the two buildings while creating a unique community outdoor gathering area. Green features include solar panels, sun shades, and easy access to public transit.

What makes it a GSI standout: The site is an old creek bed, which inspires the entire design. A rooftop rainwater collection system feeds the courtyard rain gardens with exposed downspouts and runnels, enhancing functionality of the site’s wetlands and the stream beneath the boardwalk. It’s not only an impressive stormwater mitigation system, but a part of the building’s identity.

Project team: Architect: Runberg Architecture Group, Owner: Mack Urban, Civil & Structural Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, General Contractor: Compass General Construction, Landscape Architect: Hewitt  



We love seeing projects in Seattle succeed and believe that with the right process and proactivity, every project can. We’re honored to be a part of our city’s continued growth, in GSI and beyond. To learn more about Coughlin Porter Lundeen’s sustainability efforts and vision, click here.


Tim Brockway, P.E., LEED AP, BD+C, is a Senior Civil Project Manager at Coughlin Porter Lundeen. He leverages more than 24 years of experience in sustainable design practices, site layout, and design of technically challenging developments to support clients like Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and school districts throughout the region.


Where'd You Get That Water Bottle?


At our quarterly, all-company gathering this fall (held at the amazing Westland Distillery – one of our favorite TI projects), we released an employee appreciation gift: custom Miir water bottles. While we knew we could easily add a logo to any bottle order, we challenged ourselves to do more, to create something meaningful and memorable. Enter Miir.

Miir purchases fund projects that bring basic resources to people, supporting water, health and education initiatives here in Washington and internationally. (MiiR currently has project partnerships in Zambia, Kolkata, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uganda, Liberia, and Honduras.) Every MiiR purchase, from on-tap beer and kombucha at their Fremont flagship store, to products like bikes, journals, water bottles and backpacks, support the cause. A tracking code on each item connects it to a specific project executed via nonprofit partnerships with organizations like Well Done Organization (WDO), Seattle-based Splash, One Day’s Wages, The Adventure Project, and World Bicycle Relief.

We were especially excited to find that the majority of our Give Codes were linked to a STEM program here in Washington. IslandWood, a local nonprofit dedicated to environmental education and stewardship, is inspiring 200 King County third through eighth grade students with hands-on environmental learning experiences at Brightwater Center in Woodinville, King County's state-of-the-art wastewater facility.

According to Miir’s summary, “while at Brightwater, students will engage in lesson plans that incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning and will focus on different environmental factors impacting watersheds: stormwater, wastewater and urban freshwater ecosystems.” Can you imagine a better fit? 


When talking about the water bottles, we always seem to come back to our core values. Which is appropriate! After all, they’re one of the first things new employees hear on their way in the door, they’re the foundation laid by Jim Coughlin, Steve Porter, and Terry Lundeen, and they guide all that we do. Shouldn’t they extend to even the smallest of things? Even something as simple as an employee gift?

Here’s how the water bottles measure up against our core values:

1.  Commitment to Quality (every drawing, every detail)
We wanted a quality product that didn’t cut any corners.

2.  Creativity (from project solutions to the way we define our roles)
The concept and design featured on the water bottles was created in-house . Early on, we opted for something unique and universal – a sketched Seattle skyline.

3.  A Client-First Mindset (cultivating long-term partnerships)
Top-of-mind during development: What would our team like? Use? Be surprised by? Bring with them everywhere? Should we make three different versions so that everyone is happy? (Answer: Yes!)

4.  An Empowered Team (continued learning and development)
The entire water bottle giveaway program was an employee appreciation effort. It’s a priority that every team member feels valued, recognized, and encouraged to grow.  

5.  Collaboration and Respect (with our clients and within our own professional work environment)
We had a blast brainstorming concepts as an internal team, and have the utmost respect for our co-creators at Miir. We’re fans for life.

6.  Community (supporting the causes most important to our staff and city)
This core value was the cornerstone of our strategy. Not only is Miir a local, Seattle-based organization (so are we!), but they support organizations that are making a significant difference, here in Seattle and around the world.

images courtesy of MiiR



We’re grateful to Miir for their partnership, and their commitment to the underserved and underprivileged. We’ve already spotted our bottles on conference tables during meetings, on the bus, clipped onto bikes, and along for the ride on weekend hikes. It’s great to see them out and about knowing that they represent our team’s hard work, the city we love, and a giving project that’s doing good.

To see more about our journey with Miir, read our full blog post

Meet The University of Idaho Integrated Research and Innovation Center


The University of Idaho Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) is a campus centerpiece and a case study for the imaginative and untraditional. We conducted a Q&A with Principal Bryan Zagers to understand what made this project so special.


Project Team: Architect: NBBJ Owner: University of Idaho General Contractor: Hoffman Construction Company Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: MW Consulting Engineers Geotechnical Engineer: STRATA Landscape Designer: SPVV Landscape Architects

Q: Hi Bryan. To begin, can you give us an overview? What is the University of Idaho Integrated Research and Innovation Center all about?
BRZ: The Integrated Research and Innovation Center is a hugely important project to the university and community. It’s at the heart of the campus and, as its name implies, is a world-class facility designed for research and learning.

It’s three stories of high-end labs, offices and collaboration spaces. Interestingly, it doesn’t belong to any one department, instead, it’s designed for flexibility and multidisciplinary research.

Q: Why is it special that the building doesn’t belong to one department?
BRZ: First, it breaks with tradition. At most universities, there’s a science building, a business school, and so on. The IRIC throws out that structure. As a project team, we noticed early on that University of Idaho was committed to doing things differently. The decision to make the IRIC interdepartmental, which is the foundation of the entire project and program, perfectly exemplifies their overall approach.

Second, it’s a significant philosophical departure from the norm. Instead of assigning one department to the space or designating the building for a specific type of research, they’re inviting multiple disciplines to do their work under one roof. It’s an attitude that feels more like that of The Allen Institute, a place with collaboration at its core.

Q: How did this attitude affect your team’s designs?
BRZ: It guided every decision we made. While some goals aligned with those of a traditional university (for example, it needed to be an impressive stop on tours, attracting top student and research science talent), most priorities were unique for a campus project, as it needed to be a place where both new students and accomplished scientists would feel at home.

Q: You compared IRIC to The Allen Institute. Can you tell us more about the parallels between the two?
BRZ: The IRIC is different than a typical college campus building, but it’s different than most labs too. It’s named very intentionally, hosting projects like the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ study on the diets of diabetics (Kerry Huber), the Electrical & Computer Engineering College of Engineering’s microelectronics research (Fred Barlow), and Forest and Rangeland Measurements Lab College of Natural Resources study of the ecological and social impacts of extreme wildland fires (Alistair Smith). It’s rare for projects this diverse to be under one roof. I compare it to The Allen Institute because both are founded on the interdisciplinary model. They emphasize collaboration, put the science on display, and subscribe to the idea that distinct fields can inspire and inform one another.

Q: What are some complications or special requirements that come with creating a lab?
BRZ: Most of the complications were born from the equipment. Every building moves, but the movement that’s imperceptible to the average person is detrimental to lab equipment. In IRIC’s case, vibrations were a primary consideration, especially since the lab houses a mass spectrometer, one of the most highly-sensitive machines in existence.

We created a comprehensive plan that spanned the building’s footprint, organizing it into zones. Each zone has distinct vibration requirements, the most sensitive accommodating the mass spectrometer. Zoning allowed us to maintain ultimate flexibility, a priority to the university who needed to accommodate a variety of project types and programs.

Q: Were there any other unique engineering challenges?
BRZ: There always are. The University of Idaho had specific goals, and each demanded that the project team rise to the occasion.  

From the beginning, the IRIC was slotted to be a centerpiece of the campus and an important stop on campus tours. As such, it couldn’t just function as a high-end lab, appealing to its scientists. The project team ensured that the building was impressive from the outside, mapped tour-friendly walking routes through the building, designed complex indoor/outdoor connections, and spent a lot of time considering the visitor experience.

The building’s structural system posed another challenge. Typically universities aren’t comfortable breaking away from stately, institutional-looking designs. In keeping with their breaking-from-tradition theme, the IRIC uses a variety of cladding systems and left the majority of structural elements exposed.

Another university priority was flexibility. Idaho had a long-term vision for the IRIC, and wanted to ensure that the building remained relevant and functional for years to come. The solution: a raised floor system which allows a portion of the building with less restrictive vibration requirements to evolve according to future needs. To create the system, we leveraged experience from Microsoft’s campus, demonstrating again how the IRIC was unique, pulling inspiration and ideas from impressive projects in a completely different market.

Q: Any final thoughts about this project?
BRZ: Different is interesting, and from the get-go, the University of Idaho wanted different. As an engineer, it’s exciting to break the mold, to work with complicated geometries, to solve problems. The project team got to do all that and more with this building. And to boot, the project team was full of great people who worked well together.

Overall, the university had a vision to create something unique. They remained true to that vision throughout, and it’s reflected in everything from the building’s cladding system and exposed structural elements, to the programming and in-action philosophy of the IRIC.



Bryan Zagers is a Principal with Coughlin Porter Lundeen. His collaborative approach delivers thoughtful solutions for forward-thinking higher education and technology clients including, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. In addition to the University of Idaho’s IRIC, his portfolio includes WSU Spokane’s Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building and The Allen Institute.


Mary's Place, Another Year of Partnership
How we're supporting the Mary's Place mission.

image courtesy of Mary's Place

Since our founding more than twenty years ago, Coughlin Porter Lundeen has supported Mary's Place and their mission to "empower homeless women, children, and families to reclaim their lives.” Mary’s Place is a refuge, providing shelter, nourishment, resources, healing and hope in a safe community. While our support of this great organization isn’t new (our structural team has developed designs for numerous Mary’s Place buildings), this year our team supported Mary’s Place in a few especially creative ways.


Where you'll find us this winter

SEAW/PEER Seminar: TBI Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Design of Tall Buildings, Version 2.02
Nov 1, 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m., Seattle University
Event Info

MiiR + Matt Draper Launch Party
Nov 2, 6:00 p.m., MiiR Flagship
Event Info

NAIOP Night of the Stars Awards Gala
Nov 3 Hyatt Regency Bellevue
Event Info

SEFW Fall Forum – ORIGAMI Inspiration in Science, Design, and Structure
Nov 15, 4:30 p.m. Benaroya Hall
Event Info

Magic in the Market Holiday Celebration
Nov 25, Pike Place Market
Event Info

Winter Beer Fest
Dec 1-2, Building 30 in Magnuson Park
Event Info

Urban Craft Uprising
Dec 2-3, The Meeting Center
Event Info

AIA Seattle - Resilience Thinking: Places, Spaces, Communities
Dec 11, 8 a.m. Impact Hub Seattle
Event Info

NAIOP December Breakfast
Dec 13

ENR Regional Best Projects Awards
Dec 14, 11 a.m. W Seattle Hotel
Event Info

Polar Bear Plunge
Jan 1, 10 a.m. Mathews Beach Park on Lake WA
Event Info

Monthly A4LE school tours and dinners
Event Info

Chilly Hilly
Feb 25, Bainbridge Island Bike Ride
Event Info

AEC Project Management Bootcamp
Mar 1-2, Renaissance Seattle
Event Info



Led by founder Terry Lundeen, Coughlin Porter Lundeen established Volunteer Days to continue growing our team’s involvement with Mary’s Place and to lend hands-on support. This year, we were especially excited to have a Volunteer Day at the new White Center location.

Every Volunteer Day is a bit different, but whether chatting with residents, playing games with kiddos, tidying up, sorting donations, doing laundry, or simply lending an ear to a resident, the days are united in being valuable and rewarding.  



When onsite for our February Volunteer Day, we asked Mary’s Place staff about residents’ greatest needs. We were surprised by the answer: professional clothing. Something we have in abundance!

In response, we organized an in-office clothing drive (and married it with a bit of friendly competition). In the spirit of March Madness, donation bins corresponded to staff’s various alma maters and points were awarded for each item donated. In all, we collected more than 1,250 articles of clothing. We’re told they helped the Mary’s Place community as they pursued jobs and took interviews.



A new outfit, a fresh notebook – we know these little things make a big difference when it comes to feeling excited about a new school year.

This July, we helped ensure 25 high schoolers had everything they needed to be ready (and excited!) for their first day. Via an in-office drive, we filled 25 (new, stylish) backpacks with supplies like rulers, binders, highlighters, and notebooks. Coughlin Porter Lundeen completed the kits, adding a TI-84 calculator to each. 



Only two years old, the Charity Poker Tournament is already a Coughlin Porter Lundeen tradition. Led by Structural Project Engineer, Chris Padin, poker fans gathered at the Coughlin Porter Lundeen office and shared food, fun, gag prizes, and a respectably competitive tourney.

They donated $150 the first year, $500 the next. The latter went toward buying toys, board games and diapers for children at Mary’s Place. A Volunteer Day and conversations with the Mary’s Place staff had informed Padin of the needs. Instead of sending tagged cash, Padin did the shopping and delivered the bounty himself. There are rumors that this year’s tourney will be themed (ugly sweaters!). We can’t wait!

We believe that fulfillment of basic needs gives people hope and changes our world. Affiliation with organizations that improve people’s lives by supplying shelter, nourishment, and health care services makes us proud. And quite simply, it’s the right thing to do. 

Coughlin Porter Lundeen has been recognized as one of the region’s top small business philanthropists by the Puget Sound Business Journal, reflecting our ongoing commitment to be a better neighbor where we live and work. 


From the Field: Projects with Heart



Built in 1927, The Publix Hotel served as a home for migrant workers coming to Seattle from around the world. After being closed for more than a decade, the historic building underwent a full rehabilitation, transforming the once single-room occupancy, 8 x10-room hotel, into a trendy multi-family, six-story apartment complex. Located in the heart of the Historic Chinatown International District, it’s one of six remaining buildings in the neighborhood constructed for Rainier Heat and Power Co. Thoughtful touches like the restoration of its original doors and wood paneling honor the building’s past, while more modern amenities like a high-design lobby space, roof-top deck, dog run and bike storage attract modern tenants. A new L-shaped structure constructed to the south contains larger apartments, and connects to the rehabilitated hotel at the ground and second levels. Adjacent to the Union Station transit hub, new ground floor tenants will add retail diversity as they open over the next few months.

The Publix has been recognized with numerous awards including Historic Seattle’s “Best Rehabilitation” and the Valerie Sivinski Award from Washington’s State Historic Preservation Officer, which recognizes achievement in historic preservation and outstanding rehabilitation of historic structures.

Project Team: Architect: Clark | Barnes Owner: Uwajimaya Inc., Developer/Owner's Rep: Spectrum Development Solutions, Structural Engineers: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, Civil Engineers: KPFF Consulting Engineers, General Contractor: Marpac Construction, Landscape Architect: HEWITT


The Publix Hotel and FUMC Honored at Historic Seattle’s 9th Annual Awards Benefit


Named after Augusta Ada Byron, a gifted British mathematician who’s widely regarded as the world’s first programmer, Augusta Apartments is an amenity-filled, 216-unit complex at the edge of the University District. According to the project’s website, “in the late 1960s, the site was home to a startup called Computer Center Corporation and it was there at CCC that Paul Allen (owner of Vulcan, Augusta’s developer) and his childhood friend, Bill Gates, honed their coding skills by working after school and on weekends.” The story inspired the project team and has become a cornerstone of the building’s modern identity. Augusta cleverly pays homage to its namesake and technology roots, with everything from the art on its walls (including a colorful mural of Augusta Ada Byron herself), the “story” showcase on the website, the pixel-inspired logo, and of course, its very name.

While the demand for housing in Seattle is certainly there, Vulcan identified their story as an important differentiator, especially as their targets are students and young professionals, a market that values branding, uniqueness and personality in what they buy, what they watch, and yes, where they live.

Project Team: Architect: Runberg Architecture Group, Owner: Vulcan Real Estate, Structural & Civil Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, General Contractor: Exxel Pacific, Landscape Architect: Brumbaugh & Associates



As the F5 Tower (formerly The Mark) rose into the Seattle sky, it may have been easy to miss what was happening closer to the ground. Eleven years ago, the First United Methodist Church, which shares a city block with the tower, seemed fated for demolition due to mounting repair costs. Founded more than 100 years ago, it is Seattle’s oldest church. Preservation groups, with help from public officials, worked tirelessly to keep the church from being razed, and ultimately, Kevin Daniels saved the church to integrate it into the tower’s design. 

The team reimagined what the church could be, and is currently refurbishing it as a high-end event venue for the F5 Tower’s hospitality arm. To honor the space’s history and former life, it’s called “The Sanctuary.” Our team helped restore the historical Beaux Arts treasure, providing seismic upgrades and designing connections to the tower (including an impressive glass walkway) and incorporating it into the final design. This year, the project was recognized with the “Exemplary Stewardship” award from Historic Seattle

Project Team: Architect: Zimmer Gunsel Frasca Architects, Owner: Daniels Real Estate, Structural Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, General Contractor: JTM construction


The Mark / F5 Tower Website

Watching the F5 Tower Rise


Activities to get you through the PNW winter. 

A little rain never stops a Seattleite from enjoying the outdoors. We seized the summer, now it's time to buckle down for a long, wet winter in the Pacific Northwest. We plan to spend our upcoming winter days in the powder, at the gym, and Netflixing here and there. 

To help with your planning, we’ve rounded up a few of our team’s favorite activities. 

See you on the slopes!



Recommended By: Elliot Smith, P.E., Structural Engineer
Distance: 30 miles east of Seattle
Area: Snoqualmie, North Bend 

Why I Love It: There’s lots of great snowshoeing at Snoqualmie Pass. Lower Gold Creek Basin is one of the most popular, and for good reason. At four miles, it’s leisurely while still more difficult/interesting than staying on groomed trails. For something more challenging, try Kendall Peak Lakes, which starts at the same trailhead but extends the trip to nine miles (and includes great views of the Cascades). 

Snoqualmie Summit Activities




Recommended By: Rachel Vranizan, P.E.,
Structural Engineer
Distance: 100 miles west of Seattle
Area: Olympic National Park

Why I love it: Sure, getting out to the peninsula can feel like a chore, but I think it’s worth the trek. At the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, you can rent snowshoes and cross-country skis, then take to the trails around the mountain. Most routes are fine for beginners. There’s also a lift and a few runs for alpine skiing and snowboarding. Don’t forget your tire chains (they’re required!) and your National Park pass. 

Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center



Recommended By: Bailey Cook, 
Civil Engineer
Distance: 80 miles east of Seattle
Area: Skykomish

Why I love it: Whether it’s your first time up to the mountain or you’ve been skiing your whole life, Stevens has a lot to offer. There’s a good variety of groomed and off-piste runs of ranging difficulty levels and a large terrain park. Only 1.5 hours from Seattle, it’s an easy day trip. If you’re going on the weekend make sure to get up early - the parking lots fill up fast! If you’re not interested in downhill, head a few miles past the base on Hwy. 2 to the Stevens Pass Nordic Center for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Stevens Pass


Published by Coughlin Porter Lundeen, The Red Line is a biannual collection of the firm’s news, perspective, and commentary on AEC industry topics. All content is curated and written in-house.
Questions, comments or feedback? Send us a note