Pioneer Square office building will be first SEAM certified project in U.S.

11.23.2022 | Daily Journal of Commerce

Seattle-based real estate developer Urban Visions is the first organization in the country to register a SEAM certification pilot project for The Jack, a mixed-use office building currently under construction at 74 S. Jackson St. in Pioneer Square. The building faces Alaskan Way.

The recently announced SEAM certification is a social impact certification, accreditation and membership program which recognizes projects that achieve a positive social impact in the built environment and increase social equity.

Like other building certification programs, such as LEED or Fitwel, projects are evaluated for SEAM certification using a variety of metrics designed to measure social impact. SEAM’s social equity assessment method is based on four indicators of social sustainability: social responsibility, social impact, social justice and social accountability. These indicators are rated by eight concepts made up of 20 objectives that affect good outcomes for individuals, communities and the world.

SEAM Inc., which runs the program, was founded by commercial real estate professionals Rainey Shane and Alex Demestihas in 2018. The company has spent the last two years piloting SEAM certification on projects in the U.S., Canada, and Australia and will officially launch the program in early 2023. SEAM describes the certification as “providing a roadmap for developers, property owners and occupiers to maximize opportunities for social impact through the built environment.”

“SEAM addresses a critical gap in understanding and metrics surrounding the social impact of commercial real estate,” SEAM co-founder Rainey Shane said in a news release. “With SEAM Certification, organizations can differentiate themselves and their developments by meeting rigorous international standards for positive social impact in their communities and beyond.”

When it opens in mid-2023, the 175,000-square-foot, eight-level The Jack will have a SEAM Operations and Maintenance Certification. “A certification that solely focuses on social equity within the built environment is long overdue and we are excited to support SEAM efforts on our projects,” Urban Visions EVP Todd Lee said in the release. “We are honored to be completing the very first SEAM certified building in the U.S.”

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