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Barrientos RYAN and Exxel Pacific Present The Parsonage Project

Maintaining historical structures adds cultural value to a city modern buildings alone cannot provide. The preservation of historic structures also significantly reduces the use of natural resources typically used in new construction. Seattle-based developer barrientos RYAN recognizes the importance of preservation and applied it to their new mid-rise project in Seattle's University District, The Parsonage, through the work of builder Exxel Pacific.

Vital Stats



Location: University District, Seattle
Star Level: 4-Star
Checklist: Multifamily
Verifier: Rushing
Site and Water 175
Energy Efficiency 83
Indoor Air Quality 149
Material Efficiency 84
  Total Score 491

Located blocks from the University of Washington, The Parsonage seamlessly integrates into the surrounding neighborhood through a modern, contemporary design blended with classic Seattle architecture. The project is centered around a historic Seattle landmark, a 100-year-old home which once served as housing quarters for a still-standing church. The home was integrated into the project and reimagined with the help of Seattle-based architects Schemata Workshop. The house now serves as a beautifully redesigned community space and crowning jewel of the project.

Aligning with barrientos RYAN's commitment to sustainability, the team pursued and achieved Built Green® 4-Star certification for the project, led by Rushing's sustainability consulting team. Energy efficiency was a primary goal for the developer, reflected in more than 22 percent energy savings over Washington State Energy Code requirements. To reduce air infiltration and thermal bridging, the project used roofing materials, glazing, and insulation with high R-values. Moreover, to influence tenant behavior and habits to be more energy conscious, energy sub-metering was provided to each unit so tenants can see and alter their real-time energy use.

Barrientos RYAN and Exxel Pacific 4-Star UDistrict exterior


The project's location just north of the University of Washington gives residents easy access to multiple alternative transportation options including bus routes, bicycle networks, and Link light rail stations. The project also includes 71 bicycle storage spaces, encouraging tenants to enjoy a healthy lifestyle as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the combustion of fossil fuels.

More than 1,500 square feet of green roof was planted to aid in carbon sequestration, the retention and treatment of stormwater, and in providing habitat and promoting biodiversity.

The health of the tenants was also of primary concern for barrientos RYAN. To ensure the health of both tenants and tradespeople, Exxel Pacific and Schafer were held to a high standard of construction procedures by means of an Indoor Air Quality Management Plan. The plan prescribed the methods by which materials were to be stored and installed on site, such as sealing ductwork during construction to prevent contamination and protecting absorptive materials from water damage.

Built Green Highlights

Site and Water

  • Drought tolerant, native and adapted plant species
  • No turf grass
  • Green roof
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures

Energy Efficiency

  • 96 percent efficient natural gas-fired domestic hot water boiler
  • 2.7-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system
  • LED lighting
  • Energy Star appliances
  • Exterior lighting on daylight sensors
  • Passive solar lighting design
Barrientos RYAN and Exxel Pacific 4-Star UDistrict entryway
Barrientos RYAN and Exxel Pacific 4-Star UDistrict roof deck
Barrientos RYAN and Exxel Pacific 4-Star UDistrict common room

Health and Indoor Air Quality

  • Low-VOC adhesives and sealants
  • Low-VOC paints and coatings
  • Formaldehyde-free insulation
  • No carpet in units

Materials Efficiency

  • Use of materials which are easily replaced with reduced waste
  • Materials with recycled content include:
    • Carpet tile
    • Water distribution piping
  • Locally sourced materials include:
    • Concrete
    • Brick
    • Windows
    • Gypsum
    • Casework
    • Cabinetry
    • Interior doors

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