Seattle Urban Energy Tour

On this half-day tour, participants will be able to see urban energy projects in the Seattle area. We’ll stop at the Bertschi School, which is the first LEED gold-certified building in the Pacific Northwest and Enwave Seattle (formally Seattle Steam), which uses biomass to heat 200 buildings in Downtown Seattle.

Tour starts at 9am at Enwave Seattle (6 block walk from the Motif). From Enwave a bus will take us to the Bertschi School. We will return by bus to the Motif by 1pm.

Half-day Seattle Energy Tour – $20.00

Enwave Seattle


Enwave Seattle (formally Seattle Steam) is a privately-owned utility that provides reliable and sustainable heat to approximately 200 buildings in Seattle’s Central Business District and First Hill neighborhoods

Enwave Seattle uses clean urban waste wood as fuel for its biomass boiler. This wood is unpainted, not treated with chemical preservatives, and is free of non-combustible materials. Types of wood include broken wood pallets and crates, clean construction demolition wood, shredded wood from land clearing, wood waste from sawmills and chip mills. Seattle Steam does not burn garbage, yard waste, trash, or plastics.

The biomass boiler has the capability of cutting Enwave’s fossil fuel-based carbon footprint (and that of its customers) by 50 percent.

In the tour, you will see the inner workings of a district energy plant, the natural gas boilers, the biomass handling facility, the biomass plant, and even be able to look inside while it’s in use. You’ll also see Enwave’s recent well and a prototype steam engine.


The Bertschi School


The Bertschi School, located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, is home to the Bertschi Center, the first LEED gold-certified building on an independent school campus in the Pacific NW. As the first certified “Living Building” in Washington State and the first in the world built to the Living Building Challenge 2.0 standard, the Bertschi Science Wing includes solar panels, a living wall of tropical plants to treat grey water, radiant floor heating, and composting toilet. Science comes alive as students learn about solar energy generation, rainwater reclamation, as well as plant and animal studies in the EcoHouse and exterior gardens. Explore the Teaching Gardens where rainwater collection systems store roof run-off in large above ground and underground cisterns. One of these provides water for the students to hand-water on-campus gardens where they grow food and harvest native vegetation to gain an understanding of urban agriculture.