Seattle University Vi Hilbert Hall

Seattle, WA

Located in the heart of Seattle's Capitol Hill, this striking new student hall, named for a Native American tribal elder of the Upper Skagit people, honors a legacy of environmental advocacy and cultural pride


  • LEED for Homes GOLD certified

  • Winner: 2020 Innovator Award for Best Public-Private Partnership Development


Presented with the challenge of creating a home for students in urban surroundings while accommodating the institution's rapid growth, Seattle University collaborated with O'Brien360, the project developer and design team to provide student housing, administrative offices, and shared university amenities space for graduate students and upperclassmen. The result was Seattle University's Vi Hilbert Hall, a 10-story, 307-bed student residence completed in 2018.

The building's interior and exterior design incorporates natural materials like wood, concrete, brick, and steel beautifully reflecting the campus' urban setting while honoring its namesake, Vi Hilbert, a Native American tribal elder of the Upper Skagit people and fierce advocate of the environment. Designed to foster human interaction, the structure's first two stories include unique features that enable chance encounters, reflection spaces for private conversations, and semi-enclosed mezzanines for group gatherings. O'Brien360 served as LEED

for Homes Provider and Green Rater on the project and provided energy analysis and modeling, as well as commissioning for LEED and Seattle Energy Code. As commissioning the provider, we worked closely with the design and construction team to verify the operation and performance of the building systems. Our team helped to identify critical ventilation deficiencies, including a control system issue that caused the common area ventilation to cycle off during occupied hours and a manufacturer defect in the residential window system, which prevented the passive makeup air vents from providing ventilation to the residential units.

In January 2019, Vi Hilbert Hall achieved LEED for Homes Gold certification.