Seattle Convention Center Addition Features One of Nation’s Largest Window Shade Systems, Made by Local Women-Owned Company
SEATTLE – Aug. 10, 2022 – The Seattle Convention Center (formerly Washington State Convention Center) has partnered with scores of women- and minority-owned businesses for construction of its Addition, also known as Summit. In June, one such company created and installed in the building’s ballroom one of the nation’s largest window shade systems.
The system’s 12 window shades, each 63 feet tall by 10 feet wide, were manufactured and installed by Seattle-based lumenomics. The system’s retractable shades include both room-darkening and light-filtering functions and completely cover the floor-to-ceiling windows that open the ballroom to the urban environment around it. The shades can be raised and lowered to control light and temperature inside the ballroom, allowing the convention center to increase its energy efficiency.
“The ballroom window shade system was a unique and exciting challenge,” said Marti Hoffer, founder and CEO of lumenomics. “It required manufacturing 12 seamless, integrated coverings the equivalent of six stories tall that run the length of the wall of windows as well as the metal tubing and components to make it function.”
Hoffer emphasized the importance of programs like the Convention Center’s that prioritize working with companies that are owned by women and minorities. Lumenomics is both women-owned and LGBT-owned, and the company has more than a decade of experience. Hoffer and HR Manager Anna Sevostyanova recently graduated from Clark Construction’s Strategic Partnership Program (SPP), which is designed to educate small suppliers in the construction industry.
“The eight-month SPP offered by the Addition’s build team at Clark helped us as a small, local business to be competitive and demonstrate our ability,” Hoffer said. “We are so grateful for this game-changing opportunity and thrilled to have made this world-class product for the Convention Center.”
Viki Bamba, Director of Public Affairs for the Western region at Clark, said the Addition project has been a positive force for women- and minority-owned businesses in the region and in the industry.
“Initiatives like the Strategic Partnership Program create a pipeline of local talent from under-employed communities, and this is a perfect example of how projects benefit,” she said. “This was a small, women- and LGBTQ-owned business that devised this solution and helped bring the Convention Center’s vision to life.”
Hoffer founded lumenomics in 2009 with a singular vision: to increase the use of natural light by decreasing reliance on the electric light in spaces through integrated shade and lighting systems. While most buildings use shades to keep out light – and, as a result, increase electricity use – Hoffer believed window shades could instead be a solution for customers looking to conserve electricity in buildings.
Summit’s design and construction emphasizes energy and resource conservation. In addition to the innovative window shade system, it achieves energy efficiency and renewable power with onsite energy collection via rooftop solar panels, radiant heating and cooling, and a heat-recovery system. Summit incorporates recycled and reclaimed materials throughout.
“Seattle is one of the most picturesque places in the country,” said Frank Finneran, chair of the Convention Center’s Board of Directors. “From the start, we wanted visitors to be able to take in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the city skyline. In addition to its immense scale, what makes this window shade system unique is that it helps us conserve energy in the building while still showcasing the incredible built and natural environment that surrounds us.”