Multifamily development includes Seattle's first net energy positive home
The last home has sold in the New Rainier Vista development, which includes Passive House-certified units as well as one that produces more energy than it uses.
After 5 years, the last home in the 42-home sustainable micro community in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood was completed and sold in fall of 2015.
All 42 homes are 5-Star Built Green-certified, a voluntary certification program that establishes environmental standards for energy efficiency, water use and indoor air quality. Each home is designed and ready for net zero living with features including solar-ready rooftop configurations, advanced framing, high impact insulation, triple-glazed windows, tankless on demand hot water, radiant heating systems, and heat recovery ventilation systems (HRV).
The community includes Dwell Development's first Passive House as well as two homes clad in cork, one of which is Seattle's first net energy positive certified (HERS-1) spec home.
The project began as a 15-home partnership between Dwell Development and the Seattle Housing Authority in 2010. The project expanded to 36 additional homes over the next five years.
The project was the Grand Overall Winner in the Green Builder Media 8th Annual Green Home of the Year Awards.
The goal of the project was to create a community within the bustling Columbia City neighborhood that brings together likeminded individuals who value community, sustainability and modern design. The homes are arranged in micro-blocks: clusters of six to eight homes around an outdoor common area, which includes a community garden and informal gathering spaces. The pedestrian-friendly location near the Light Rail Station and the retail and dining district in Downtown Columbia City help further reduce the community’s carbon footprint.
All 42 homes in the community are designed for zero energy living and are 5-Star Built Green certified – a voluntary certification program developed by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties that establishes environmental standards for energy efficiency, water use and indoor air quality.
Each home in the Columbia City community features solar-ready rooftop configurations, advanced framing, high impact insulation, triple-glazed windows, and heat recovery ventilation systems to accommodate net zero energy usage. The community also includes Seattle’s first speculative Passive House; a rigorous construction method centered on creating an airtight building envelope to reduce heating and cooling needs for ultra-low energy usage.
Dwell Development partnered with Julian Weber Architects (JWA), a local architecture firm that specializes in green homes and modern design. JWA was able to deliver 42 different blue prints for thecommunity that were specifically designed to accommodate sustainable features including specific window placement and roof configurations that maximize solar gain. Environmentally conscious elements were integrated into the process from initial designs to final interior touches, while unique reclaimed materials were carefully sought out for exterior siding, floors, countertops and tile.
The goal of the project was to create a community within the bustling Columbia City neighborhood that brings together like-minded individuals who value community, sustainability and modern design. The homes are arranged in micro-blocks, clusters of 6 to 8 homes around a community space that includes a community garden and informal outdoor gathering spaces to promote neighborly connections. The pedestrian friendly location near the Light Rail Station and the retail and dining district in Downtown Columbia City help further reduce the community’s carbon footprint.
Builder: Anthony Maschmedt, Dwell Development Architect Julian Weber, Julian Weber Architects Developer Name: Keith Hammer, Dwell Development Interiors: Abbey Maschmedt, Dwell Development
Alternative Building Systems:
Appliances: Energy Star, Induction cooktops (3 homes)
Building Envelope: Advanced framing, triple-glazed windows, high-impact insulation for an air-tight building envelope
Caulks and Sealants: Air and water-resistive barrier (3 homes)
Cabinets: Abodian Cabinets
Decks: Reclaimed wood
Exterior Finishes: Reclaimed wood, metal and cork
Flooring: Reclaimed wood from species native to the Pacific Northwest
Home Controls: Kirin Home Energy Management System
HVAC/Ducts: Mini-split ductless heat pump
Landscaping: Pacific Northwest natives and edibles
Lighting: LED and CFL
Paints and Stains: No VOCs
Plumbing Fixtures: Watersense and Grohe
Renewable Energy System: Solar-ready rooftop configuration with solar array installed on 3 homes
Roof: Solar-ready rooftop configuration
Ventilation: Whole house HRV
Water Heating: Tankless on-demand hot water heater
Windows/Skylights/Patio Doors: Triple-pane
Photos: Tucker English Photography
Read more about green building certifications.