Solar Community Makes Net Zero the New Normal

Dwell Development’s Lakeview Solar Community is a four-home ultra-sustainable luxury project comprised of two single-family homes and two-duplex units, proving that beautiful design and low-carbon living can seamlessly co-exist.

Located in Kirkland, Washington, Seattle’s most coveted suburban neighborhood, Lakeview is Kirkland’s first 5-star Built Green net zero ready residential community, the highest level of green certification developed by the Built Green residential building program in Washington State. Prewired for solar, each roof was carefully configured to maximize solar gain without sacrificing aesthetics.

Click on the photos below for a gallery of Lakeview images

By meeting Built Green’s rigorous green standards, Lakeview exceeds the already high Washington State energy code by more than 50%.

Homes built to the standard conserve approximately 2,844 lbs. of CO2 per year while saving 7,900 kWh for the same period. Prioritizing water savings, simple design techniques were applied such as pervious pavement, native landscaping and high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, conserving approximately 6,000 gallons of water per year for each home.

By integrating reclaimed and native materials such as locally procured wood and flooring, corrugated metal and recycled building materials, Dwell Development eliminated the energy use required for new material production, diverting waste from landfills, and reducing fuel emissions in material curation

Sustainable Solar Community

Built Green takes a holistic approach to energy savings, and the focus of Dwell Development’s Lakeview Solar Community is on sustainable solar energy that can be integrated back into the community to create net gains rather than losses.

Dwell Development provides the infrastructure and tools for homes to easily reach net zero including pre-wiring each home for a rooftop solar array. Every homeowner in the community has committed to adding 9kw of solar to create their own renewable energy source for net zero living. The properties have a HERS Score of 42 without solar and 16 with solar. These homes will collectively create approximately 36,000kWH of energy per year (which equates to $4400 savings per year, about $1100 per year per home).

Key Energy Saving Features

Dwell Development prioritized clean indoor air and thermal comfort at Lakeview. The team added insulation, integrated state-of-the-art heat recovery ventilation (HRV) for continuous fresh air, high efficiency ductless mini-split systems for heating and cooling, and draft-free high-performance triple-glazed windows and doors to keep inside temperatures comfortable year around.

Some of the home system’s are also optimized with Kirio, an innovative home automation technology that learns homeowners’ living patterns to achieve optimal efficiency for all home systems including thermostats, lighting, ventilation, appliances, and solar to conserve energy and lower utility bills.

In addition, homes at the Lakeview Solar Community come with several key energy saving features: including 100% LED lighting, 100% Energy Star appliances (which save about 20% annually), an airtight building envelope, solar energy gains (from roof and window positioning), and an electric car conduit, which pulls energy from the solar panels to charge a car instead of relying on gas.


50-70% energy savings compared to the average home. The community creates approximately 36,000kWh of energy/year.

In addition to conserving energy, the Lakeview Solar Community boasts significant reduction in water use with help from WaterSense certified fixtures and high performance systems. Efficient .8 gallon low-flow toilets use 80% less water compared to the average toilet in the U.S., while the faucets and shower heads save 40% of water compared to national average. The average faucet in King County uses 2.4 gallons of water per minute, while any faucet in a Dwell Development home uses 1.5 gallons per minute. Additionally, the laundry systems save 75% of water compared to the national average.

All these features combined help the community as a whole result in a 60% reduction in water use compared to the national average.

According to the EPA, the average American family uses 320 gallons of water per day, about 30% of which is devoted to outdoor uses. More than half of that outdoor water is used for watering lawns and gardens. Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons of water per day. By using drought tolerant plantings and native species (as opposed to grass lawns) with no need for irrigation, each home at Dwell Development’s Lakeview Solar Community saves 35,000 gallons of water per year on average.


60% reduction in water use compared to the national average, with each home saving 35,000 gallons of water per year on average.

Project Information

Location: Kirkland, WA Square Feet: 3,600 - 4,200

Contractor: Dwell Development

Structural Engineer: Nickerson Engineering

Landscape Design: Root of Design

Energy Modeling

Third Party Verifier: Tadashi Shiga, Evergreen Certified

Third Party Verifications: 5-Star Built Green

Renewable Energy Source: 9kW of PV

HERS Score: 16 with solar; 42 without

Read more about green building technology.


Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Connected Homes / Smart Homes, Energy Audits, Energy Recovery & Heat Recovery, Energy Star, Home Design & Plans, Solar Power, Sustainability Trends & Statistics, Sustainable Communities, Thermal Envelope, Water Saving Devices, WaterSense

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