The Tour Is This Weekend!
April 25 - 26, 2015 | 11am - 5pm
Now a Two-Day Event!
The Northwest Green Home Tour is a free annual public event, produced by the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, that showcases local, sustainable and green new homes, remodels, and energy retrofits in the greater Seattle area.
Start at Any Home on the Tour
The tour takes place over two days, Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26. Homes and Sustainability Stops in the South Seattle area, Central Seattle, and the Eastside are open from 11am to 5pm on Saturday only. Homes and Sustainability Stops in the North Seattle area are open on Sunday only. You are welcome to browse the tour map and preview all of the homes online. The tour is self-guided, and you can start and end at any of the homes or businesses. Visit as many sites as you like!
Find out what others are seeing and saying about the #NWGreenHomeTour, and join the conversation.
News and Updates
With their commitment to the environment, conservation, design, and sustainable building, Greenhome Solutions is the perfect Presenting Sponsor for the NW Green Home Tour. This year Greenhome Solutions sponsored three sites on the tour that showcase some of their most exciting sustainable products and materials.
Located just south of the Ballard Bridge, Greenhome Solutions is Seattle’s only locally owned green building supply retailer. Siblings Cameron, Tyler, and Erin Reith have built a thriving business that consistently provides the highest-quality green products.
“We’re extremely choosy about what makes it into our showroom,” says Cameron. “We try very hard to source only the greenest products that live up to their promises. We also go out of our way to find locally sourced building materials and products whenever we can. It provides a Seattle connection that many of our customers appreciate. At the same time, we like doing what we can to support the local economy, which has given us so much.”
“We have personally tested or installed everything that we sell,” says Tyler. “If a product doesn’t meet our strict standards, then we won’t sell it.” Homeowners and contractors alike routinely turn to the Reiths and their staff for information and support before, during, and well after the time of purchase.
We asked Cameron to give us a preview of what’s “in store” this year. Here’s a look at some of the products you’ll see as you make your way through this year’s NW Green Home Tour.
Paperstone: PaperStone® is a sustainable composite material made from 100% post-
consumer recycled paper, PetroFree™ phenolic resins, and natural pigments.
You’ll find Paperstone at C4 View Haus 5, C7 Helde Remodel and N25 Blue Kitchen Ravenna
Novustone Counters: NovuStone is a hand-crafted material that utilizes post-consumer recycled content, such as bottle glass, windows, and mirrors, as well as post-industrial recycled content and natural aggregates to create lasting, durable, sustainable surfaces. Up to 80% of NovuStone surfaces are recycled (and subsequently sourced as raw materials) from within 35 miles of the production facility in the Historic Rainier Brewery in Seattle, Washington.
Check out NovuStone at N5 Ballard Emerald Star Net Zero Passive House
Caesarstone: Caesarstone is the first quartz surfacing company to receive ISO 14001 certification, a global standard specifically for environmental protection. From recycling 97% of the water used in manufacturing to collecting dust from shipping, handling, production, and processing, Caesarstone seeks to protect the planet and the well-being of its customers.
View Caesarstone at C7 Helde Remodel
Seville Cork: Cork Flooring is exceptionally quiet underfoot, environmentally friendly, very comfortable to walk and stand on, very warm, and serves as a natural thermal insulator. It is pleasant to touch, easy to maintain, durable, less likely to permanently dent, and is beautiful to look at. View it at N6 Plum House
Unique Wool Carpet: All products from Unique Carpets, Ltd. are manufactured with a commitment that balances both the physical well-being of customers and the physical well-being of the environment. Walk on it at C7 Helde Remodel
Teragren Bamboo: The premium mountain grown Optimum 5.5 moso bamboo that is the only bamboo Teragren uses in all of its products is harvested every five and a half years. Each culm is selectively harvested by hand and carried out of the forest by foot. To preserve the integrity of the forest floor, no machines or heavy equipment are used. Check it out at C7 Helde Remodel
Ecofusion: EcoFusion is an aptly named and dynamic new line of flooring. EcoFusion blends renewable and recyclable products from the earth and “fuses” them into innovative flooring solutions for the home. See it at C7 Helde Remodel
Niagara Toilets: Innovative and stylish, Niagara’s 0.8 gallon-per-flush ultra high-efficiency toilet goes a step beyond the standard water-saving toilets on the market. See it at C4 View Haus 5, N5 Ballard Emerald Star Net Zero Passive House, and N21 City Cabins
Caroma toilets: Caroma is recognized as a world leader in dual-flush technology. With its winning combination of contemporary designs and proven performance, Caroma's range of high-efficiency toilets significantly reduces water use. See it at N6 Plum House
Fluid fixtures: The meticulous curves, unique angles, and mirror-like polished surfaces of fluid™ faucets are unmatched. fluid™ faucets have the heft and mechanical action that exudes the quality and integrity of the materials used. While others substitute plastic, fluid continues to use brass to ensure their lifetime warranty means something – and that is good for the environment. See it at N21 City Cabins
Hertco Cabinets: Another great choice for locally produced, formaldehyde-free cabinetry. See it at C7 Helde Remodel
Wood Siding: Reclaimed western mixed softwood. Reclaimed from the western US. Reuse of old materials, natural authentic distressing, and aging. View it at C4 View Haus 5, N5 Ballard Emerald Star Net Zero Passive House
Cork Siding: ThermaCork Facade covering is a unqiue finish for external walls. 100% natural, additive-free, and sustainable facade covering with excellent durability.
N21 City Cabins
Vermont natural coatings: Vermont Natural Coatings patented PolyWhey® technology has emerged as a new category of wood finish. These easy-to-use products have established the highest performance and environmental standards. Whey protein, a byproduct of cheese making, displaces toxic ingredients found in traditional finishes.
N21 City Cabins
Not only can you visit 46 homes and Sustainability Stops during the tour, but there will be many other opportunities for learning and exploring.
Bonus Events on Saturday, April 25
Free Breakfast at Sun Break Cafe (9am – 12pm)
Start your tour with a delicious breakfast. Show your Green Home Tour ticket at the door and receive a free breakfast at this award-winning restaurant in Auburn. While you’re there, learn about the restaurant’s 10KW photovoltaic system, installed by Forecast Solar, and check out the heat-recovery system that looks a little like something out of a Jules Verne novel. More info
Clearwater Commons Workshops
Learn about incorporating reclaimed wood into your home (11:30am), building on pin foundations (2:00pm), and installing an electric vehicle charging station (3:30pm), and more. More info
21 Acres Tours & Farm Market
Guided tours are available in the building throughout the day. You can also take a self-guided tour of the farm and grounds. Vendors and community representatives will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to demonstrate and showcase building features and additional ‘green’ resources. The 21 Acres Farm Market will be open with seasonal, organic produce, local farm products and ‘food-to-go’ from our Chef and the kitchen team. More info
Bonus Events on Sunday, April 26
Feet First Walking Tour
Join Feet First Board President Dave Ramsay on a moderately paced 4.5-mile walk through parts of Ballard and Phinney Ridge, connecting seven Northwest Green Home Tour sites and two Sustainability Stops. You’ll have 15-20 minutes at each site, giving you enough time to take a self-guided tour of each residence. Meet at Equal Exchange Coffee at the Ballard Market, located at 1400 NW 56th St, at 11:00am. The walk will last about four hours with stops included. More info
Greenhome Solutions Events
Visit Green Cleaning Seattle, Sage Designs NW, Artisans Group, and Tesla in the Greenhome Solutions parking lot. The Spicy Papaya food truck will be on hand, and there will be deep discounts for tour guests in the Greenhome Solutions showroom. More info
Tesla on Tour
Look for the winners of our Tesla chauffeured tours, who will be going from home to home on Sunday in a Tesla Model S electric car. Enter to win by making a donation to the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild on our Eventbrite ticketing page. More info
Both Saturday and Sunday
Winner of the Northwest Green Home Tour’s 2014 People’s Choice Award, Dana Stream’s backyard cottage showcases her building biology principles to reduce electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of pollution in the home. Stream was looking to push the industry further with these concepts when Isola Homes, one of Seattle’s fastest growing homebuilders, approached her to purchase her in-city Central District land. Stream showed Isola Homes her building practices, and they agreed to take up the challenge of creating an EMF reduced home for the public, holding true to their company’s mission to innovate and build community with integrity in the marketplace.
Noree Henderson, marketing director of Isola Homes, reaffirms this,
At Isola Homes we are committed to building extraordinary communities which are founded on our core value principles of integrity, function and design. In partnership with Dana Stream and her company Lifestream Solutions, we are pleased to be involved in offering a new way to live for our homeowners where the focus is on the benefits of health, rejuvenation and livability for modern lifestyles.
Stream hopes that techniques to create an EMF-safe home will trend. She hopes that Isola and others will consider expanding these techniques to additional properties because of the reasonable cost and the practical application for modern day lifestyles in Seattle. “We want to demonstrate that developers will be rewarded with higher value returns by staying on top of trends that are important to consumers,” says Stream. She believes owners have a role in land stewardship and can exercise that role at the point of sale. By holding the industry accountable, sellers can help move progress parcel by parcel. “Sellers have the option to be more discerning about who they sell to and how they sell in a fast growing market. Selling for social impact is another trend we hope to see become more prevalent.”
Eva Otto, Designated Broker at Infiniti Real Estate and Development and Stream’s real estate agent, lauds builders like Isola Homes who are willing to take a risk to innovate and further define what it is to live in a healthy home. Otto says, “Development is a privilege and it will take more sellers like Stream to help move the market towards development that is restorative for both the planet and the wellness of its inhabitants.”
Isola Homes’ Vida Rowhomes project joins the Green Home Tour with Seattle’s first “EMF Reduced” community of 15 row homes located in the Central District, at 120 20th Avenue. Isola will present the "EMF Reduced" approach at one site, behind-the-walls preview on Saturday, April 25th.
Lifestream Solutions’ Backyard Cottage, now completed, returns to the Green Home Tour on Sunday, April 26th. This unique design project at 9100 15th Ave NE demonstrates healthy home construction by integrating innovative wall systems, nontoxic materials, shielded electrical systems, fiberglass rebar slab, energy-efficiency features, and consideration for chemical and electromagnetic sensitivities.
Longtime supporters of the Green Home Tour, Doug and Laura Elfline built their businesses on providing high-quality, budget-conscious remodeling and building solutions for every need.
Whether a project is big or small, their focus is on "really fulfilling a need, not just a desire," says Laura. "Keeping Mighty House Construction projects to a minimal footprint to save money, energy, and resources but not to be so conservative that the family outgrows the project is the sweet spot. We hold every project to high sustainable building practices and then balance that goal with what is reasonable and feasible given the project perimeters and budget."
These goals also led them to open their second company, Mighty Energy Solutions. For five years Laura and Doug had been pitching infrared radiant ceiling panels to their Mighty House Construction clients. People loved the beautiful, yummy, efficient heat, but they weren't so sure about the aesthetics of the older-generation panels. All that changed with the introduction of a new line of low-profile Ducoterra SolaRay panels. Doug and Laura knew that the time for infrared radiant heat technology had arrived, and Mighty Energy Solutions was born.
Doug and Laura invite tour goers to come experience infrared radiant ceiling heat panels in action at Site S3, Westside Remodel and Heat Conversion and to see how beautiful and healthy "green" can be at Site N25, Blue Kitchen Ravenna.