S4 West Seattle Nursery

Site Description

Energy Efficiency, Materials Efficiency, Design Innovation, Stormwater Infiltration, Indoor Air Quality

The West Seattle Nursery has expanded north into a new greenhouse and annex building, with ample room for houseplants and starts, as well as an espresso bar and workshop space. In addition to being a center for the West Seattle gardening community, it features many strategies that can be used in green homes.

The design conserves energy, manages storm water runoff and makes use of salvaged and non-toxic materials.

  • The exterior walls of the office/classroom building are built with structural insulated panels (SIPS), composed of a rigid foam insulated core that provides exceptional thermal efficiency.
  • High efficiency windows and storefront glazing also contribute to energy savings, helping to keep the building cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
  • The durable standing seam metal roof is a "cool roof" surface to reduce the urban heat island effect. 
  • The siding is a combination of recycled content fibercement board and galvanized metal, which is a long-lasting and easy-to-maintain exterior.
  • The building also has high efficiency heating and lighting systems. Radiant floor heat with zoned heating is programmed to provide the right heat levels for different uses.
  • Other green materials include salvaged wood used for door and window trim, a decorative wood feature wall, and for the sales counters. The design also features salvaged warehouse light fixtures and extra wide barn door. The concrete utility sink and combed cedar face at the sales counter were both salvaged from the home demolished to make way for the project.
  • All paint is low-VOC and all wood finishes are a natural non-toxic oil finish.
  • The use of pervious pavement and bioretention planters (rain gardens) is designed to keep rainwater on site, rather than being sent to the sewer system.

Stop into this green oasis along the busy arterial of California Avenue SW to see some of these strategies in action.