N4. Ballard Industrial Makeover & Addition

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653 NW 52nd St
Seattle, WA 98107

Open Sunday
11am - 5pm


Site Description

Materials Efficiency, Design Innovation, Indoor Air Quality

ming | architecture and design and Pathway Design & Construction teamed up to give the owners of this duplex a seamless approach for finding creative solutions. The family of 5 had outgrown their 1200 sq ft unit, yet codes limited what they could add. They also needed to address some overdue maintenance issues, which consumed a lot of their tight budget.

The 370 sq ft light-filled addition includes an additional bedroom, a flex space for the kids, an expanded kitchen, and a dining room. Large windows in the addition bring lots of natural light into the previously dark interiors. A Solatube lights up a windowless bathroom and laundry room. A new pitched roof was built over the previous flat roof, which was prone to leaks and didn’t allow for much insulation. The blown-in insulation in the new main roof is R-56+. The new roof structure incorporates storage cubbies between the trusses. The bedrooms have sleeping lofts tucked into the roof, making the small rooms spacious.

The original 1970’s radiant heating system was replaced with cozy and efficient radiant ceiling panels and cove heaters, supplied by Might Energy Solutions. Long-lasting and cost effective, these heaters help maintain superior indoor air quality in the home by eliminating the need for ducting or fans that circulate allergens. Panasonic exhaust fans and fresh air inlets were added to the previously inadequate ventilation system to further improve air quality. The old hot water heaters were replaced with efficient Navien condensing tankless water heaters, which were mounted on the exterior, saving precious interior space. Non-toxic materials and finishes were used throughout. Interior finishes include hickory flooring and beetle-kill blue pine countertops.

The 130 sq ft common storage room addition was in lieu of the garage that codes made impossible to achieve. The covered area in front doubles as a carport for two cars as well as covered front porch and play space. The glass awning allows natural light while extending the covered area. The carport siding is charred wood (shou sugi ban) and FSC fir. Metal roofing and siding were chosen for durability and low maintenance, as well as for a more industrial character.

To close the budget gap, the project became a full collaborative effort that included the extended family. The owners recruited the construction experience of the father and brother, who did the demo and finishes. And all three generations lived on-site during all of construction. The father-son team are still finishing up, but the owners are graciously opening up for the Tour.