Site Description

Clearwater Commons is the first low-impact development of its kind in Snohomish County. Overall site layout of 16 units is designed to maintain natural groundwater flow and rehabilitate surrounding wetlands. Situated on 7.5 acres on the newly restored North Creek, Clearwater Commons is an active community of 5 current units sharing in the benefits of living in a rural setting close to Seattle, Everett, and the Eastside.

Using energy-efficient materials and techniques, 5 units of 16 have been built. Eleven more lots are available for construction, using existing house plans or other green building ideas. The property is a zero-discharge, low-impact development that includes pervious pavement, bioswales, rain gardens, green roofs, and pin-pile foundations.

Homes include many green features, such as advanced framing, passive solar, heat recovery ventilators, rain screens, rain gardens, and pervious paths. New construction can focus on these features or any others. 

Community members are welcome to share a spacious workshop, a storage building, restoration projects, garden harvests, fires by the creek, and the occasional back-porch BBQ.

A significant streamside restoration project used the latest techniques in joint flood plain management and salmon enhancement. The salmon have returned!

One of the first certified Passive Houses in the state, the “Mini-B,” was built by community college students and is now our guest house and is open for tours.

There is solar hot water and solar PV on site, together with an adjacent school and green home remodel of an old farmhouse.


Free Workshops


Adding the Solar Asset: Powering an Electric Car with a Solar Array
11:30am at the shop

This workshop presents the basics of setting up a photovoltaic solar array on your home to power an electric vehicle (or anything else). Using the Commons' set up as a model, you'll learn about everything from getting state approval to prepping the site to maximizing rebates and tax breaks. Charging station available!

The Pin Foundation Advantage
2:30pm at unit 8


Most units at Clearwater Commons are built on pin foundations: a solid pin pile foundation that reaches deep into the ground without digging holes or pouring concrete. Simple to install, these foundations avoid excavation, thus reducing concrete use, saving fuel and precious topsoil, while preserving natural drainage.




Reclaimed Wood Finishes
3:30pm at Unit 5

Shrink your consumer footprint and save money by using reclaimed wood throughout your house. Unit 5 spun stories into their finishes with antique Douglas Fir from a 1894 Poulsbo house, Madrona from a conservation easement on Vashon Island, and a variety of species from an "urban sawyer" in Tacoma (to name a few). Come see the result while getting tips, advice and sources of wood.





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