Having experienced LEED standard design, the owners sought to replicate the comforts of clean indoor air, natural light and lower utility cost in a home setting. After considering a variety of upgrade options on an existing, and very tired, 1919 structure, the decision was made to teardown and rebuild. This afforded the opportunity to incorporate a range of green design and construction approaches, and a more efficient floor plan at lower cost. The LEED process provides standards for overall quality, durability and sustainability that are independently verified and documented during construction.
The design provides flexible space so the house can easily adapt to changing occupant needs over the years. For example, two ground floor rooms can be easily converted to office space, bedroom, family room, party space, exercise room or a private ADU apartment. The main floor can also convert to single floor living for aging occupants who may want to avoid stairs. Large windows and glass doors facilitate enjoyment of outside views and landscaping while reducing the need for artificial light. Transitions between inside and outside spaces are designed to accommodate Seattle’s climate, year round, with wide door openings, rain shelters, and open sky decks.
Indoor air quality is maintained through careful selection of building materials to minimize use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Additional steps to improve air quality include carefully planned ventilation and air filtration systems and details such as shoe storage next to the main entrance.
Energy efficiency is achieved through passive cooling design with no AC, and high efficiency forced-air heating with multiple zone controls allowing temperature to be set separately for the two upper floors. The ground floor ADU space has its own radiant floor heating system with two independently controlled heating zones. High efficiency LED lighting and energy star appliances and fans are used throughout the house along with a well-insulated building envelope.
Water conservation practices are incorporated through low flow water fixtures and appliances, drought-resistant landscaping that obviates the need for irrigation, and a rain-garden catchment system to restore a portion of roof collected rainwater to the natural aquifer rather than city drains.
Throughout teardown and construction, a number of construction practices were incorporated from recycling the old house to careful measurement of lumber and other materials to minimize waste.
The house is currently under construction and will be in the final stages of framing at the time of the NW Green Home Tour.
The house was designed by Patricia Brennan Architects and construction directed by Toth Construction Inc. LEED design and rating support is provided by O’Brien & Company. The LED lighting plan was developed by Studio Lux, and the landscaping designed by Scott Mantz Associates Inc. Timberland Bank provided the financing that made the project possible.