Zero Energy Idea House Breaks Ground


At the tail end of last week, Shirey Contracting broke ground on the Zero Energy Idea House located at Bass Cove near Bellevue, Washington.  The house is intended to be kind of an inspirational structure that can help homeowners move toward energy independence.  As a zero energy house*, the goal is to generate all the necessary energy from on-site power and efficiency measures.  Specifically, the Idea House will have rooftop solar, solar hot water, and a vertical-axis small wind turbine, judging by the rendering.  In addition, the 1700 sf home will have a large, 1200 sf green roof and a host of other green features, such as:

Efficient SIP construction, Energy Star light fixtures and appliances, real-time energy monitoring, dual-flush toilets, water efficient fixtures, rainwater collection system, recycled content tiles, FSC and salvaged wood products, low-VOC paints, non-toxic finishes, formaldehyde free cabinets and insulation, efficient ventilation, and drought tolerant plant selections, to name a few.

The home is expected to be complete in early 2009, so we’ll keep you posted.

*As one small carve out to the home’s zero energy status, the project team decided to go with a gas-powered, efficient, hydronic in-floor radiant heating system.  That decision makes sense, though, because they’re using all the roof space for greenery, solar panels, and solar hot water, so solar thermal for the radiant floors might have been a stretch — it’s not that big of a home. 




Architectural renderings by Clinkston Brunner Architects. 

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  • Dave

    I saw this on Twitter and I KNEW this was going to be in the Seattle area (that’s why I clicked on it). I live in Bellevue and it’s great to see projects like this around where I live!

    • Preston

      I have another Seattle project being published at 8:30 am, so make sure to come back. It’s done and it’s a knockout: modern and green.

      Dave, am I following your twitter? What’s that and friendfeed if you have it.

  • Anonymous

    check out steel sips at

  • laura

    What isn’t green about this house: It is undoubtedly on a virgin (greenfield) site, and is clearly intended to be accessed only by car. The same house in a town or city would be infinitely more “low-energy”. Also, with a little redesign, some of the massive amount of driveway space could be used for ground-mounted solar hot water collectors for solar radiant heat. I’d guess they just didn’t have the budget to build a big solar heating system. They spent it all on that huge garage.

    • istandcorrected

      Laura — you are right the “huge” garage is something the architects struggled to rid the clients of. Unfortunately the client/contractor won out on this.

      I’ve always thought of suburban sustainable development as a bit of an oxymoron. I guess their heart is in the right place if not their mind.

  • Elliot

    I live Humboldt county California. Arcata california , I saw this , beautifull project. I love Grean ideas. I was very happy , emailed to a freind. dont forget we need an Electric car really soon. make price good so every body can afford it.

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