Stylish Greenfab Home Unveiled in Seattle

Finished Exterior Gabion Walls

I recently mentioned the construction of Greenfab‘s model home in Seattle, and that home is now complete.  I think you’ll agree, it’s just as warm and handsome as the renderings.  The six-module abode — on target for LEED Platinum and Built Green 5-Star certification — has 1,790 square feet with three bedrooms, two and three-quarters bathrooms, a separate mother-in-law space, a planted rooftop deck, and an urban chicken coop.

The prefab is located at 1827 S Lane Street in the Jackson Place neighborhood of Seattle.  Owner, project architect, and general contractor, Robert Humble of HyBrid, will take the keys soon after Greenfab gets some time to share the new home with the community.

The home left Guerdon Enterprises’ factory in Boise about 60% complete in December 2010.  Altogether, it was built in a factory in five days and finished on-site in 45 days.  Johnny Hartsfield, owner of Greenfab, told Jetson Green that his company has the ability to deliver homes up to about 90% complete but wanted to handcraft some aspects of this first home to make it special.

For instance, you may notice custom-milled, polished, wide-plank plywood floors below.  Also, Greenfab enlisted the help of Greenhome Solutions for EcoTop counters on IKEA cabinets and recycled-content tiles in the bathroom shower.

Greefab recycled existing concrete by filling gabion baskets to create a custom retaining wall system.  These landscape walls sport a contemporary look and seem to be growing in popularity in the residential context.

To save water, a 1,400-gallon tank harvests rain for on-site irrigation and toilet flushing, while three 300-gallon basins filter and treat shower, sink, and washing machine water for landscape usage.  The home has one of the state’s first grey water systems.

It’s all-electric and outfitted with a Fujitsu mini-split heat pump, GE Hybrid heat pump water heater, energy recovery ventilator, Convectair backup heating, and energy-efficient appliances.

In the future, a 2.4 kW photovoltaic system will be installed to offset about 23% of annual energy consumption.  In order to approach net-zero energy levels, the system needs to grow to a size of roughly 6 kW.

Hartsfield, reflecting on the project, said modular construction offers some undeniable pluses.  Benefits include timing (do site and factory work at same time), material integrity (keep the home secure from weather prior to completion), quality (build on jigs for strength and precision), and conservation (control to minimize construction waste).

Credits: Greenfab, Johnny Hartsfield.

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  • Justin

    Why did they face nail the flooring? Now it’s full of holes

  • Jesse Pender

    Nice! I saw those boxy looking chairs in a local eco shop last time I was in Seattle.

  • Johnny Hartsfield

    @Justin, the plywood flooring and finish was a request by the owner/architect. The overall concept of the home details was to maintain a rough and raw feel throughout. Other examples are exposed bolts, hangers and beams. Alternatively, Greenfab homes can be more smoothly finished to meet different aesthetic needs.

    @Jesse, yes, the boxy chairs and a few other pieces in the home are from @nube green, a sustainable design and retail store. They were kind enough to loan us much of their showroom for our open house.

    Check out the Greenfab facebook page for more photos.

  • Michael Bloomfield

    I like this part, “To save water, a 1,400-gallon tank harvests rain for on-site irrigation and toilet flushing, while three 300-gallon basins filter and treat shower, sink, and washing machine water for landscape usage. The home has one of the state’s first grey water systems.”

    Since it rains a lot in Seattle, I’ve always wonder why more homes aren’t built with the ability to capture rain water for on-site irrigation, etc.

    • Mikemeade

      Since it rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest watering needs are low, and water is relatively cheap. There isn’t a lot of economic incentive to do onsite water, other than the cool factor.

      • Jezebel’s Master

        And the sewer system needs the gray water flow to keep working.
        San Francisco has discovered that reduced grey water flow has turned into a plumbing stink. Already over $100 million has been spent upgrading the system and yet sludge continues to back up in the pipes–said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission. Parts of the City continue to suffer an ofor problem, particularly in the dry summer months.

        It seems a system designed for 7 gal/flush toilets won’t work effectively on 1.6 gal/flush toilets; diverting grey water to irrigation will only compound the problem.

        • Internship411

          @ Jezebel’s Master, Sustainable design should not be side tracked because building methods long ago are outdated and wasteful.

        • DrKnifemouth

          But can’t grey water also solely be diverted to flush toilets and the like and leave irrigation be? I had assumed that that was what they were up to. Also, in the SF Bay Area, the stanky sewage treatment is overburdened & projected numbers for population influx are pretty massive… correct me if I’m wrong (anyone) but it sounds like the SF Area needs a smarter/greater use of greywater for waste treatment & toilets- simultaneous to smarter permeable pavement (or the diamonds in the drive above that lets water soak in instead of run off/garbage to the Bay) and planting of appropriate landscapes, ie: not to divert the rainwater to flourish silly velvet green lawns & sorely geographically ill-planted/thirsty eucalyptus (time bomb/next firestorm) trees? It simply sounds to me that -pardon the term here- that the baby is being thrown out with the rainwater, an all or nothing reaction instead of being smarter and decisive with what tools we have?

      • Johnny Hartsfield

        the Greenfab team
        IS using rainwater to flush toilets

    • Anonymous

      Rainwater harvesting is complicated in WA state due to water rights. In 2009 the Department of Ecology released an “interpretive statement” saying a “water right” is not required for rooftop harvesting by homeowners, but the water rights laws are not clear on the issue (there is work going on to get them changed/clarified).

      The total amount of precipitation in Seattle isn’t actually that much per year (about 36in per year, on par with New York City for example). Having said that, it should be plenty for landscape watering and grey water use.

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  • starfire

    It is nonsensical. The ‘green’ movement. The word: green – is merely a marketing ploy. The corporate world hucksters began a vast marketing scheme to subvert what would have been, and should have been.. a very strong focus on infusing our decrepit country with a massive dose of living logically. This silly box that they masquerade as a ‘house’ – is nothing but a pile of lumber. Sticks of organic material. It rots. It is termite food, and is a bonfire waiting to be lit.

    Concrete, glass and steel are the answer. After all.. you won’t catch the greedy pigs that hustle the trash upon the public, building THEIR office buildings by cutting down the.. GREEN trees..!

    • roboscientist

      Totally agree with Starfire. This nasty grey box passing itself off as a domicile. Did any body notice the the “retaining” wall is already sagging. Good ideas, but it looks like a kindergarten art project. Some poor shmuck is probably going to pay way more than it is worth because it has the green LEED label.

      • Preston

        Probably not since the architect is also the owner.

        • DrKnifemouth

          WOW: the Architect!! Okay, this sort of all just came together in my head so excuse me for being comment-abundant. The owner -he’s of Hybrid Architecture? I LOVE THAT COMPANY! Way back when they created C320 Studio, I was head over heels/wanted to bring flowers- overly taken even with the thought of inhabiting that very one, off in the woods. (Hermit!) It’s my dream house. I wouldn’t even want to pretty it up, though if pressed I could see painting the crimped exterior metal cladding, something blendy. I currently reside at the kindness/best friend’s good will in her ‘half remodeled’ 1920’s Craftsman 2-3 BR & if I could replace the totally messed up wee granny unit in the back with a CargoOffset Pair as they did, I would die of the happy. Sadly if I ever were to build, I’d have to have it be portable, small- so I could move about- and O much much cheaper. I’m allowed to stay here because my medical costs are just so phenomenal-income not matching, yet I feel guilty: I’d like to finish out the kitchen and such so that she could rent it for a nice sum when I’m able to vacate.

          Anyway, sorry to go yakmouth all over when I realized who the architect is- OH, and as far as the comment about NAILS? I don’t get that! I order special nails for projects from a place in Massachusetts that has been making them since the 1800’s and I would love to create space that highlights the crude, antique feel of these. My vision of a cargo box home, treated OSB interior, variety of nails made just as 200 years ago -with my Eames LCW/Offi Desk-Magazine rack/3 Level Kartell Componibili -all Black now that I think of it…I love the concept of contrast. Industrial, Antique and MCM/Modern furnishing. Oh and that’s not designer name dropping, when you’re a small person – this era of design w/15″ seat heights? Works! (I’ve got a huge chair question if there’s any takers: best for chronic illness/acute physical pain- Eames Lounger? Womb Chair? I know I can’t afford it but I carry zero debt & think incessantly about this 1 aspect. Eames: could I physically enjoy it/mentally forgive myself if I went…look-a-like? Sorry for such travesty.)

          For the folks who say this design looks familiar, THAT staircase design leading up to a tall box shape happens to remind me of housing made for the people somewhere in Chile – Quinta Monroy Housing; anyone remember that look? It was Elemental Architecture, Alejandro Alevena. Not as refined, naturally, but the basic outline is interestingly like a cousin, once the upstairs tenants filled in the empty, side space with INGENUITY, and concrete block, etc… these stairs are not something that was in the original Greenfab/Seattle renderings- that was probably cables, so the end was probably an easy, fast, less expensive and cool way to go. Reading on your stairs? No blustery wind! Okay, actually the solidity and white really brought in a great presence and contrast to the grey. Cables would have been lost utterly.

    • DrKnifemouth

      Starfire, I swear, I thought any moment you were going to huff – and puff – and …oh, you know. I adore a properly made concrete home, you can pour me one anytime instead of a cocktail, but I’d also have it built using some OSB within (for layers of storage) and/or pay the extra dollars for the treated blue lumber -as many are using to re-build with down in New Orleans: no bugs going to eat up those houses. The retaining walls were made with torn down concrete so it’s hard to wave the flag of triumphant concretinous immortality there (made that word up as a play on concrete not cretin, please let’s no one think I’m being trolly here) but …smart plant, smart harvest, sticks treated well to keep bugs out are a wonderful renewable green source that can compliment steel when it’s affordable; they undeniably went wild with windows of that purty glass stuff. So many times I run into this all or nothing in comments, is it always this way? Or is Starfire pulling my leg? Dr Gullible chattering away at myself alone, maybe…

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  • Deanp

    Hmm this design looks very familiar to me.

    • Johnny

      how so?

  • Joanne Chen

    Dear Mr. Jetson Green,

    Greetings! We are from EG Groups Holding Sdn Bhd from Malaysia. We are having a magazine called REX Review. We would like get the article, Stylish Greenfab Home Unveiled in Seattle from you to insert in our REX Review Magazine. 

    This magazine will be published in April 2012 and will be distribute in Starbuck Cafe Malaysia & Ikea Malaysia. It is about the Renovation and Property.

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    Looking forward to hear from you soon.

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    Regards,Joanne Chen( mobile : +6 
    016 331 8655 ) Business Manager


    EG Groups Holding Sdn Bhd(  exhibition
    since 1997 ) 47-1, Jalan 1/149J,Bandar Baru Sri Petaling,57000 
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    90565323Email: [email protected]:

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