The first spec home in the Pacific Northwest to meet Passivhaus standards is in the Columbia Station green micro-community built by the award-winning design+build boutique firm, Dwell Development. Passivhaus is an energy standard that is more difficult to achieve than LEED with respect to energy efficiency. Homes that meet the Passivhaus standard must reach thermal comfort levels by postheating or postcooling fresh air without necessitating recirculation.
Scott Bergford is a custom builder in Olympia, Washington, who is managing to keep his company afloat during the housing slump by building green, cottage-style homes that are affordable and use high-performance technologies and products. His Scott Homes are known to be “some of the most energy efficient houses in Washington State.”
The recently built 2,020-square-foot Inspiration Home is certified to Energy Star 3.0, EPA Indoor airPlus, and Built Green Level 5, and sold for $450,000.
Last month, Seattle homebuilder, Greenfab, showcased two of its green, prefab modular, home designs at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas. Almost 7,000 people visited the two homes that were set up outside of the main entrance.
It took only five hours to complete the initial installation of the 2100 and 2300 Series homes, which arrived in five modules apiece, for a total of 4,400 square feet, and were completely finished in just six days.
“The Q” is an apartment building in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego, California (Jonathan Segal FAIA & Development Company), so named after the gadget-inventing character, Q, of James Bond movie fame. A gross square footage of 90,000 houses 29 residential units, between 400 and 1,900 square feet a piece, along with underground parking.
Green features of The Q include rooftop solar panels that power common areas, low-E glazing, and operable windows that allow for light and air to enter the building through “gill slits,” or angled fins, on the building’s north facade.
To lighten the visual impact, the building volumes are transparent and clean-lined, and feature wrap-around glass that, from floor to ceiling, provides residents with dramatic views of the San Diego harbor and downtown skyline.
Rents range from $950 per month for studio apartments on up to $5,200 for two-bedroom duplex units. While these are above the average neighborhood prices, Segal was able to lease all of the units without difficulty. “We offered something different,” he said in an Architectural Record interview, “not boxes punched with holes, not transplanted suburban homes, but places that capitalize on the city experience.”
Jonathan Segal is known as one of the most successful and pioneering residential architectural and development companies in downtown San Diego, with a reputation for building superior housing at competitive prices. His firm focuses on urban projects that range between 80 and 160 units per acre of land. The firm has won twenty-four local, state, and national AIA awards for residential and urban design.
Seattle’s Bullitt Center, a project of the Bullitt Foundation, has been designed to take the spot as the most energy efficient commercial building on the planet and put Seattle on “the forefront of the green building movement,” according to the project’s website.
With the first floor already leased to the International Living Future Institute and the University of Washington Integrated Design Lab, the remaining five floors of this 50,000 square foot green building are now available to lease in advance of its planned opening this spring.
Experimental design and architectural firm, D*Haus Company, takes their inspiration for the creation of structures, furniture, and lighting from mathematics, most specifically from Henry Ernest Dudeney, the mathemetician who figured out how to evolve a perfect square into an equilateral triangle.
Their D*Haus modular homes demonstrate their belief that ideas “can help improve and inspire our daily lives… through flexibility, adaptability and originality.” Available in four different versions, the D*Haus can be delivered in a single kit from which a minimum of eight configurations can be constructed.