Our challenge in 2004 was to build our greenest home to date while impacting as few trees as possible. The new home site was an infill lot and the optimal building site was the former rear lawn of the seller’s home. Surrounding this idealic building footprint were the live Christmas trees the seller had planted during their three decades of living there! For sure…. we wanted to remove as few of these trees as possible!
So we designed and built a new home that is surrounded by some pretty large trees. Initial observers don’t understand that the house can be so young if the surrounding trees are so old!
Our sensitivity to the site allowed us to perform this magic!
Green aspects include:
Lifetime-warranty composition roofing
Unvented, conditioned crawlspace (we believe this may have been Bellingham’s first)
Blown-in cellulose insulation
Rastra exterior walls (an insulated concrete form (ICF) product made from 85% post-consumer content polystyrene)
Pre-colored exterior stucco atop the Rastra so that the exterior need not be re-painted
On-demand water heater
The subfloor (T&G fir car decking) doubles as the finish flooring (achieving a sustainable building practice called ‘dematerialization’; no additional finished flooring needs to be added atop the subfloor) with no baseboard trim installed as well
FSC-certified framing and sheathing
Salvaged lumber from Duluth Lumber
Used building materials from the RE Store
Xeriscaping (native planting that requires little or no fertilizer, watering, herbicides and pesticides) and rain garden
This home was featured in Northwest Business Monthly and you can see more of the exterior landscaping by clicking on the following link: Outdoor environment incorporating a permaculture design.
The media attention didn’t end there. Here ‘s a shot of Cindi being interviewed for our local TV channel 10 just prior to pouring the cores in the Rastra block walls.