Seattle - Feature Summary

There is nothing dramatically different about what we did: in fact the people who worked on it all do mainstream construction.  The differences are all in the details.


  • Not so big design - used needs analysis to attempt to reduce size
  • Pattern Language - designed for flow, privacy gradient, places on the edge, sunny place, outdoor connection, thick walls, and many others
  • Adaptive reuse - attempt to design so that others with different needs can reuse it
  • Form - 2-1/2 story single family plus apartment; main unit is 1900SF finished space, apartment is 600SF finished space.  There is a full unheated basement, half of which is a garage and a small portion is an insulated closet for utilities.  The attic is fully conditioned.


  • Passive solar design: House faces due south, although E-W axis is limited by lot shape and zoning. Partial shading on the SE,  full shading on the W.  7% of floor area in south facing glazing (passive solar for main unit only). Overhangs give full shading on June 21st.
  • 12" Floor Joists filled with cellulose, R-40
  • 9” advanced frame double framed 2x4 walls filled with cellulose, R-30
  • 12" SIP roof system, R-48
  • Accurate Dorwin fiberglass windows: U=.34, SHGC=.5 "northern" low-E on the south, U=.2 SHGC=.29 elsewhere.
  • Fiberglass doors, R5
  • Glazing ratio: 12% (whole building)
  • 2.3ACH50
  • Solar Hot Water collector
  • Heat system:  Hydronic fan coil, forced air, driven from hot water tank
  • Hot Water - Polaris, natural gas condensing unit, 92% efficient
  •  Ventilation - HRV in return duct controlled by aircycler
  • 3kw PV added 1 year after construction
  • Energy Star & Engineered for Life ratings

Materials & Waste

  • De-construction of existing house by the ReStore
  • Approximately 50% of non-load bearing lumber either salvage or finger jointed
  • Extensive use of FSC lumber, although use was limited by supply
  • Approx 400SF salvaged oak flooring from former house
  • Approx 400SF Salvaged "South Wales Blend" flooring
  • Approx 350SF FSC madrone
  • Approx 700SF linoleum
  • Approx 150SF cork
  • Salvaged fir & FSC pine trim
  • Main cabinets made with FSC ply when available and FSC hardwood
  • Other cabinets from reclaimed material
  • Reclaimed door, interior windows, ceiling panels
  • Recycling & salvaging waste from construction process
  • Salvaged stair treads from bleacher boards
  • Exterior trim is metal clad so it does require painting in the future
  • Salvage cedar T&G for sauna walls, Ceiling & bench
  • Trex for porch railings & back steps
  • Fly Ash-43% walls/footings. 30%+ in slab
  • Pin foundation footings

Healthy House

  • Rain Screen (ventilated drain plane) between building paper and siding
  • Sill pans for all windows & exterior doors
  • Low toxic materials, paints & finishes
  • No materials with Urea Formaldehyde used inside the house
  • No carpeting/no vinyl
  • Heat recovery/HEPA filter
  • House was thoroughly vented out after each finish application

Site & Water

  • 7000 gallon rainwater tank
  • Rainwater used for irrigation and permitted by city for filling toilets
  • Landscaping includes no grass & has many drought tolerant plants 
  • Salvaged concrete pieces used for a sidewalk
  • Eco-Stone pavers for driveway 
  • Pex supply lines (home run manifold system)
  • Side Sewer contractor uses Bio-fuel for all his equipment & vehicles
  • Water efficient dishwasher & washing machine