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|Vital Stats |
|Location: Greenlake |
|Star Level: 5-Star |
|Checklist: Single Family/ Townhome New Construction |
|Section ||Points |
|Site and Water ||134 |
|Energy Efficiency ||150 |
|Indoor Air Quality ||113 |
|Material Efficiency ||124 |
|Total Score ||573.1 |
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Timothy O'Shea, Greenlake Partners and Heather Pierce, Evergreen Certified
The Meridian FlexHaus at 8015 Meridian Ave. N. is a new 5-Star Built Green residence located just three blocks from the shops, restaurants and jogging trail at the northern tip of Green Lake. Based on Japanese and European designs, this innovative 3,019-square-foot residence is made up of two joined living spaces. This design allows for flexible living arrangements and additional urban density within a single-family zoned neighborhood.
The main living space on the upper two floors contains 2,021 square feet with a modern, open floorplan plus four bedrooms and three full baths. The ground floor is a separable 998-square-foot flex-space/accessory dwelling unit (ADU) with its own entrance, full kitchen and laundry, plus two bedrooms and one bath. The flex-space allows for a range of different uses over the life-cycle of the building and its owners, including guest or au-pair quarters, in-law unit, entertainment area, art studio, small business space or rental apartment.
Designed by Caron Architecture and built by Green Lake Partners and PacificStar Development, this home brought together a modern design aesthetic with cutting-edge systems and green building practices.
Site and Water
The original house on this site was partially deconstructed with all windows and skylights salvaged for use in other projects or saved for re-use on the detached 2-car garage. In all, nearly three tons of furnishings, lumber and metal was reused, repurposed or recycled from the original 1898 home.
This home maximizes natural light on all levels. It uses clearstory glazing and strategically located deciduous trees along the southern and western sides of the property to open up lake and mountain views while taking full advantage of solar heat gain during winter months.
The landscape plan features deep-mulch beds (to retain soil moisture) amended with nearly 30 yards of compost and engineered mulch. These beds were planted with indigenous and drought-tolerant plants. Pathways between planting beds were made of a thick blanket of renewable cedar play-bark. The driveway was poured with pervious pavement pads meant to allow infiltration of storm-water not only from this 4,360-square-foot site but also from a neighboring property. No turf grass was planted on site. The property is bordered by an attractive, modern cedar fence.
All four bathrooms feature 0.8 gpf Niagara Conservation ultra-low-flow toilets and Watersense fixtures that take water conservation to the next level.
The structure was built using advanced framing techniques. The framing package arrived on site from the lumber supplier pre-cut and ready for assembly. This not only reduced the board-feet of lumber used, but also cut down on the amount of wood waste hauled away. Double and triple-glazed Atrium low-e, argon-filled windows had an overall u-value below 0.28. For insulation, the interiors of the walls were first sprayed with two inches of high-density polyurethane foam, which also provides air-sealing, sound-proofing and structural rigidity, and then backfilled with high-density formaldehyde-free fiberglass batts for a total value of R-29. Insulation in the lid combined a double layer of high-density batts and a layer of rigid insulation for a total value of R-58. Outside the below-grade concrete walls have an additional two inches of R-10 rigid insulation and three inches of R-15 rigid insulation under the slab.
EnergyStar appliances were installed in both kitchens. Throughout the house, dimmable LED lighting was used wherever possible to reduce electricity consumption.
A 97.3-percent efficient Navien Combi-Boiler system provides both domestic hot water and radiant heat. All three floors have under-floor radiant heating with zone thermostats for each floor.
The structure was pre-wired for photovoltaic panel installation. Both the 2-car garage and the covered SmartCar parking space under the deck were pre-wired for electric-vehicle charging stations. Even without installed solar generation, energy modeling demonstrated an overall energy performance equal to 35 percent better than 2009 Washington State Energy Code WSEC and a Home Energy Rating System HERs rating of 55.
Indoor Air Quality
The use of spray foam insulation, airtight drywall techniques and a consistent practice during construction of caulking all potential air leaks led to a very airtight structure. The blower door test came in at 2.0 ACH50. Despite this very tight envelope, the installation of a state-of-the-art heat recovery ventilator means homeowners will have consistent, fresh air 24 hours a day. The Venmar EKO 1.5 provides active ventilation while maintaining 80 percent of the home's heating capacity to save on energy bills year-round.
Air quality was also addressed through material selection and a focus on limiting potential toxins or allergens. This included the selection of Low/No VOC paints and finishes, formaldehyde-free trim materials, pre-finished flooring and GreenGuard-certified carpeting.
Operable windows were strategically located to promote natural cross-ventilation. Highly efficient ceiling fans were installed in all upstairs bedrooms as well as in the main living area.
Care was taken to choose materials with longer life cycles, such as Hardie Plank and Hardie Board siding. Roofing and waterproof deck coverings have minimum 15-year warranties. Trim and millwork were all locally sourced and are free of added formaldehyde. Custom Abodian cabinets were produced only a few miles away in the upper Rainier Valley.
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Photography by HD Estates