First Lamp LLC, 4-Star Single-Family Home

Greenlake Partners
Vital Stats
Location: Madison Park
Star Level: 4-Star
Checklist: Single Family New Construction
Pamela Worner, Green Dog Enterprises, Inc.
Section Points
Site and Water 129
Energy Efficiency 124
Indoor Air Quality 115
Material Efficiency 111
Total Score 479

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Written by: Pamela Worner, Green Dog Enterprises, Inc.

The Madison Park House is the latest custom-spec house to be designed and built by First Lamp LLC. The firm's partners, Taylor Callaway and Kevin Witt, both AIA and LEED APs, view themselves as "architects that build."

For the Madison Park project, Callaway and Witt faced an existing steeply sloped lot, which inspired them to view the house as growing out of the hillside, with the main living space floating out amongst the trees. Due to a handful of landslides in recent years, the tucked-away location had been avoided by other developers. First Lamp assembled an experienced "ground team" (engineers, excavator, and foundation subcontractors) who helped them conclude that development would actually increase the stability of the site.

Here's how they did it. Fifty-four pin piles, five helical anchors and 110 yards of concrete support the structure and retain the hillside. These are consolidated to the smallest feasible footprint, allowing the topography to surround and envelop the trunk of the house. The main living space is cantilevered from this base much the same way the branches of a tree reach for the sun. The siding is almost 100 percent cedar, charred to more closely reflect the deep ambient color under a grove of mature trees. The house is topped with almost 2,000 square feet of sedum green roof, which acts as a filter, a sponge and an aesthetic amenity for the residents.

The resulting 3,200-square-foot five-bedroom house is not only a graceful addition to the neighborhood but encompasses the best in sustainable practices. Hydronic heat is combined with a heat-recovery ventilator for efficiency and comfort. The house was framed "24 on center," with blown-in BIB insulation, and the spray-on Enviro-Dry exterior coating helped achieve an infiltration rate of 2.1 ACH50. With LED lighting throughout, no carpet and no formaldehyde-containing materials, the house will serve as a high performance, healthy and stunning residence for its lucky owners for decades to come.

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Photos by: HD Estates

Use pervious surfaces to reduce rainwater runoff