TC Legend Homes Net Zero in Columbia City

Vital Stats
Location: Columbia City, Seattle
Star Level: 5-Star
Checklist: Single-family/Townhome
Verifier: Ecoe Company
Section Points
Site and Water 120
Energy Efficiency 249
Indoor Air Quality 136
Material Efficiency 106
Total Score 707.25

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Columbia City is the lucky home of two more net zero energy homes, this time by TC Legend Homes! The Bellingham-based builder is no stranger to net zero energy home building, which they achieve by using their signature strategy: structurally insulated panels. In combination with other strategies, this allows them to achieve net zero without soaring costs. In fact, TC Legend Homes is proud that they can build these homes at a cost per square foot that is lower than many comparable projects!

These homes are a great example of urban infill development. They sit within easy walking distance of light rail and downtown Columbia City, allowing home dwellers to access transit and services without using a car-further reducing carbon impact.

The homes themselves are very "tight," meaning very little air escapes via leaks. In fact, their blower door test scores came in at an admirable .74 ACH 50! With efficient radiant floor heat and hydronic wall and ceiling cassettes, plus a Fantech ventilation system and a super-efficient Chiltrix air-to-water heat pump, this home needed a 9.4 kW solar PV system to achieve a HERS score of zero, indicating net zero energy use. During construction, there was educational signage so passersby could learn about solar and efficiency features!

This home also received ENERGY STAR, Indoor AirPLUS, and DOE Zero Energy Ready home certifications. 

Built Green highlights include: 

Site and Water

  • All new pavement is pervious
  • Existing plants and trees retained when possible
  • Low-flow fixtures and dual flush toilets
  • Easy walking access to transit and services
  • Signage educating passersby on solar and efficient features

Energy Efficiency

  • Net zero energy model (HERS score of zero)
  • 9.4 kW solar PV system
  • Blower door test score of .74 ACH 50
  • Chiltrix air-to-water heat pump with radiant and ductless distribution
  • Use of SIPs
  • 100% LED lighting
  • ENERGY STAR appliances

Health and Indoor Air Quality

  • Indoor AirPLUS certification
  • Low/no-VOC paint used throughout indoors
  • Controlled ventilation using Fantech
  • No carpet

Materials Efficiency

  • Deconstruction used to dismantle homes previously on site
  • Salvaged lumber used
  • Solid wood cabinets
  • Fir floors stained with naturally rusted vinegar

Still Images

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Open floor plan
Living room
Dining open

Use pervious surfaces to reduce rainwater runoff