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Blackwood Builders Group: Greenwood Ave. Rowhouses

With projects speckled throughout Seattle and expanding onto Bainbridge Island, Blackwood Builders Group has grown to influence more and more of the city’s urban fabric. Their Greenwood Ave. project, located at the juncture of Fremont, Ballard, and Phinney Ridge, provides rooftop views of some of Seattle’s most iconic scenery, namely the Olympic mountains, the Puget Sound, and the downtown skyline.

Where a single-family residence once sat, a five-unit rowhouse now helps maintain urban density. The project is reminiscent of an East Coast urban townhome with a modern, West Coast twist. The building mass is pushed up against the street, allowing for connectivity to the bustling neighborhood, as well as a quiet backyard and private community gathering space at the back of the lot. Although each unit has the same layout, the façade offers aesthetic individuality, with varying materiality and colors at each floor level.

Vital Stats

Section

Points

Location: Seattle
Star Level: 4-Star
Checklist: Single-Family/Townhome
Verifier: Evergreen Certified
Site and Water 138
Energy Efficiency 87
Health and Indoor Air Quality 105
Material Efficiency 80
  Total Score 499

 

Blackwood’s consideration for aesthetics continues inside the building as well. Many of the finish and appliance choices were chosen for their look, as well as their sustainability and energy-efficiency. Upon entering a unit, the first thing to notice is the bamboo-strand engineered flooring. Not only is the flooring GreenGuard Gold certified, but bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, unlike timber hardwood flooring.

Blackwood Builders Group Built Green 4-Star Greenwood Ave. townhomes exterior, photo credit Clarity Northwest

In each owner’s suite, Blackwood installed a ductless mini-split ceiling cassette instead of a bulky mini-split head, taking into consideration that many buyers do not like the bulky look of a standard ductless unit. The ceiling cassettes are able to maintain a high energy-efficiency level and create more space on the walls for residents to hang framed items. Many other materials throughout the units are locally sourced, manufactured, and milled, helping to reduce the carbon footprint for the project while also supporting businesses within the Pacific Northwest. The balance of maintaining aesthetics while still pushing sustainability makes this project stand out from traditional rowhouse projects.

In addition to the ductless mini-splits, this project utilized a high-efficiency gas tankless water heater, Energy Star appliances, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and high-efficacy lighting, to save over 30% more energy as compared to code. The combination of all these items put this project at nearly 500 points, showing the care for and consideration of the project team to reduce this new construction project’s impact on the environment.

Blackwood Builders Group Built Green 4-Star Greenwood Ave. townhomes water view, photo credit Clarity Northwest
Blackwood Builders Group Built Green 4-Star Greenwood Ave. townhomes roof deck, photo credit Clarity Northwest
Blackwood Builders Group Built Green 4-Star Greenwood Ave. townhomes exterior landscaping, photo credit Clarity Northwest
 

Built Green Highlights

Site and Water

  • Two of five trees retained onsite
  • Green Factor score of 0.712
  • All pervious hardscaping
  • No grass onsite
  • Drought-tolerant landscaping
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures

Energy Efficiency

  • Over 30% more energy efficient than code
  • Ductless mini-splits
  • High-efficiency gas tankless water heater
  • Energy Star appliances
  • LED lighting
Blackwood Builders Group Built Green 4-Star Greenwood Ave. townhomes entryway and living room, photo credit Clarity Northwest
Blackwood Builders Group Built Green 4-Star Greenwood Ave. townhomes kitchen and dining room, photo credit Clarity Northwest
 

Health and Indoor Air Quality

  • Bamboo strand engineered flooring
  • Shaw-brand carpet (CRI Green Label Plus)
  • Low-VOC products used throughout
  • Timers for all exhaust fans

Materials Efficiency

  • Several regional/local materials: windows, siding, millwork, framing lumber, pavers, heaters
  • Some universal design features: Stepless front entry and accessibility to maintenance and gathering areas
  • GreenGuard certified products: flooring, paint, and insulation
Blackwood Builders Group Built Green 4-Star Greenwood Ave. townhomes bedroom, photo credit Clarity Northwest
Blackwood Builders Group Built Green 4-Star Greenwood Ave. townhomes bathroom, photo credit Clarity Northwest
 

Photo credit: Clarity Northwest

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