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Mirra Homes—Contemporary Density in Magnolia

Vital Stats



Location: Magnolia, Seattle
Star Level: 4-Star
Checklist: 2018 Single Family/Townhome New Construction
Verifier: Evergreen Certified
Site and Water 116
Energy Efficiency 94
Health and Indoor Air Quality 105
Material Efficiency 76
  Total Score 446

Medium density and Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood are not terms you typically associate together. However, Mirra Homes’ Magnolia development offers 15 new townhomes in this stanchly single-family neighborhood increasing the site’s density by 400%.

Mirra Homes' Magnolia townhomes, exterior front

Magnolia is a highly desirable neighborhood. It is close to downtown Seattle but offers a respite from the hustle with access to large outdoor spaces and iconic views of Seattle’s waterfront and the Puget Sound. However, due to the neighborhood being predominantly low density, single-family zoning, many cannot obtain a home in the neighborhood. The Magnolia development transformed what used to be three single-family homes to 15 new townhomes ready for families to make their home.

The homes’ contemporary style and oversized windows let in an abundance of light, but don’t detract from their privacy. Through thoughtful layout and the use of various window sizes, units do not look directly into one-another or prominently display a neighbor’s wall. Roof-top decks provide expansive views of Magnolia, Queen Anne, Phinney Ridge, and beyond. Their open floor and stacked floor plans offer efficient and flexible space for a variety of family needs. Low maintenance, drought-tolerant plantings and pervious hardscape reduce potable water use and stormwater runoff.

With ductless heat pump mini-splits space conditioning throughout most of the unit, residents have zonal temperature control for both heating and cooling in their living spaces. A gas tankless water heater services domestic hot water demands with an Energy Factor of 96%. These systems, combined with the rigid foam roof and blown-in fiberglass wall insulations, Low-E windows, Energy Star appliances, and LED lighting contributed to these homes achieving a modeled performance of 29.2% improvement over 2015 WSEC.

The project also used an abundance of locally produced material, including rigid insulation, framing lumber, sheetrock, cabinets, and windows. Mirra homes promoted superior indoor air quality by choosing materials with fewer toxins/VOCs in them to limit off-gassing inside the units—from the paints, caulks, adhesives, and sealants to the pre-finished laminate flooring, cabinets, and millwork.

Mirra Homes' Magnolia townhomes, interior
Mirra Homes' Magnolia townhomes, exterior back
Mirra Homes' Magnolia townhomes, kitchen

Built Green highlights:

Site and Water

  • Infill site, increased site density by 400%
  • Shared off-street parking
  • Light-colored pervious hardscaping
  • 80% of stormwater mitigated on-site
  • WaterSense, low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Drought-tolerant plantings and no turf grass

Energy Efficiency

  • Modelled to achieve 29.2% improvement over WSEC 2015
  • Blown-in fiberglass insulation
  • Sealed attic with rigid insulation above the sheathing
  • Ductless heat pump and electric cadet space heating systems
  • Gas tankless water heater with an EF 0.96
  • LED lighting
  • EnergyStar appliances, washer and dryer included
  • Prewired for future EV charging

Health and Indoor Air Quality

  • Low-pile, CRI Green labeled carpet
  • Greenguard Gold certified insulation
  • Low VOC paints, adhesives & finishes
  • CARB II flooring, cabinets and millwork
  • Pre-finished engineered laminate flooring
  • Ultra-quiet bathroom spot fans with timer
  • No garages or fireplaces

Materials Efficiency

  • Open and stacked floorplan
  • Locally harvested, SFI certified lumber for framing, sheathing and beams
  • Vertical Grain Hemlock trim/millwork
  • An abundance of locally-produced materials
  • No vinyl flooring or siding
  • Recycled-content cement-fiber siding
  • Recycled-content plastic lumber composite decking
  • Self-adhering underlayment on eves, valleys, and penetrations
  • 75% recycling rate for all new construction waste
  • Built-in kitchen recycling center

Mirra Homes' Magnolia townhomes, location

Photos provided by Mirra Homes

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