Sustainable Strategies Abound in this Case Study House

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Feb 3, 2016 5:32:39 PM

A house in Bellingham, Washington, demonstrates innovative water and energy systems that meet the standards of the Living Building Challenge.

THE BIRCH CASE STUDY HOUSE was developed using the Living Building Challenge as a guide. The primary goal of this project was to implement numerous sustainable strategies, highlighting the successes and failures when designing, permitting and constructing Living Buildings.

To help realize the project, [bundle] design studio partnered with non-profits and building product manufacturers. Throughout construction, [bundle] hosted a workshop series with Sustainable Connections to present green materials and strategies to the local building community. [bundle] also partnered with Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) for the NextStep Homes program and with WSU to field test a CO2 heat pump that is used for domestic hot water and radiant floor heating.

PROJECT STATS

NAME: Birch Case Study House, Bellingham, WA
BUILDER: Chris Tretwold, Tretwold Construction, LLC
ARCHITECT/DESIGNER: Dan Welch, [bundle] design studio
PHOTOS: [bundle] design studio

The Birch Case Study house has proved successful at demonstrating a number of pathways towards Living Buildings. Among the highlights, it is the first within the Bellingham city limits to choose not to hook up city water and sewer. Instead, the project achieves net-zero water usage through the use of onsite rainwater catchment, composting toilets and graywater reuse.

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Efficiency Times Two

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 13, 2016 4:58:46 PM

This cohousing duplex in Washington State generates enough solar energy for two families, plus their electric cars.

BELLINGHAM-BASED design/build firm TC Legend Homes loves to build overachieving homes. The firm’s latest project features a 9.9-kW PV array, which not only produces enough solar electricity to meet its own energy needs, but will produce surplus power to charge two electric cars. Nicknamed the Power House, the home has earned a HERS Index score of -15. It is the first of its kind in Whatcom County.

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Campus Crusader

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 26, 2015 9:49:00 AM

IN MARCH 2014, American Honda unveiled Honda Smart Home US, located on the West Village campus of the University of California, Davis. The energy-efficient home can produce enough electricity onsite from renewable sources to meet all of its annual energy demand, including electricity to power a Honda Fit EV for daily commuting.
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Game Changer

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jan 5, 2015 12:52:40 PM

For Tom Elliott and Barbara Scott, Desert Rain is more than a home; it is an outer expression of the couple’s inner values and beliefs. When they purchased two lots near downtown Bend, Oregon, six years ago, their intention was to build a super-green “residential compound”—a main house, two smaller dwellings, garages and infrastructure—to LEED Platinum standards. They wanted to break the pattern of “one lot, one house” in favor of denser development that fostered a strong sense of community. Read More

Helios NW Eco: A Net Zero Vacation Home

Posted by Suchi Rudra

Sep 12, 2014 6:16:00 PM

WHEN SARAH AND HER HUSBAND (surnames withheld) purchased what is now the Helios Eco-House in Bend, Oregon, the primary goal was to achieve LEED standards. But after doing much research, the biotech and engineer couple discovered that “if you’re willing to go a little further, it’s really painless to go net zero.” Read More