Grow Community is the first residential community built in North America to receive a "One Planet Community" endorsement from the U.K. non-profit BioRegional. As the largest solar community in the State of Washington, the net-zero, zero carbon, multi-generational award winning, Grow Community on Bainbridge Island that has been put forth as potentially “the most Sustainable Neighborhood in the U.S.”
Grow Community is located adjacent to downtown Winslow on Bainbridge Island. It is a short walk from the lively downtown and a 5 to 10 minute walk to the ferry for the commute to Seattle. When complete this 8 acre site will include 50 single family homes, 81 multi-family units, a community center and a small day care center. The homes are arranged in micro-hoods, clusters of 6-8 homes around a community space that includes a community garden and informal outdoor gathering spaces. These micro-hoods link to the main diagonal foot and cycle path that transverses the site and connects directly to downtown Winslow. Cars are relegated to perimeter of the site to separate them from the pedestrian circulation and community spaces. Community gardens, run as an urban farm, along with car and bike share programs help reduce the community's carbon footprint which for food and transportation is typically three times the footprint of typical homes. (A Nissan Leaf is the first car in the community car fleet. This is charged from its own PV array on the Welcome Center) All the homes and the apartments are certified BuiltGreen 5 Star.
The first 3 acre phase of Grow Community sold out over the summer of 2013. Four different home models were available (the Aria, the Ocean, the Tallis and the Everett) and now all 23 homes are occupied and two 10 unit row house apartments are under construction, with completion expected September 2014. The homes are all designed as net-zero energy homes and are built using factory built wall and roof, allowing the homes to be built in 5 to 6 months.
ACHIEVING NET-ZERO ENERGY
The homes are built with a very airtight, highly insulated building envelope, with R38 blown in fiberglass insulation in the walls and R60 in the attics, with U 0.30 fiberglass and wood, double glazed Marvin Integrity windows. The walls are framed with double studs to eliminate many thermal bridges using ZipWall as the breathable air barrier to achieve less than 2 ACH. This efficient envelope allows the homes to be heated with only one Mitsubishi mini-split ductless heat pump head in the living spaces. A Zehnder whole house ducted Heat Recovery Ventilator with 96% efficiency distributes conditioned air throughout the homes and provides five air changes a day for a very healthy indoor air environment. The most efficient Energy Star appliances, including GE induction cook tops, were chosen along with LED lights throughout and Water Sense plumbing fixtures to further reduce the energy load. Hot water is supplied by Air Generate's 66-gallon AirTap Hybrid heat pump hot water heaters. All of these efficiency measures reduced the energy budget to the point where the homes can generate enough on-site photovoltaic power to reach net-zero. The PV panels are supplied by Washington based iTek Energy and the micro-inverters come from Washington's Blue Frog Solar. By using Washington manufactured solar equipment we qualify for the highest production rebate the state offers. It is estimated that the PV arrays will have a full return-on-investment in about 5 years.
SMALL FOOTPRINT HOMES
The homes at Grow Community are designed with a small footprint, as mandated by the zoning code, and more importantly, in order to have a smaller planetary footprint in keeping with the One Planet Communities standards. The single-family homes range from an 1,100sf 2 bedroom, 1 or 2 bath home, to the largest, a 1,840sf 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath family home. All of the homes are designed with flexible open-plan floor plans, ample windows to allow plenty of natural light and a strong connection to outdoors, high ceilings, large, efficient storage solutions and a natural palate of interior finish materials. The homes at Grow are built using panelized wall and roof structures but are designed to be fully built in a factory using modular technologies. The rental units at Grow offer a similar variety of products from 470sf studio flats, to 900sf 2 bedrooms flats, to 1,000sf 2 bedroom townhouse apartments. By using factory construction technologies, sustainable and many locally sourced materials the environmental footprint of the community meets the One Planet Community requirements.
The homes at Grow Community sold out faster than developer expectations and are now being inhabited fulfilling an overriding, original goal, which until now only had potential, creation of community.
Builder: Marty Sievertson, PHC | Bainbridge Island , WA Architect: Jonathan Davis, Davis Studio Architecture + Design | Bainbridge Island , WA | Developer: Marja Preston, Asani Development LLC | Bainbridge Island , WA
Appliances: Frigidaire Energy Star Appliances, GE Induction Cooktop
Automotive: (electric car charging, etc.): No garage, remote parking
Building Envelope: R38 double 2x4 wall with blown in fiberglass, R60 at attic
Cabinets, shelves, millwork: NAUF, Abodian Cabinets
Decks: Bamboo composite by Bamboo Hardwoods
HVAC/Ducts: Mitsubishi Mr Slim mini-split single head heat pump
Insulation: Blown in Fiberglass
Landscaping: Washington natives and edibles
Lighting: All LED
Paints and Stains: Benjamin Moore no VOC
Plumbing Fixtures: Watersense, Kohler, Toto and American Standard
Renewable Energy System: Itek PV panels with Blue Frog micro inverters
Ventilation: Whole house HRV by Zehnder
Water Heating: Air Tap by Airgenerate 66 gal heap pump hot water heater
Window Coverings: Hunter Douglas
Windows/Skylights/Patio Doors: Marvin Integrity Wood Ultrex