The Rainier Vista Community is a 42-home sustainable micro community in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood. The Rainier Vista Community project began as a partnership with the Seattle Housing Authority in 2010 and a commitment from Dwell Development’s owner, Anthony Maschmedt, to build 15 homes using green building techniques and high performance technology that would help homeowners conserve resources and cut costs. The excitement and demand generated by the project led to an additional 36 homes over five years with the last home completed and sold in July 2015.
All 42 homes in the community are designed for zero energy living and are 5-Star Built Green certified – a voluntary certification program developed by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties that establishes environmental standards for energy efficiency, water use and indoor air quality. Each home in the Columbia City community features solar-ready rooftop configurations, advanced framing, high impact insulation, triple-glazed windows, and heat recovery ventilation systems to accommodate net zero energy usage. The community also includes Seattle’s first speculative Passive House; a rigorous construction method centered on creating an airtight building envelope to reduce heating and cooling needs for ultra-low energy usage.
Dwell Development partnered with Julian Weber Architects (JWA), a local architecture firm that specializes in green homes and modern design. JWA was able to deliver 42 different blue prints for the community that were specifically designed to accommodate sustainable features including specific window placement and roof configurations that maximize solar gain. Environmentally conscious elements were integrated into the process from initial designs to final interior touches, while unique reclaimed materials were carefully sought out for exterior siding, floors, countertops and tile.
The goal of the project was to create a community within the bustling Columbia City neighborhood that brings together like-minded individuals who value community, sustainability and modern design. The homes are arranged in micro-blocks, clusters of 6-8 homes around a community space that includes a community garden and informal outdoor gathering spaces to promote neighborly connections. The pedestrian friendly location near the Light Rail Station and the retail and dining district in Downtown Columbia City help further reduce the community’s carbon footprint.
Builder: Anthony Maschmedt, Dwell Development Architect: Julian Weber, Julian Weber Architects Developer Name: Keith Hammer, Dwell Development Interiors: Abbey Maschmedt, Dwell Development
Alternative Building Systems:
Appliances: Energy Star, Induction cooktops (3 homes)
Building Envelope: Advanced framing, triple-glazed windows, high-impact insulation for an air-tight building envelope
Caulks and Sealants: Air and water-resistive barrier (3 homes)
Cabinets: Abodian Cabinets
Decks: Reclaimed wood
Exterior Finishes: Reclaimed wood, metal and cork
Flooring: Reclaimed wood from species native to the Pacific Northwest
Home Controls: Kirin Home Energy Management System
HVAC/Ducts: Mini-split ductless heat pump
Landscaping: Pacific Northwest natives and edibles
Lighting: LED and CFL
Paints and Stains: No VOCs
Plumbing Fixtures: Watersense and Grohe
Renewable Energy System: Solar-ready rooftop configuration with solar array installed on 3 homes
Roof: Solar-ready rooftop configuration
Ventilation: Whole house HRV
Water Heating: Tankless on-demand hot water heater
Windows/Skylights/Patio Doors: Triple-pane
Other: All 42 homes in the community are designed for zero energy living and are 5-Star Built Green certified – a voluntary certification program developed by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties that establishes environmental standards for energy efficiency, water use and indoor air quality.