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Two new homes, one AADU, and one DADU in Seattle, WA
All tight-frame and all zero-energy

Two sites slope down to Lake Washington at Seattle's northern reach.

Both look East.
Both are located on steep slopes.
Both will be net-zero energy homes.

The east site uses a rammed earth wall to carve a place to access the home and ADUs.
This interstitial space allows for view-facing decks that terrace up the landscape.

Inside, the top floor opens up to the surrounding tree canopy and beyond to Lake Washington and glimpses of Mt. Baker.

At only 20' wide, the home amplifies the feeling of opening up to the landscape with sun and breeze from both sides. The 4' on-center expressed frame forms a cadence of space and light, with large venting picture glazing framing connections between interior and exterior. Solar passively warms the space.

The central stairway doubles as both a light well and a play-space below.

Ancillary spaces and the ADUs utilize a similar open-plan language of visual connections and full-width spaces. Pocket doors and symmetry make it all possible.

See the full story here.

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New 1,400 sf home in Roslyn, WA
Tight-frame, zero-carbon, and zero-energy

We are building in a new way.

It is resilient, lasting 200+ years and easily accommodating interior revisions.

It is high-performance, with few thermal bridges and a robust fully-adhered weather barrier.

And it is lean, costing significantly less than traditional framing.

A single-family, full-time home at the sunny eastern edge of the Cascade Mountains will showcase our patent-pending technique.

This house will be a testament just how far we’ve come from coal mining to a post-carbon future. We are building a Zero-Carbon, Zero-Energy home in a former coal mining company town.

The site is a typical residential lot within the city limits, though its position on the hill gives it a boost in sunlight and view above the city. And, it has the fortune of adjacency to the Roslyn Urban Forest.

Using Whole Site Life-cycle Assessment, we balance the carbon footprint required to build the house, off-set with carbon credits, and solely utilize on-site renewable energy, in addition to increasing overall performance.

Our patent application drawings join a post-frame structure with a PERSIST envelope, (Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Insulated Structural Technique).

A post-frame house can go up in a matter of days. It is safe, effective, and uses significantly fewer resources than traditional framing. The PERSIST envelope offers unmatched performance in thermal, air, moisture, fire, and pest resistance. It keeps all of the structure warm and dry. It is unlike any other residential building method out there:

No eave or rake overhang needed.
No thermal bridges.
No leaks or gaps.
No interior finish required.

See the full story here.

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Mt. Tuam

New 4,460 sf home and 550 sf cottage on Salt Spring Island, BC
Post-frame using healthy materials and low-energy detailing
Mt. Tuam

These walls might look inside-out, but we are actually using walls that avoid any sort of gypsum wallboard. Eliminating gypsum means reducing the carbon footprint and the risk of mold. The wood studs are instead laid bare and whitewashed with a no-VOC paint. Atop them is a plywood (formaldehyde-free) and sound clip sandwich to isolate sound transmission between spaces.

We love the look of exposed structure done well, and its light and sound-baffling qualities.

The owners found a site to build their dream home: views of both the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, and the San Juan and Gulf Islands.

Being in this place, arriving and departing, taking a dewy walk among the moss, one is filled with respect for the environment.
This building should sit quietly with a small carbon footprint.

The shell is a post-frame structure with a PERSIST envelope (Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Insulated Structural Technique).

A post-frame house can go up in a matter of days. It is safe, effective, and uses significantly fewer resources than traditional framing. The PERSIST envelope offers unmatched performance in thermal, air, moisture, fire, and pest resistance. It keeps the structure warm and dry.

The building also celebrates light through the use of a south-east facing window wall, north-west facing clerestory, and several solar tube skylights punctuating the ceiling plane. All-day-long light, with a high-performance envelope.

See the full story here.

Old Cluff

New 1,380 sf home in Kennebunkport, ME
Advanced framing, with lean and passive techniques
Old Cluff

A modest facade surrounds a highly functional home.

The structure uses advanced framing techniques to achieve an efficient envelope with large open areas for living and light.

Southern solar exposure along the window wall is a priority to accomplish passive solar heating and a reduction in energy needs.

The white-washed wood interior and light shelf bounces sunlight to all interior areas, the concrete floor supports accessible living, and together wood and concrete create a healthy environment.

See the full story here.

We are architects, typ.
We need to build better, now.

The building sector consumes nearly half of all energy produced in the United States, while 23% of new homes have defective windows and doors, 21% have roof issues, and 18% have inadequate framing.

We pledge to design every home:

⩘ Lean

Net-zero homes need to be affordable. We use simple techniques to add value without adding cost. A high-performance home reduces energy, pollution, and dollar costs.

It would take 437 Ponderosa pines over 50 years to offset the cumulative 460 metric ton CO2e footprint of just one average Washington home.

To start, we assess carbon footprint using a Whole Site Life Cycle Assessment. This measures the carbon impact of every step of production, use, and re-use. We then balance the equation of site + construction to design a carbon-neutral lifetime footprint. And, because solar panels can now pay for themselves after only two years, your zero-utility-bill home will start paying back, fast.

⩄ Resilient

New homes need to last 200+ years. Our structure uses less wood than traditional framing and offers more long-term flexibility. Our envelope is warmer, drier, and protects the home more completely than any other in use.

Construction uses energy, no matter what.
We get the most out of what we put in.

The average new 2,400 sf home has a direct embodied carbon footprint of over 43 metric tons of CO2e emissions. It will consume 8.35 metric tons of CO2e per year, totaling a footprint of over 460 metric tons CO2e emissions over its short 50 year lifespan.

That is why our homes are built to last 3x to 4x longer than typical construction. Think 200 years. By allowing the exterior shell to stand independently from interior walls, your home can live many lives. And it will, with the most robust envelope technology in use today.

⋇ Healthy

All homes need to be free of toxins. Inadequate ventilation is responsible for 52% of sick building syndrome cases. We bring in plenty of fresh air. We offer healthier materials and finishes, both interior and exterior.

Our homes are free from the chemical and biological contaminants of typical construction: no formaldehyde, no VOCs, no combustion byproducts, and no mold.

The EPA found levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas.

To ensure clean indoor air quality, our materials are certified by Declare labels and are free from the Living Future Red List. We use low-VOC products throughout the home, whether it’s something you’ll touch everyday or never see.

In the world of sustainable building techniques, there is an important balance between airtightness for energy performance and ventilation for a healthy building. We understand these factors and how to tune the building for optimum health.

We are committed to meeting and exceeding the standards set by the International Living Future Institute's Zero Energy and Zero Carbon certifications. We also meet and exceed the criteria for the US Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready homes, and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Homes and Renewable Energy Ready Homes. We participate in the EPA’s Indoor airPLUS program, utilize Watersense products, and perform HERS rating tests to ensure a thermally airtight home.

We are meeting the 2030 Challenge, today.