The annual Green Home Tour has been a big part of my life for the last few years. Back in 2012, my wife Alex and I wandered into one of the homes on the tour, a thoroughly retrofitted near-net-zero classic home in Seattle’s Phinney Ridge neighborhood, that became a big inspiration for our own home. We’ve been told that our house in turn helped inspire others to build their own net-zero-energy homes.
Over the years, I have gone from attendee of the tour to volunteer, and for the last two years, co-organizer. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s gratifying to see homeowners and builders pushing the envelope, inspiring visitors on the tour, who then build or retrofit their own homes and put them on the tour for others to see. It’s a virtuous cycle that keeps getting stronger.
There’s so much dedication and innovation on display in the 40 homes on this year’s tour, but I’d like to highlight the net-zero projects you can tour this Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26, 11am – 5pm. (Note that each house is open one day only.)
Free tickets and tour guide are available at www.nwgreenhometour.org.
by Artisan Electric
5011 47th Ave SW
This certified Built Green house offsets over 100% of its electricity needs. With its energy-conscious features like radiant heat floors, LED lighting, hot water on-demand, this home is a fantastic example of incorporating sustainability into everyday life. Read more
by Artisan Electric
2701 47th Ave SW
This net-zero, certified Built Green home has a custom 10kW Made-in-WA PV system. Includes open-plan living space, ultra-efficient energy systems, passive and active solar design, and whole-house energy monitoring. Read more
Greenhome Solutions | Dwell Development | Bluefrog Solar | Puget Sound Solar
1749 NW 61st St
This will be the first developer-built single-family house in the Northwest to be certified at the rigorous Emerald Star Built Green level. Built on the Passive House model, it has enough solar panels to achieve net-zero-energy. Read more
612 NW 60th St
Our net-zero house, which we believe was the first of its kind in Seattle, will be back on the tour this year. It is an Energy Star certified, 5-Star Built Green home that produces as much electricity from the sun as it uses over the course of a year. Read more
Puget Sound Solar
5308 Baker Ave NW
Yes, a century-old home in Seattle can produce all of the energy that it uses and still retain its original charm. This is the Phinney Ridge that helped inspire us to build our own net-zero home. Read more
Abode Builders | Forecast Solar
10719 1st Ave NW
This net-zero home constructed on an infill lot with DADU (detached accessory dwelling unit) is based off of the same plans as our house. It features a 10 KW solar array, high efficiency air-to-water heat pump, in-ground 550 gallon cistern for rainwater harvesting, and SIP (structural insulated panel) walls. Read more
23025 74th Ave W
This home goes way beyond net-zero, producing 177% of its electricity for 2014. It’s an all-electric home with heat pump and heat pump water heater. There’s even enough juice left over to charge the owner’s Tesla Model S electric car. New this year, it has a 4,690 gallon cistern system to collect rainwater for reuse in the home. Read more