Hi. We’re Alex and Eric, and we created this blog documenting the building of our house in Seattle for family, friends, and anyone else who might be interested.
We just completed our 1915-square-foot, 3-bedroom, single-family home on an empty lot in Ballard. A true net-zero house and the first of its kind in Seattle, this Energy Star certified, 5-Star Built Green home produces as much electricity from the sun as it uses over the course of a year. By keeping the design simple and minimizing expensive finishes, we were able to keep the cost of building down to $124 per square foot ($114 after rebates and solar production incentives), which includes the 6kw solar panel system, taxes, and permits. Given that the average cost of construction in Seattle is $200/sf, we think our project demonstrates building green need not cost more than traditional construction. In addition to its energy-saving features, the house also incorporates reclaimed building materials and water conservation systems. Since moving in last September, we have been enjoying the home’s radiant floors, clean indoor air, and abundant sunlight. Now that we have settled in, we hope to play a role in inspiring others to build or retrofit existing Seattle homes to the net-zero-energy standard.
About the Ballard Net-Zero-Energy House
Owners: Eric Thomas and Alexandra Salmon
Designer: Zero-Energy Plans, LLC (zero-energyplans.com)
Builder: TC Legend Homes (tclegendhomes.com)
Site Address: 612 NW 60th St., Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)
1,915 square feet, single-family, 2 stories, 3 bedrooms + work loft, 2 bathrooms, concrete slab foundation, radiant heat floors, Hardie plank siding.
Structural Insulated Panel construction, air-to-water heat pump, 6kw solar electric (photovoltaic) system, triple-pane windows, passive solar design, rain garden, stained concrete floors, reclaimed fir floors, recycled fixtures, zero-VOC paint, low-waste engineering, low-energy LED and CFL lighting, capacity for additional solar panels to power an electric car 5,000 miles per year.