May 12, 2013
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April 25, 2013
Eastside Harvest House Week 1: Architect George Ostrow's New Green Design Project
Welcome to the birthing of a new green home.
The design mission behind the Northwest Harvest House, which is just starting to germinate in Kirkland, is to create a self-sufficient, single-family residence where food, sun and rain can be harvested on site.
As an architect specializing in environmentally responsible design, including the completion of three 5-star rated Built Green houses and a LEED Platinum house, I was thrilled to be tapped, along with my firm VELOCIPEDE architects, to design this dwelling. I, in turn, recommended general contractor Jason Legat of Model Remodel, veteran of more than 10 Built Green projects and winner of the 2010 Built Green Remodeler of the Year award.
The veggie and fruit garden actually will have a generous 6,500 square feet in which to bloom. A basement root cellar will store the garden's bounty, while ample kitchen counter space ensures that the owners will have plenty of room for home canning in-season for their personal use or to give away as homemade gifts. Irrigation will be provided by a subsurface drip system to irrigate two dozen raised beds, a dozen fruit trees and numerous edible berry bushes.
This 3,570-square-foot single-family residence will be divided into two suites, each with its own kitchen. The master suite will group the living, dining and kitchen together in one great room, as well as contain a master bedroom and bath, a guest bedroom and bath, his and hers offices and an exercise room.
Not to be skimped on, the mother-in-law suite will have a smaller great room, with two bedrooms and one bath. The floor plan allows for long-term flexibility depending on the occupants. The wall dividing the great rooms is structurally designed to allow connection as one single dwelling, perfect for a large family with the in-law suite becoming the children’s wing. Or, in the future, the wall can also be divided to suit two smaller families.
The house will be one story set over a full daylight basement in order to fit it into the gently sloping site. A stairway will connect the two levels, but all of the principal rooms in both suites are located on the main floor, flush with the driveway grade to allow for accessibility for elderly parents now, and middle-aged owners in the future. Bathrooms are designed with aging in place in mind, with curb-less showers, comfort-height toilets and grab bars.
The house's ambitious ecological goals include targeting LEED for Homes Platinum and Built Green 5 Star certifications and net-zero energy. One hundred percent of its power will come from a 17kW photovoltaic array and 40 evacuated solar hot water tubes. All stormwater will be captured and infiltrated on site in a 2,200 cubic foot rain garden. Rainwater from the metal roof will be collected in four cisterns in the basement with a capacity of 12,000 gallons. Filtration and UV sterilization will allow the homeowners to use the rainwater for potable purposes in addition to toilet flushing, laundry and irrigation. This will be the first residence in King County to be permitted to drink its rainwater
Along with Jason, and our full team of engineers and subcontractors, I look forward to bringing a beautiful, sustainable addition to the Eastside.
I hope you'll stop by again to see how our work is progressing on the Northwest Harvest House.
Up next: Prepping the site.
George Ostrow is principal of VELOCIPEDE architects and member of Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, U.S. Green Building Council, Passivehouse Northwest and Built Green.
- Location: Kirkland, Washington
- Lot size: 41,019 square feet (1 acre)
- Number of units: 1 dwelling unit with an attached mother-in-law suite
- Total gross square footage: 4,400 gross square feet (3,570 conditioned)
Architect: VELOCIPEDE architects, velocipede.net
General Contractor: Jason Legat, Model Remodel, modelremodel.com
Civil engineer: springline design, springlinellc.com
Landscape architect: Outdoor Studio, outdoorstudio.net
Structural engineer: Harriott Smith Valentine Engineers, hsveng.com
Mechanical engineer: Ecotope, ecotope.com
Solar designer: Solterra Systems, solterrasystems.com
Surveyor: Pacific Geomatic Services, pacgeoinc.com
Geotechnical engineer: Geotech Consultants, geotechnw.com
Arborist: Urban Forestry Services, urbanforestryservices.com