Architecture

Dwell's zero energy Emerald Star home uses almost entirely reclaimed wood

The Emerald Star house project will be Dwell Development's 100th certified home
The Emerald Star house project will be Dwell Development's 100th certified home
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The Emerald Star house project will be Dwell Development's 100th certified home
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The Emerald Star house project will be Dwell Development's 100th certified home
The house is designed to be Built Green Emerald Star certified
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The house is designed to be Built Green Emerald Star certified
If Emerald Star certification is awarded, it will be the first house of its kind in Seattle
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If Emerald Star certification is awarded, it will be the first house of its kind in Seattle
The house has a 6.6 kW photovoltaic array on its roof
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The house has a 6.6 kW photovoltaic array on its roof
The roof and window placement of the house is configured to maximize solar gain without sacrificing looks
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The roof and window placement of the house is configured to maximize solar gain without sacrificing looks
The photovoltaic array is required to ensure the house can achieve zero energy status
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The photovoltaic array is required to ensure the house can achieve zero energy status
Over 90 percent of the building's wood had to be reclaimed or FSC-certified for it to achieve Emerald Star status
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Over 90 percent of the building's wood had to be reclaimed or FSC-certified for it to achieve Emerald Star status
The building's exterior paneling is reclaimed Douglas Fir
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The building's exterior paneling is reclaimed Douglas Fir
The building's insulation and its wood-framed windows and doors are designed to create an airtight seal to minimize thermal and sound leaks
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The building's insulation and its wood-framed windows and doors are designed to create an airtight seal to minimize thermal and sound leaks
The timber used for the building's framing package is FSC-certified
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The timber used for the building's framing package is FSC-certified
The building scored a blower doors test result of 1.17 ACH 50, well within the 2.4 ACH 50 score required for Emerald Star certification
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The building scored a blower doors test result of 1.17 ACH 50, well within the 2.4 ACH 50 score required for Emerald Star certification
The house has a pending HERS Score of 0 or lower
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The house has a pending HERS Score of 0 or lower
A heat recovery ventilation system is employed to expel stale air from the house and to draw fresh, clean air in
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A heat recovery ventilation system is employed to expel stale air from the house and to draw fresh, clean air in
The heat recovery system helps to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the building
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The heat recovery system helps to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the building
The building has an open-plan downstairs layout
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The building has an open-plan downstairs layout
There is a joint kitchen and living space area
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There is a joint kitchen and living space area
The water heat pump system is said to use 78 percent less energy usage compared to traditional hot water systems
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The water heat pump system is said to use 78 percent less energy usage compared to traditional hot water systems
The hot water heat pump uses 1 kW of energy to generate 4.5 kW of heat
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The hot water heat pump uses 1 kW of energy to generate 4.5 kW of heat
Countertops, cabinets and tile, meanwhile, are made locally from recycled materials
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Countertops, cabinets and tile, meanwhile, are made locally from recycled materials
The bedrooms in the house are spacious
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The bedrooms in the house are spacious
There are views of the surrounding area from the house
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There are views of the surrounding area from the house
Floors, stairs, and treads were built out of 100-year-old hand-sewn mixed hardwoods
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Floors, stairs, and treads were built out of 100-year-old hand-sewn mixed hardwoods
The house has a modern style, despite the use of reclaimed materials
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The house has a modern style, despite the use of reclaimed materials
The house covers 2,218 sq ft (206 sq m)
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The house covers 2,218 sq ft (206 sq m)
The house has a mezzanine space
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The house has a mezzanine space
Large windows allow plenty of natural light into the house
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Large windows allow plenty of natural light into the house
Wooden flooring is used in some parts of the house
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Wooden flooring is used in some parts of the house

A new home in Seattle is described as having a cutting-edge combination of green technology, renewables and reclaimed materials. It is designed by Dwell Development to be Built Green Emerald Star certified. If the certification is awarded, it will be be the first home of its kind in the city.

The Built Green residential building program was developed with a view to providing environmental standards for use of materials, energy efficiency, water use and indoor air quality. Built Green ratings range from 3-Star through 4-Star and 5-Star up to Emerald Star.

Emerald Star certified homes must achieve net zero energy usage by way of generating electricity from a renewable source such as solar or wind, use 70 percent less water than a conventional home and ensure that 90 percent of wood used is reclaimed or FSC-certified. They must also demonstrate impeccable air quality.

The certification for Dwell's 2,218-sq ft (206-sq m) home is still pending, but the firm, which previously designed the Reclaimed Modern home in Columbia City, says it expects it to receive the highest rating. The firm says it is the only residential developer in Washington that exclusively builds 5-star or above Built Green homes and that the Emerald Star project will be its 100th certified home.

The roof and window placement of the house is configured to maximize solar gain without sacrificing looks
The roof and window placement of the house is configured to maximize solar gain without sacrificing looks

To begin, the roof and window placement of the house is configured to maximize solar gain without sacrificing looks. Electricity is generated by a 6.6 kW photovoltaic array on the roof, and the building's pending HERS Score of 0 or lower will confirm its zero energy status if awarded.

Inside, a heat recovery ventilation system is employed to expel stale air from the house and to draw fresh, clean air in. The system also helps to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the building. An efficient hot water heat pump, meanwhile, uses 1 kW of energy to generate 4.5 kW of heat, which Dwell says is 78 percent less energy usage compared to traditional hot water systems.

The building's insulation and its wood-framed windows and doors are designed to create an airtight seal to minimize thermal and sound leaks. Indeed, it scored a blower doors test result of 1.17 ACH 50, well within the 2.4 ACH 50 score required for Emerald Star certification.

The building's exterior paneling is reclaimed Douglas Fir
The building's exterior paneling is reclaimed Douglas Fir

The timber used for the building's framing package is FSC-certified and its exterior paneling is reclaimed Douglas Fir. Naturally-weathered steel from a cannery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is used for the building's roof panelling and acts as a rainscreen. Countertops, cabinets and tile, meanwhile, are made locally from recycled materials.

Dwell's Emerald Star home project was completed only recently. The video below provides a tour of the house.

Source: Dwell Development

Dwell Development Built Green Emerald Star Seattle

4 comments
Robert Walther
It is very nice. I assume the other house/duplex in the rear was built by the same people, without the solar. I am very confused by the pictures and the video. Am I missing something or is this house lacking any window shades for privacy? I suppose the windows could have the electronic darkening feature. If not the neighbors will have quite a view. At least the baths have raised windows.
DavidAnderson
Wow, all that amazing tech and it's still as fugly.
DrPepper59
What an eyesore. I bet the neighbors are so happy they have this green house next to them. Property values just took a dive. Some day green might be built with beauty and class.
ljaques
Why don't people realize that a bit of oxalic acid wood brightener will take that old look from the wood and make it look GOOD? Then put on some Penofin oil and it will last a long, long time. I'll second the eyesore (butt fugly) of a house. When are they going to paint it, and maybe put in shades? Um, white 4" shag rugs? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. <thud> Kudos on the overall outside shape and the energy efficiency.