Architecture

New Rainier Vista micro-community designed with net zero potential

New Rainier Vista micro-commun...
The New Rainier Vista project began in 2010
The New Rainier Vista project began in 2010
View 26 Images
The New Rainier Vista project began in 2010
1/26
The New Rainier Vista project began in 2010
There were initially 15 homes planned for the New Rainier Vista development
2/26
There were initially 15 homes planned for the New Rainier Vista development
There are 42 homes in the completed New Rainier Vista community
3/26
There are 42 homes in the completed New Rainier Vista community
All the houses in the New Rainier Vista community have unique designs
4/26
All the houses in the New Rainier Vista community have unique designs
All 42 New Rainier Vista homes are designed and ready for net zero energy living
5/26
All 42 New Rainier Vista homes are designed and ready for net zero energy living
All 42 New Rainier Vista homes are 5-Star Built Green certified
6/26
All 42 New Rainier Vista homes are 5-Star Built Green certified
Dwell's first Passive House at 3153 South Oregon Street
7/26
Dwell's first Passive House at 3153 South Oregon Street
The entry to the Cork Haus at 4417 33rd Avenue South
8/26
The entry to the Cork Haus at 4417 33rd Avenue South
The exterior of the Cork Haus at 4417 33rd Avenue South
9/26
The exterior of the Cork Haus at 4417 33rd Avenue South
The rear of the Cork Haus at 4417 33rd Avenue South
10/26
The rear of the Cork Haus at 4417 33rd Avenue South
Solar panels on rooftop of the Cork Haus at 4417 33rd Avenue South
11/26
Solar panels on rooftop of the Cork Haus at 4417 33rd Avenue South
The exterior of 4433 33rd Avenue South
12/26
The exterior of 4433 33rd Avenue South
The exterior of 4445 33rd Avenue South
13/26
The exterior of 4445 33rd Avenue South
The development took five years to complete
14/26
The development took five years to complete
The houses all have triple-glazed windows for improved insulation
15/26
The houses all have triple-glazed windows for improved insulation
The houses all feature tankless water heaters and heat recovery ventilation systems
16/26
The houses all feature tankless water heaters and heat recovery ventilation systems
The community's "pedestrian-friendly" location close to a train station encourages green travel
17/26
The community's "pedestrian-friendly" location close to a train station encourages green travel
The Passive House kitchen at at 3153 South Oregon Street
18/26
The Passive House kitchen at at 3153 South Oregon Street
The Cork Haus living room at 4417 33rd Avenue South
19/26
The Cork Haus living room at 4417 33rd Avenue South
The Cork Haus office at 4417 33rd Avenue South
20/26
The Cork Haus office at 4417 33rd Avenue South
The Cork Haus staircase at 4417 33rd Avenue South
21/26
The Cork Haus staircase at 4417 33rd Avenue South
New Rainier Vista houses have the potential for net zero energy living
22/26
New Rainier Vista houses have the potential for net zero energy living
A kitchen and living area at one of the New Rainier Vista houses
23/26
A kitchen and living area at one of the New Rainier Vista houses
A living room at one of the New Rainier Vista houses
24/26
A living room at one of the New Rainier Vista houses
A bedroom at one of the New Rainier Vista houses
25/26
A bedroom at one of the New Rainier Vista houses
A roof-deck at one of the New Rainier Vista houses
26/26
A roof-deck at one of the New Rainier Vista houses

We've featured Dwell Development a number of times for its forward-thinking, green homes. Now, however, it has upped the ante with the completion of a 42-home sustainable micro-community. The houses at New Rainier Vista all boast unique designs and have been built with the potential for net zero-energy living.

Working with Julian Weber Architects, Dwell says the aims of the project was to create a small society of like-minded residents who value community, sustainability and modern design. Located in the US city of Seattle, the homes are arranged in "micro-blocks and clusters of four" and are centered around a community garden and informal outdoor gathering areas that seek to foster community.

The project began in 2010 as a partnership with the Seattle Housing Authority. Dwell had committed to constructing 15 homes with green building techniques and high performance technology, but interest and demand in the project meant the firm ended up delivering additional homes over a five year period.

As is typically the case with Dwell-designed houses, all 42 New Rainier Vista homes are designed and ready for net zero energy living – that is to say, they are built with the potential to generate as much electricity as they need to run. The houses are also 5-Star Built Green certified, an environmental construction standard that takes into account the use of materials, energy efficiency, water use and indoor air quality.

Among the sustainability features of the houses have rooftops that are ready for PV panels to be installed, double-framed walls for improved insulation, triple-glazed windows, tankless water heaters and heat recovery ventilation systems. The community's "pedestrian-friendly" location close to a train station encourages green travel.

The exterior of the Cork Haus at 4417 33rd Avenue South
The exterior of the Cork Haus at 4417 33rd Avenue South

Two houses in the community are clad in cork, which acts both as exterior insulation and as an interesting finish. One of those houses is certified as Net Energy Positive (HERS -1) and, according to Dwell, is Seattle's first net positive home, while another house in the community, it says, is Dwell's first Passive House.

Among the other features from which residents benefit are in-floor radiant heating, and keyless front door entry. Floors, countertops and tiling, meanwhile, make use of reclaimed and recycled materials, which are both a green option and a striking design feature.

The last New Rainier Vista home was completed and sold earlier this year.

The video below provides a look at the New Rainier Vista development.

Source: Dwell Development

Dwell Development’s 5-Star Built Green 42 Home Sustainable Community in New Rainier Vista, Columbia City, Seattle USA

4 comments
jweb47
I'd love to be able to buy a house like these in my lifetime. What's really amazing is that they look better to me than traditional housing that's being built today. When is everyone going to see the big picture?
Sooty
A zero energy home would be an existing cave, no facilities at all. The concept of zero energy is ridiculous, all metals are mined, all timber comes from trees, all elements require manufacturing/fabrication. Lovely houses, but obviously some architect is living in dreamland and chasing prizes. A low energy home sounds more realistic - zero is not possible
GRich
These net positive and zero energy homes can't be built fast enough. Sure hope to see more money flood into bringing the costs down.
LaurenAnderson
I like the concept. Amazing what $700,000 can buy you. We middle class folk will stick with homes that our budgets can sustain.