This section categorizes our design choices at Grow, and how we’re using design to build a functional and beautiful built environment.

No summertime blues at Grow phase 2

Framing for the Juniper building is kicking into high gear as the Grow Community skyline goes skyward. We’re getting set to pour the topping concrete for the Woodland Homes foundations, and soon the Tsuga will have a floor from which we’ll start building up.

The warm temperatures outside won’t last, but thanks to canny construction, our buildings will be snug all year-round. The Salal has its weatherproof jacket (the brown-hued Prosoco “Cat-5” water-and-air barrier) nearly all applied, to ensure protection for the building and residents alike.

Top-quality windows are more than halfway installed, and the interior rough-in of systems is takings shape. The Elan townhomes are following close behind the Salal.

Most exciting of all is our prep work for our next round of landscaping, which will make Grow phase 2, the Grove, look as if we will drop a beautiful portion of a young Grand Forest right into the heart of the neighborhood.

Cap that off with some early preparations for the rooftop solar component, and it’s been one hot summer.

Watch Grow Community continue to take shape each time you pass by the site, and we’ll see you in September.

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New outlines on the Winslow skyline are the shape of progress.

Construction on Grow Community’s new phase, the Grove, is moving onward – and upward. The Salal building’s third floor has taken shape, with roof work starting very soon. Next door at the Elan, the second floor is under way.

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Concrete work continues elsewhere on the site, the Juniper building is all but complete while the walls, footings and pouring of the Woodland Homes and Tsuga are now well underway.

With the hot, dry weather of summer upon us, crews will be watering down the site periodically to minimize dust – definitely a challenge, so we ask our residents’ and neighbors’ forbearance.

For all the activity around the site, our crews are running up an impressive safety record – 15,000 hours (and counting) without an injury. Great job, construction team!

An aerial view of construction in the Grove

Grow featured in NW design magazine

screen-shot-2015-04-08-at-10-03-30-amGrow Community and first-phase architect Jonathan Davis are featured in the new edition of Gray magazine.

In an article titled “Community Builders,” the magazine touts Grow for fostering “next-level neighborliness” through innovative layout and design.

It all starts with an unsung organizing element: the meandering path that winds around through the site, promoting serendipitous meetings between neighbors as they move about among Grow’s “micro-hoods” and shared gardens.

“The idea is that coming and going from your house, you’ll bump into a neighbor sitting on the porch or out front gardening, and you’ll build personal relationships,” Davis says. “We oriented things to encourage interaction between residents.”

Gray bills itself “The Design Magazine for the Pacific Northwest.” The May 2015 edition is on finer newsstands now, or you can find the story at www.graymag.com page 40.

March Construction Update: Garage is on good footing(s)

Work on Grow Community’s Phase 2 underground parking garage continues apace. Crews are now installing rebar and cables for the post tension slab for the Salal building, forming up walls and columns for the garage of the Elan townhomes, and crafting footings for the Juniper.  In utility news, a water line that will serve the new buildings is being routed up from the local main. It looks like foul weather is (mostly) behind us, so be sure to watch the dramatic progress each time you go past the work site.

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100 percent and a gold star – Grow aces the solar test

Already the largest solar neighborhood in Washington state, Grow Community hit another milestone this week.

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With the completion of two more solar installations, every single-family home and duplex in Grow’s first phase, the Village, is now powered by photovoltaics.

PV systems numbers 22 and 23 are online and producing renewable energy, improving the neighborhood’s already stellar self-sufficiency while promising generous utility savings and financial returns for the homeowners.

“It’s a landmark moment for Grow Community and Washington solar,” says Greg Lotakis, project manager. “With 100 percent participation, our residents are really showing the way forward for neighborhoods that want to choose solar for a sustainable energy future.”

Grow’s next two phases, the Grove and the Park, will also offer the solar option.  Stay tuned for more details.

Progress, with a chance of rain

February Construction Update 

We’ve had one of the mildest winters in recent memory, with no snow and only a few nights hitting freezing temperatures.

At the same time, we’ve had quite a few significant bursts of rain – 2 inches or more at a time. Such is the nature of winter construction in the Northwest.

The crews continue to work on footings and foundation walls at the north end of the site, including those for the Salal and Elan buildings.

Once the foundation walls are done for these buildings, the form work for the ceiling or “lid” of the garage will start. This will be the first peek for the public to get a sense of what we’re building as the main floors begin to take shape.

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Conscious Company finds the future at Grow

Conscious Company Magazine, a new journal focusing on innovation and sustainability, recently paid a call on Grow Community to get the scoop on our über-intentional neighborhood.

logo“It’s an inspiring model of community development and one that we hope will begin to scale throughout the rest of the country,” writes Maren Keeley, whose magazine bills itself as “The Future of Business as Usual.”

Maren sat down with Greg Lotakis, our project manager, for a great interview that highlights the best of what Grow has to offer. Here’s an excerpt:

MK: What aspect of this community are you most proud of?

GL: Ultimately, all the “cool” around sustainability means nothing without community. Really, Grow Community Bainbridge is about creating opportunities for residents to support each other in the pursuit of One Planet Living. Being able to walk across your path and connect with your neighbor over a glass of wine, share time in the garden with your grandchild, or watch kids and dogs play in the open space at the end of a day makes Grow special. It all comes back to health and happiness.

MK: Do you feel this idea can scale and be brought to other communities in the U.S.?

GL: We truly hope so. There are so many great builders and innovators in green building that now it’s time to be thinking large-scale. Too many neighborhoods have been developed for one particular moment in our lives, lack energy efficiency, or allow vehicles to disconnect us from one another.

You can read the whole interview with Greg Lotakis here.

Thanks to Maren Keeley and the new Conscious Company Magazine for the fantastic coverage.

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January 2015 Construction Update

The weather has certainly been mixed, but Grow Community construction continues apace. Crews have completed the majority of the excavation work and have now started forming and pouring footings and foundation walls for the garage for the Grove, our next neighborhood.

While progress may not always be apparent from street level, we are using a “UAV” – an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, otherwise known as a “drone” – to keep a visual record of the construction process.

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In the lower right corner of the accompanying aerial photo, you can see a series of white structures. This is actually a small part of the foundation and garage for a building in the Park, Grow’s third and final neighborhood.

This section of the last phase had to be built first in order to support the utilities and structures that will be uphill in the Grove. Construction sequencing can present challenges, but we always seem to figure out the right solutions!

The crews have also started in on the portion of the garage under the Salal building, and will march around to the northwest corner and then head south to form and pour the Elan townhome building next.

While the garage is being completed, the framing will start in earnest, so the two tasks – concrete foundations and framing – will be taking place at the same time.

We’ll be up out of the ground this Spring!