Built environments have a huge impact on our health and happiness. We’re designing the Grow Community to promote the health of our bodies and minds and to sustain the active lifestyles of an inter-generational community.

Grow earns prestigious “Green Home of the Year” award

Grow Community has been honored with a coveted “Green Home of the Year Award” in the “Best Community Project” category for 2014 by Green Builder magazine.

In a feature headlined “Holistic Homes,” the magazine praises Grow for “connect[ing] health and happiness with sustainability” through every element of design and construction.



The magazine highlights Grow’s advanced framing techniques, weather-tight building envelopes, and locally sourced solar products among other distinguishing features. Grow is already the largest planned solar community in Washington state, with a solar component also planned for the next two phases, the Grove and the Park.

An expert panel of judges considered nearly 40 projects on criteria including overall sustainability, resilience, affordability, synergy with the environment and surrounding neighborhood, and depth of building science employed.

“Our winners combine the best of tradition and technology — homes of great beauty that are also resilient and flexible,” the editors write to introduce the awards.

Jonathan Davis, architect for Grow’s first phase, the Village, tells Green Builder that all the principles of One Planet Living on which the Village was designed supported the goals of health and happiness.

“When my kids go out the door, I know they’re safe,” says Davis, now a resident of the Village.

Read this great feature on the Green Building website page 22.


Grow gets Slammed — but it’s cool!

gbs-10x10x10-logo-300x212Ten projects. Ten slides. Ten minutes.

And one goal: to honor the very best in sustainable construction — like Grow Community.

We’re pleased to say that Grow is one of 10 projects asked to present at this year’s prestigious “Green Building Slam” at the University of Washington. Sponsored by the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, the rapid-fire event showcases unique projects and new approaches to environmentally conscious construction.

Featured speaker will be Kathleen O’Brien, a nationally recognized leader in the field of sustainability as a writer, educator, strategic planner and project consultant for nearly 30 years.

The Green Building Slam event will be held from 5-10 p.m. Nov. 15 at UW’s Kane Hall, with presentations beginning at 6:30. Networking and goodies throughout.

We’re honored to be part this great event. We’ll gladly take the Slam!

More information here

ULI Tour: Cultivating a Sustainable Local Economy

Grow Community held center stage when the Urban Land Institute visited Bainbridge Island yesterday.

ULI members looked at Bainbridge as a prototype for “Cultivating a Sustainable Local Economy” — encouraging responsible growth, resource conservation, diversity and density while retaining the island’s rich cultural heritage.

The program also included stops at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and the Ericksen Cottages development, capped by a visit to Winslow’s Hitchcock restaurant.

The event was organized by ULI’s Thriving Communities Task Force, which studies arts communities, public amenities and leadership in sustainable development.

Thank you to the Urban Land Institute for recognizing Grow Community as a model of urban planning and sustainability!




The first neighborhood in Grow Community phase 2 is called the Grove, so it’s apropos that one of its signature buildings draws its name from the Northwest forest.

The Tsuga (pronounced SOO-guh) is named for a familiar group of conifers from the pine family — your friendly neighborhood western hemlock. These grand, fragrant giants are so central to our local environs, we even honor Tsuga heterophylla as our Washington state tree.

We had the quiet nobility of this splendid specimen in mind as we designed the Tsuga. Most residences in this bright and airy building offer single-level living with outdoor patios for gardening and entertaining, and 1,200 to nearly 1,600 square feet of comfortable, ultra-energy-efficient living space.

One remarkable unit offers a unique three-story layout, with a spacious outdoor deck on every level and a more-than-generous area for a home theater, workout room or den. So we might say, “tsee the Tsuga” — find colorful renditions and a really cool interactive display of available floor plans here

NEEA, Next Steps Homes – Case Study

The Everett home in the Village is part of NEEA‘s (Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance) pilot project: Next Step Homes. The purpose of this pilot – partnering with a select group of builders across the Northwest – is to determine the most cost-effective ways to build homes that will achieve the greatest energy. Check out our case study on their website here and learn more.

Setting New Standards of Efficiency

Two members of the Grow team, Dylan Sievertson (PHC) and Greg Lotakis (Asani), recently joined other builders within NEEA’s (Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance) Phase 1 of the Next Step Homes Program to discuss the future of our residential built environment. For the past year NEEA has been monitoring 12 pre-selected homes (including the Everett at Grow) from builders across the Northwest with the goal to determine new methods and specifications for high performing homes. Each of these high performing homes focused on energy efficiency, better indoor air quality, and (for some) the pursuit of Net Zero energy use.

The half day roundtable was used to share data, lessons learned, and open dialogue amongst the group of builders. The Everett was featured as a top performer and much was learned about the systems that were incorporated to make this home a leading example in home efficiency.

NEEA is getting set to begin Phase 2 of the program and Grow will again likely have another home monitored.

Click here to learn more about the Next Step Homes Program and Grows involvement.

February Status at Grow Community

What’s Coming Next?

The first neighborhood at Grow Community will come together this summer when the rental homes are finished.  In order to keep moving toward completion of the entire community, we have been working hard to come up with a design that meets all of our criteria and that builds on everything we’ve learned over the past several years.The next two neighborhoods at Grow will continue to meet our One Planet goals, with a focus on truly intergenerational living.  Sixty percent of the homes will be accessible, with aging in community as a design priority.  In addition, a number of the homes are being designed and priced for young families, creating that mix of vibrant and lively interaction that makes Grow such a great place to live.

Community Green Spaces PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE

Wed. March 5: 6.30-8.30pm

Three out of the five acres in the next neighborhood will be community green space. These spaces will include gardens, native forest, and play areas for young and old alike.  We would like to share with you the preliminary designs and hear your thoughts.  Please join us at a March 5th evening Open House at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, to share in the conversation about how we can create the green spaces in a manner that enhances community.All are invited.
Location: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art – 550 Winslow Way East
Click here to download the event flier


Status on the Construction Site

 After mid-March only one home remains to be built in the first neighborhood.

Construction on the Cooper Apartments is well underway. As the single-family homes are completed the attention will be turned to the apartments through mid summer to get them finished up.

The landscaping, pathways and  community bulletin  boards are all getting finished up in time for spring, and residents are enthusiastically planning the community garden spaces in their pocket neighborhoods.

Solar installations have continued on homes over the last several months and several more are expected in March/April.  We have enjoyed seeing our solar garden grow!

BioRegional Launch a Major New Sustainable Consumption and Production Report

BioRegional, creators of the One Planet concept, have recently launched a major report about Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP).  The report is a significant NGO contribution to the UN debate on a set of sustainable development goals due to succeed the well-known Millennium Development Goals (to be fulfilled by 2015). BioRegional CEO Sue Riddlestone was recently given the opportunity to present this report to representatives of several dozen governments of countries around the world gathered at the United Nations in New York.

Major new report, authored by BioRegional, on sustainable consumption and production:

  • This published paper makes the case for why sustainable consumption and production (SCP) should be integrated into the post-2015 development agenda, as well as setting out practical proposals for what SCP-related targets might be, divided among the likely themes for post-2015 goals.
  • It is evidence-based, drawing on the latest literature and evidence to explain why achieving sustainable development demands a decisive, global shift to sustainable consumption and production. The paper aims to increase collaboration within civil society and with other actors on this agenda.
  • It calls for nations to adopt 28 different targets related to SCP, organised under five key themes for sustainable development goals and covering the period 2015-2030. One or more indicators is given for each target.
  • The report was produced by BioRegional, as they are the Beyond 2015 focal point on Sustainable Production and Consumption, with input from the following organizations: WWF-UK;Christian Aid; Bond; Save the Children; Progressio; Practical Action; Friends of the Earth; Cafod; Tearfund; Population Institute; One Earth; Tellus Institute; Integrative Strategies Forum; Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.

Click here to read the report here.

What to Expect in the Next Grow Neighborhood?

Grow Community will not be complete until all three neighborhoods are constructed.  While the first neighborhood is finishing up, the Grow Team has been busy redesigning the next two neighborhoods.  These next phases will complete the trail system, add a building for community gathering and even more gardens and open space.  A fun fact: out of the 5 acres that make up the next two neighborhoods, 3 acres will be green space.  More places to run, play, garden and connect!

We anticipate beginning construction on the second neighborhood this next summer.  Stay tuned for more opportunities to participate in the design of open spaces in early 2014.

Click here to read the recent article in the Bainbridge Island Review about this next phase.

Grow Community enters Phase II of design with community center and childcare facility – BI Review

by CECILIA GARZA,  Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
Dec 19, 2013 at 10:00AM updated at 1:42PM

Bainbridge Island’s Design Review Board received a preview into Phase II of Grow Community this month, which will include a community center and potentially an early childcare school.

In a three-hour meeting, Grow Community planners presented additions to the development that span from townhouses to an alder forest to a multi-faceted community center.

“I think it went well,” said Jean Stolzman of Cutler Anderson Architects.

“I think it’s a great Design Review Board, and we’re always welcoming their comments. All in all, it was very helpful,” Stolzman said.

The second phase of design will shift focus to the communal living aspect of the development.

On the outer perimeters, extending from Wyatt Way to Shepard Drive, up to seven multi-family buildings will be constructed to accommodate apartment flats and townhouses.

In the center, connecting the homes, will be two sizable courtyards.

A miniature alder forest will spread throughout the northern quad with several footpaths to give visitors and residents access from their homes to the community center.

“The community center is right at the heart of that community,” Stolzman said. “People can meet there for yoga, meetings, cooking, et cetera. The idea is that everyone is taking a part in this.”

Dividing the northern quad in half will be a footpath that extends from Wyatt Way to the community center.

Those walking on this path will pass through the cluster of alders straight onto the rooftop patio of the center.

The center will be constructed partially inset to the ground, so that the rooftop is level with the northern quad.

On the rooftop terrace, residents and visitors will have access to an outdoor fireplace and picnic area.

A 2,500-square-foot, one-story building, the community center itself will contain a large gathering area with a double-sided fireplace, kitchen area, a meeting room and a communal workshop space.

The meeting room, Stolzman explained, can be reserved for pretty much anything, from yoga to group meetings.

Additionally, since most of the residents will not have a private garage, the workshop area will function as a multi-use space for handy work.

As residents exit the building, the center will open up to the southend of the development where on either side of the building will also be a terraced community garden.

“Part of the idea is that you can harvest your vegetables and come down and make your own meal in the kitchen,” Stolzman explained.

The center’s kitchen area, Stolzman added, has been designed with the intention that residents and visitors can cook together, share recipes and eat together in the gathering area.

In addition to the center, at the foot of the south quad will be a bonus building.

“It can either become a residential building or an early childhood center,” said Marja Preston of the Asani Development Team.

“We’ve been thinking about a couple uses that could become an amenity for the residents there.”

An early childhood center would further foster the intergenerational quality of living at Grow Community, Preston said.

Through volunteering, it would also give residents and citizens an opportunity to be involved in the community.

The idea began when the Madrona School was considering moving their program to a downtown area and potentially into the Grow Community building.

Despite the school deciding to stay in its current location, the idea stuck.

“We think it would be a really interesting amenity, because there are so many families moving into the Grow Community,” she said.
Click here to read the article on the Bainbridge Island Review website.