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 Community changes design of Phase Two of development project – BAINBRIDGE ISLAND REVIEW

By CECILIA GARZA
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
August 26, 2013 · 2:21 PM

Grow Community architects are setting up a new palette for Phase Two of development.

In a meeting Monday with the Bainbridge Island Design Review Board, architect Jim Cutler described a shift from single-family homes to a model that was more all-of-the-above.

Phase One of construction is already wrapping up, with 20 homes sold and two apartment buildings planned for construction on Wyatt Way.

Previously, the plans for the second phase of construction described a connected block of more single-family residences.

After an owner’s analysis of the plan, however, Cutler and his team saw that the project presented too much financial risk.

“Primarily because they were in very large blocks and very similar pieces,” Cutler said.

“They didn’t have enough diversity in terms of being able to market certain diversity and furthermore, it would not be complete until they completed the whole project.”

With the makeover to the Phase Two plans, Cutler has incorporated some major changes for the project.

They have transformed what was a V-shape arrangement of the units to clusters of dwellings with substantial green common space between the structures. This has given Cutler’s team the ability to incorporate a mix of homes in the community. They will now offer apartments, condominiums and townhomes in addition to single-family homes.

The new mixture of homes at Grow will also come with sheltered garages.

With the ground fall between each side of Wyatt Way, Cutler’s design has managed to keep the structures level enough to allow for garages underneath the homes. This will create a two-story out of a one-story and a three-story home out of two story home.

The underground parking will make way for more green space for all the amenities the community envisions, including numerous community and personal gardens, a community center and plenty of play area for children.

Contact Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer Cecilia Garza at cgarza@bainbridgereview.com or 206-842-6613.

Building a Healthy Community from the Inside Out

Premier Builder Magazine
July/August 2013

Two years ago, the Asani/PHC team of architects, builders and developers set out to design a Net Zero energy home using local and sustainable materials, all with a construction budget under $150/square foot.  These homes are part of the new One Planet Community (one of 8 in the world) on Bainbridge Island – a Zero Carbon neighborhood of homes that is affordable to young families and baby boomers alike.

The new homes at Grow Community are not just net zero energy homes, they are part of a neighborhood where residents will be able to reduce their overall carbon footprint – that is, the impact from buildings, transportation, and food to name a few.  The homes are part of a One Planet Neighborhood, homes where it is easy, fun and affordable to live a lifestyle where our impact on the planet is a little lighter.

One Planet is a framework to guide design of Zero Carbon neighborhoods.  The program focuses not just on environmental impacts, but also on economic and social sustainability, creating communities where neighbors interact and where ecological footprints are reduced.  Grow Community has used the ten sustainability principles of the One Planet framework to create a neighborhood that is unlike any other in the United States.

The homes are beautifully designed, light filled spaces located in small clusters with the community, all surrounding vegetable gardens.  The neighborhood is made up of equal numbers of single-family homes for sale and multifamily homes for rent, providing different financial options for residents to live in the community.  The floorplans are designed for families, for couples, for aging in place, a mix that has resulted in a truly intergenerational community.

When we first started to design the Grow home, we weren’t sure if we could meet the net zero challenge with the given budge, but with a little determination and a dedicated team, we’ve shown it can be done.  Each home and multifamily building is designed as a Net Zero home – the solar panels on the roof are enough to provide all the power needed throughout the year.  The cost of construction of each of the homes is both reasonable and replicable.

The One Planet framework was used to balance design and material choices against each of the sustainability principles.  We designed an energy efficient building envelope, using local and sustainable materials wherever possible, and choose finishes that would ultimately create a comfortable and healthy home.

Health and Happiness is the foremost One Planet principle driving design decisions both for the individual homes and for the community as a whole.  Each house is built using the highest quality materials to create a healthy indoor living environment, including:

•    Marvin Integrity word/fiberglass windows avoid the use of PVC in the homes;
•    Cork or local sustainably harvested wood floors with non-toxic finishes create local and healthy flooring options;
•    Silent and highly efficient mini-split heat pumps to maintain comfortable temperatures;
•    Cabinets with no added formaldehyde, recycled content countertops and induction cooktops for sustainable and well-appointed kitchens; and
•    Optional whole house water filters.

The community itself is designed around numerous vegetable gardens, with native plants and vegetation throughout to create natural and inviting places for children and adults to enjoy.  The neighborhood is located just a short walk from urban amenities, enabling residents to walk or ride, incorporating exercise into their daily lives.  A community center will provide a space for yoga classes, cooking demonstrations, and community events.

It is our home that this One Planet neighborhood will change the way we approach urban design.  We created the project to demonstrate how developers might design projects that have a net positive impact, not only on the environment, but on the way people live, creating healthier and more satisfying lifestyles in urban areas.  The Grow Community homes are not just good for the environment, they are a place for people to live healthy and affordable lives, to connect with their neighbors, their community and nature.
Visit www.growbainbridge.com

Grow Community modifies development plans – BAINBRIDGE ISLAND REVIEW

By RICHARD D. OXLEY
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer

August 3, 2013 · Updated 10:41 AM

Over the past year, the island has watched the green living-oriented Grow Community sprout up on its small corner in Winslow.

With Phase II of the development on the horizon, Grow officials are looking to take the neighborhood in a whole new direction than previously expected.

“Going forward we know we can’t build the same kinds of homes that we built in Phase I,” Marja Preston with Asani Development told a crowd gathered at the Bainbridge Performing Arts Center Monday evening.

“Our goal for this project is to create a model for intergenerational living,” she said.

Island architect Jim Cutler explained the significant changes to the project; mainly, that while Grow will continue to be Earth- and community friendly, it will come in a much tighter package.

“All the things that were endemic in the first phase will be in the second phase, but with more density,” Cutler said.

The crowd listened intently to Cutler as he explained how he designed 87 dwellings to fit on five acres.

“I’m going to show you a really dense project,” Cutler told the crowd as he stood in front of a site plan for Phase II.

Project officials presented their latest vision of the neighborhood this week at a meeting required under the city’s permitting process
because the project has changed since it was originally proposed. The changes drew a crowd of more than 70 islanders to the lobby of the Bainbridge Performing Arts Center.

It was as much of an informative gathering as it was a sales pitch to the community.

“This project takes this to a whole new level,” said City planner Heather Beckman.

“Typically we have these meetings at city hall and there are no refreshments, and there isn’t this much of a turnout,” she said.

Islanders were welcomed to the event with hors d’oeuvre and lemonade before hearing Cutler’s presentation.

Cutler, of Bainbridge-based Cutler Anderson Architects, walked through a series of slides showcasing the new vision for the development that attaches many of the dwellings, once scattered across the property.

“The old plan, it was like someone took dice and threw them on the ground,” Cutler said. “We’ve gone to attached dwellings that maximize green area. We’ve ended up with, out of five acres, (roughly) three acres that are green space.”

Cutler said he designed the community to be multigenerational, and geared toward community interaction, without sacrificing privacy.

Phase II of the Grow Community will include two apartment buildings off Wyatt Way, two rows of attached townhouses, and single-family buildings.

Between the structures will be two courtyards and a 2,500-square-foot community center.

The community center will house a multipurpose room, meeting room, kitchen and a fireplace on both the inside and outside.

Bordering the property to the south near Shepard Drive will be a 5,000-square-foot commercial building.

Cutler could not comment on what the commercial structure will ultimately be used for, but officials hope that a small school or child-oriented organization will set up shop there.

Phase II will continue to incorporate the aspects seen in Phase I, such as solar panels on the roofs, the ability to capture rainwater, and shared electric cars and bicycles.

Residents’ cars, however, will play a larger role in Phase II than in Phase I.

Parking has been planned for the development that will border the site, though 43 homes will have private garages. Single-family residences will have two-car garages.

Cutler explained his vision for cars in the Grow Community.

“You might notice we are not showing a lot of parking,” he said. “If we build slightly deeper foundations we can build parking underneath (the buildings), so cars are

not going to be very visible. We are basically putting all cars underneath.”

“I don’t think we are promoting car use; we are making sure that cars are not part of your daily life visually,” he added, noting that people need to use a car from time to time, so he designed parking into Grow, with the attitude that the community will be primarily pedestrian
oriented.

“We convince, to some degree, our clients that having a car in your daily experience is not necessarily positive,” Cutler said.

Gardens will also be a primary focus of the new development.

“Probably what’s endemic in almost every culture in the world is gardening. And I don’t mean flower beds or vegetable gardens. I mean a space where you can extend your dwelling, and your living, outside in privacy,” Cutler said. “So you can connect with living systems outside in a private way.”

Apartments will include wall gardens, and many homes will include patio spaces.

A total of 40 residences in Phase II will be wheelchair accessible, and it will be possible to incorporate an elevator in some of the spaces.

Officials expect the Grow residences to be a mixture of rentals, condominiums and privately owned lots.

It is likely that it won’t take long to fill the homes.

“I have had reservations for a product people haven’t even seen for over a year,” said Joie Olson with Asani.

“We hope by the end of 2015 to be into the first half of the five acres, and have people moved in,” she said.

Olson noted that the site will be developed incrementally over time so that the company can make changes in the future if needed.

Contact Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer Richard D. Oxley at roxley@bainbridgereview.com or (206) 842-6613.

Going solar at Grow is easier than you think

Choosing the solar option.
Grow is a One Planet Community with a goal to achieve Net Zero Carbon from buildings by 2020. To achieve this we have designed each house to be powered entirely by solar. Each homeowner can choose to add the solar option at the time their house is constructed or at a later date. The system has been designed to provide all the power you will need for your house, reducing not only your carbon footprint, but reducing the money you spend on power over time.
Solar Package.
All homes at Grow are solar-ready and are wired for easy installation of solar panels at any time. Grow is able to provide a solar package at an incredible price because we install a large volume of panels throughout the project. We have negotiated a price for solar with A&R Solar based on bulk installation. This price includes installation, permitting, Manufactured in Washington photovoltaic panels and micro-inverters, as well as a racking system supplied by a Washington-based company.
Solar Financing.
Home buyers interested in financing their solar array have the option of unsecured solar loans through Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union or Umpqua Bank. Interest rates range from 4.5%-7.99%. There are no loan fees or closing costs and preliminary approval often occurs in 24 hours or less. The annual incentives available in Washington State, for Washington-made equipment can be applied to cover much of the principal and interest on the loan.
The current federal tax credit, the extension of the sales tax exemption, as well as the annual incentives available from Washington State, make solar an easy financial choice. We encourage you to choose the solar option and will assist you in making this possible.

 

the Everett Becomes Part of NEEA’s Pilot Project: Next Step Homes

The Everett model home was selected to be part of NEEA‘s (Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance) pilot project: Next Step Homes.  We at Grow Community are excited to have a home that will help set this new standard of efficiency. 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 savings.

NEEA plans to use the findings from the pilot to set the next level of high performance home efficiency standards for the Northwest region.  The Everett has been selected as one of ten homes in the four-state region, including Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and will be monitored for efficiency performance for 13 months to determine if the home operates as designed once occupied.

NEEA works in collaboration with its stakeholders and strategic market partners to accelerate the sustained market adoption of energy efficient products, technologies and practices. Its mission is to mobilize the Northwest to become increasingly energy efficient for a sustainable future.  Grow Community is proud to partner with NEEA, leading the way towards a more sustainable future of home-building.

Bainbridge Island architect earns Earth-friendly accolades

By RICHARD D. OXLEY
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
June 8, 2013 · Updated 1:11 PM

Innovators behind one of Bainbridge’s newest communities has been recognized for its Earth-friendly efforts, helping Winslow become a more sustainable corner of the island.

Island architect Jonathan Davis and his company, Davis Studio Architecture + Design, have been awarded the Environmental Innovator award by the Association of Washington Business.

The honor is part of the association’s 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards. It’s the 21st year the association has bestowed the honor.

Davis’ company has recently been known as the architectural force behind Winslow’s Grow Community, currently emerging onto a stretch of Grow Avenue near Wyatt Way.

“Our award focused around the Grow Community and the work we’ve done to get that endorsed as a One Planet Community,” Davis said. “It’s the first community in the United States to get that endorsement.”

The One Planet Community is a global program that aims to create healthier places to live.

“The purpose of One Planet communities is to create places that are sustainable,” Davis said. “The current U.S. footprint is a five-planet footprint, which is clearly not sustainable.”

In a community like Grow, people can live on a level that the Earth can sustain, according to builders of the new neighborhood.

The community is within walking distance to major public transportation hubs. It also has a bike-share program, as well as a car-share program. Homes have one parking space and have no garages, which Davis notes is more commonly used as storage space.

Instead, the Grow development will have a fleet of community cars for residents to use.

“The first of those cars is a Nissan Leaf, which is charged at a charger that is solar-powered,” Davis said. “So it’s a zero carbon car.”

But creating sustainable transportation habits is just the beginning.

“Our food footprint really encourages local food,” Davis said. “We have a series of community gardens throughout the project that will run as an urban farm, so we will increase our yield so people can grow and get fresh food.”

“That’s extremely local food,” he added.

Davis has become so entrenched in the Grow cause that he will soon move his family into one of the new homes after it’s finished.

He isn’t alone either. Davis said that the homes at Grow have been very well-received and are selling well at market rates.

The award comes as yet another affirmation of Grow’s success, and Davis’ own.

“To me, the work we have done at Grow is an accumulation of all the work we’ve done over the past 25 years,” Davis said. “To have someone recognize that was a great validation.”

“It’s more of a privilege to get an environmental award than to get an architectural award,” he added. “It encompasses a greater purpose.”

Grow served to inspire Davis so much that he is now looking beyond Grow.

“Grow is a great first step, I look forward to finding other projects that have equally broad-minded views on development,” he said. “We certainly didn’t do everything we could at Grow, so I look forward to finding projects with people who want to create the next generation of Grow.”

Contact Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer Richard D. Oxley at roxley@bainbridgereview.com or (206) 842-6613.

Architect Jonathan Davis will speak at Dwell on Design – Friday June 21

Though you’d be forgiven for thinking that prefab design is little more than whatever factory-made box can fit on the back of a flatbed, poky little prefab homes tell only half the story. Thanks to hybridized construction, the endless possibilities of modular building, and an ever-mounting appetite for efficient housing, we’re seeing more and more square footage with a prefabbed roof over its head. In this session we’ll talk with architects Leo Marmol, Whitney Sander, and Jonathan Davis—who will also share images of their recent projects—about how prefab housing is scaling up.

Date:  Friday, June 21
Time:  4:00 pm
Event Type: Stage

 

Backers see $60M Grow Community as prototype for going super green

Daily Journal of Commerce
May 20th, 2013

click here to read article

Sustainable Business: Washington state’s largest solar community tests the marketplace

Puget Sound Business Journal
May 10th, 2013

click here to read article

Congratulations Jonathan!

Grow Community Architect, Jonathan Davis of Davis Studio Architecture + Design received the 2013 AWB Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Innovation from the Association of Washington Business for his work on Grow Community.