At the Grow Community we believe that our built environments are crucial to the health of our minds and bodies. This section is devoted to how we’ve tried to design the healthiest community for ourselves and our kids.

Accessibility, ‘aging in place’ guide Grow Community design

The most comfortable retirement home is your own home.

On this point, older Americans widely agree: three-quarters surveyed say their number one goal is to stay in their own home as long as possible, in the familiar environment of connections, routines, heirlooms, memories, and friendships.

Independent living is a primary concern for both the older generation and their adult children, studies show. As we become older, it does become more difficult to move around the house, this is where some accidents can happen. When living alone, it can be even more dangerous as no one will know if anything does happen. This is why a lot of older people do eventually decide to move into an independent living community, like La Posada, where they can experience the benefits of living alone, whilst also having people on-site to help them if they need it. These communities are often ideal for people who may have retired alone, giving them the opportunity to make new friends and live with minimal help. These communities often come with housing that makes daily living easy and accessible for residents, as they have multiple mobility and accessibility options. For instance, you can see how assisted bathing solutions could help you here.

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“Aging in place” has become the mantra for “baby boomers” and those who follow, describing a long-term goal once aspirational and now, at Grow Community, quite reachable.

“From a real estate perspective, we are seeing that boomer are a group that expects sustainability, community, and simplicity and wishes to live those values,” says Greg Lotakis, Grow Community development manager. “I believe that many of our buyers want to ‘live intentionally in a community,’ and it seems they are choosing to invest in a place where they can enjoy aging in place while living intentionally.”

Maintaining a healthy generational mix is a foundational goal of the Grow project.

Helping residents age in place — and keeping older homeowners an active, vital part of the social blend — guides the layout and amenities. Long-term accessibility is being built into new Grove and Park neighborhoods from the ground up.

That starts with single-level living in most units, keeping bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms and utility space united on a single floor. Residents will have no cumbersome trips up and downstairs throughout the day.

On the outside, elevators connect underground parking areas with the entryways of each home.

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Asani LLC, hired to develop Grow Community, worked to provide as much of the accessibility options into the design as possible. Features like Walk-in showers large enough for seating, open floor plans with minimal hallways, and taller comfort toilets are standard design elements at Grow Community. These can be enjoyed at any age and have been identified as key to independent living.

Grow Community is in the vanguard among residential projects bringing innovative strategies for independent living to market.

Situated in the heart of Winslow town center, Grow homes are close to grocers, restaurants, merchants and professional services, eliminating the need for regular automobile use.

A community center will allow neighborhood activities, while being flexible enough to fit the communities own programming desires. The eight-acre grounds boast spacious community gardens and gathering places.

Together these amenities fulfill goals identified by Congress in 2006 with reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, which urged locally based initiatives to meet aging citizens’ needs including services, social opportunities and recreation.

“It’s all part of our goal to create an intergenerational community, which has been our thinking from the beginning,” Lotakis says.

Aging in place also makes sense for seniors for whom long-term financial independence is a paramount concern.

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The average cost of residence in an assisted living facility, for one bedroom and single occupancy, is approaching $40,000 per year, the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons reports – a prohibitive amount for fixed-income seniors, who have already spent years building up equity in their own home.

The multigenerational family under one roof is another American trend.

A significant number of older residents have had a grown son or daughter, often with children of their own, move back in. In these families, the younger generations themselves become a resource for aging in place – not an option if their elders have moved into retirement homes or assisted living facilities.

With spacious two- and three-bedroom floor plans, Grow Community’s new Grove and Park neighborhoods anticipate these needs for a range of homebuyers, beginning with those in middle age who are looking to downsize and settle in for the long term.

For those already in their senior years, Grow Community offers some very good reasons to move just one more time.

Grow ‘hits the Easy button’ for sustainability

It takes a lot of work to make sustainability simple.

But making the choice of a low-impact lifestyle easy for buyers was the goal at Grow Community from the very start.

In an article titled “We Only Have One Planet,” Reserve Magazine explores the history of Washington’s largest planned solar community, and the thoughtful features that have earned it the prestigious One Planet Living certification.

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“We wanted to hit the Easy button for people,” Asani President Greg Lotakis tells the magazine, “so they could get in and just focus on the things we can’t control, which are creating community, enjoying community and enjoying each other.”

Leading elements of Grow’s high-performing homes include rooftop solar arrays, airtight construction and insulation, and nontoxic construction materials, among other low-impact features. Grow homes use 30 to 40 percent less water than a typical Pacific Northwest home, the magazine notes.

It all adds up to a formula for sustainable, intergenerational living. Grow does the hard work, so residents can get on with the fun stuff: living.

“This idea that we can start to create places where generations share space, where elders pass along wisdom, where you have children who are being looked after by friends or grandparents and where young couples or single folks get a chance to live in a community where there’s a mix of support — to us, it’s a recipe for success in the future,” Greg says.

Read the whole story online here.

What’s the Grove all about?

woof3As we welcome our newest residents to the Grove neighborhood, we should pause to reflect on what’s drawing discerning buyers to the latest homes in our award-winning Grow Community.

We promised urban living with nature at every doorstep, and that’s what we’re delivering.

Homeowners in Grove buildings will enjoy close connection to the signature woodland that gives this corner of Grow its name. A mix of native trees and understory will bring the Northwest forest into the very heart of the neighborhood, complementing the fruit trees and gardens thriving elsewhere around the project.

Ultra-efficient home construction, renewable materials and low-impact fixtures promise a healthy lifestyle within each of these 5 Star Built Green homes, while our rooftop solar arrays allow residents to ease their reliance on the grid – and even put power back into it for others to use.

Our generous open spaces and community gardens – inspired by centuries-old European towns, designed around central squares and greens – promote connection and interaction, really putting the “neighbor” in our neighborhoods.

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We put the focus on intergenerational living in the Grove, imagining homes as inviting to a 73 year old as a toddler. Sixty percent of homes will be fully accessible, with convenient single-level living and private elevators from our parking garages that will let residents “age in place” by design. Oh, and about that parking – it’s underground, keeping vehicles off the street and out of sight while letting us preserve so much open space between homes.

Proximity to Winslow’s urban core means local merchants, services and amenities are just steps away along the public paths that radiate out from Grow Community’s neighborhood core.

As the Grove takes final shape and we turn our attention to our third and final neighborhood, the Park (centerpiece: yes, a park), we are proud of what we have accomplished and how our vision has translated in the market.  Most of all we’re delighted for our many new neighbors and friends of Grow Community.

 

One planet, one community, and one goal: a new model for sustainable living.

Grow Community was founded on the principles of One Planet Living, proving that from design and construction to the choices we make as neighbors, we can live within the productive capacity of the earth.

How are we doing? Find out in our “One Planet Annual Verification Report,” now available for download HERE.

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It’s Grow’s report on itself, a self-assessment of our progress toward Health and Happiness, Local Food and Sustainable Water, Culture, and other key indicators of a forward-thinking community.

1planet-reportDid you know:

  • 85 percent of Grow residents say they’re walking more, and 31 percent are biking more, since joining our community
  • More than 65 percent participate in our bountiful shared garden program
  • Every resident in our first neighborhood, the Village, has invested in a home solar system, making Grow the largest planned solar community in Washington State – and still growing as our next two neighborhoods build out!

We’re proud of our success so far, and will strive with our residents to meet the goals of One Planet Living. It’s built into Grow Community by design, and comes with the lifestyle.

Download and read the report HERE, and find out more about what Grow has to offer the earth, and you.

HouseSmarts finds smart homes at Grow

Intentionally designed for unintentional connections – that’s Grow Community.

Lou Manfredini (NBC’s Today Show, WGN Radio) and the crew of HouseSmarts visited Grow this past spring, interviewing residents and exploring what is now Washington’s largest solar community just a few steps from Winslow town center.

Manfredini liked what he found at Grow, praising the community for its modern design, neighborhood spirit, and forward-thinking renewable energy features.

“These types of ideas, we can place anywhere in the U.S.,” the host says.

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Très bien! French programme Écho-Logis visits Grow Community for television feature

A film crew from the French production house TV Only visited Grow Community last week, shooting a half-hour feature for the magazine show Écho-Logis.

camera2The program features the best examples of sustainable architecture and construction around the globe – so naturally they found their way to Bainbridge Island and Grow.

“We were looking for the greenest places in the U.S.,” says Anthony Da Silva, TV Only journaliste, who admits that while he and the producers had scouted out Grow Community online and were confident it would make a good subject, they were still startled by what they found.

“When we arrived, we were really surprised that it was much more beautiful than the pictures we saw on the web,” Da Silva says, praising Grow for building not just eco-friendly homes but also a whole simpler, low-impact lifestyle.

“It’s not only putting solar panels up and respecting the landscape where you put your house,” he says. “It’s also a feeling. For me, it’s a system, a way to work and to build and to live.”

The four-man production team spent four days on the island after filming an eco-friendly home in Los Angeles the previous week.

interview1Da Silva interviewed Jonathan Davis, architect of Grow Community’s phase one, the Village, along with project manager Greg Lotakis and various residents.

Interviews were conducted inside homes and around the Grow Community grounds and shared P-patch gardens.

A drone-mounted camera buzzed around the neighborhood throughout, zooming down pathways before soaring skyward for dramatic aerial shots of Grow’s solar energy-producing rooftops.

“It was an honor to have the Écho-Logis film crew here,” Lotakis says. “To be able to share a bit of the vision, and have the community’s voice as part of the show, was wonderful. It was a great reminder of how much has been done here that can inspire other communities.”

Écho-Logis presents “beautiful and innovative green projects all around the world by featuring the people who have conceived it, those who live in and interact with it,” producers say, while showing the environmental advantages that come with “an ethical way of building.”

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After returning to France, the team will decamp for Romania and their next feature: a woodland lodge replete with solar power and a system for recycling water.

Now in its fourth season, the Écho-Logis program can be seen on France’s TV5Monde network, available in more than 200 countries.

The Grow Community feature is expected to run late this year as part of the current 40-episode run.

Previous Écho-Logis episodes can be viewed online here.

Grow a paragon of the ‘New Urbanism,’ Professional Builder magazine says

screen-shot-2015-08-03-at-12-19-37-pm-857x1024Public engagement, eco-friendly designs, affordable options, and diversity of home styles and offerings are hallmarks of the New Urbanism, the most significant planning movement of recent times.

Grow Community is a paragon of this forward-thinking ethos, Professional Builder magazine says in its new issue.

In the article “The Seaside Effect” (a nod to the first New Urbanist community, Seaside, built in Florida in 1980), Pro Builder fetes Grow for such enlightened features as shared pea-patch gardens, energy-efficient construction and rooftop solar power.

Proximity to Winslow town center – just a 5-minute walk from the heart of the neighborhood – allowed project designers and now residents to move beyond the demands of an automobile-centric lifestyle, toward healthier and more sustainable alternatives.

“We didn’t need to provide anything other than a residential fabric,” Jonathan Davis, Grow’s phase 1 architect, tells the magazine.

Read more about how Grow Community measures up to New Urbanist principles in Professional Builder’s July 2015 edition here – see pages 30-35.

See Grow on HouseSmarts TV

Grow Community will be featured on HouseSmarts, the “reality show for real homeowners,” Aug. 1 on KONG-TV in the Seattle area.

The HouseSmarts crew and contractor/host Lou Manfredini (NBC’s Today Show, WGN Radio) visited Grow for a day this past spring and really liked what they saw.

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The popular 30-minute weekly home improvement program “answers the questions homeowners really want to know,” the producers say. “Nobody adds on a room in one weekend, or lets their neighbors decorate their living room. HouseSmarts follows the progress of real people and lessons learned.”

HouseSmarts’ Grow Community segment airs at 10 a.m. Aug. 1.

For information see www.housesmartstv.com, and you can find the KONG-TV programming guide here.

 

Happy Earth Day from Grow Community

We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, the Native American proverb goes, we borrow it from our children.

The wellbeing of our planet and the quality of life that we’ll leave to future generations is what Grow Community is all about.

grow-village-kids1Every facet of our design, planning and construction asks a simple question: How can we build a healthier, more sustainable community?

The success of our first neighborhood, the Village, says we’re finding the right answers. Now, as work progresses on our next two phases, the Grove and the Park, word is really getting around.

Over this past year, we were honored to present the community at the Northwest Eco-Building Guild Green Building Slam event.  The Urban Land Institute made Grow a prominent waypoint on its roadmap to healthy neighborhoods, the excellent “Building Healthy Places Toolkit.” And we were featured in the new eco-focused publication Conscious Company.

As we reached 100 percent solar participation among our single-family homes in the Village, Solar Builder magazine named Grow one of the nation’s top residential solar installations, and we were named 2014 Home of the Year by Green Builder Magazine.

Perhaps the best accolade of all came from the National Association of Home Builders, who gave Grow its very highest honors – the prestigious Platinum Award and Best In Green Award in the 2014 Best In American Living contest.

We think we’re really on to something – a new model for healthy, sustainable urban living, one that offers the template for new neighborhoods and multi-generational living around the country and the globe.

We’re thinking ahead, and we’re thinking big. At Grow Community, we know we borrow the earth from our children – and we want to return it to them, with interest.

From all of us at Grow Community, Happy Earth Day!
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Grow now the standard lifestyle of the future

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Grow Community as the new standard for future living? You bet.

Grow’s award-winning, net-zero neighborhood will be showcased at Living Future 2015, the annual conference of the International Living Future Institute.

logoJonathan Davis, architect for Grow’s first phase, the Village, and project manager Greg Lotakis will be featured speakers at the conference, which runs April 1-3 at the Sheraton in Seattle.

Their presentation is titled “A Built Environment Sets the Stage for Creation of Community.”

“Creating a (successful) community is not a certainty — the ultimate success of it depends on the people who choose to live there,” conference organizers say. “How do you create this place where people WANT to live? Learn how the design of the net-zero energy Grow Community on Bainbridge Island creates the basis for a shared sense of purpose, brings residents together toward common lifestyle goals and creates a strong sense of place and connection within a neighborhood.”

Living Future is a forum for leading minds in the green building movement seeking solutions to the most daunting global issues of our time. Out-of-the-ordinary learning and networking formats provide innovative design strategies, cutting-edge technical information and the inspiration needed to achieve significant progress toward a truly Living Future.

The Grow Community presentation runs 3:15-4:45 p.m. April 2.
Click here for more details