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.

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.

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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.

 

IT’S SO EASY BEING GREEN

Your closest neighbor at Grow Community? The environment. Healthy, sustainable living has never been more convenient.

Grow puts you close to your community – and closer still to the great outdoors. Residents of the Grove enjoy the quiet company of woodland trees and an orchard right outside their doors; homes in the Park flank the sprawling central green that gives the neighborhood its name.

Altogether, sixty percent of these neighborhoods are dedicated to peaceful and natural open spaces. Parking is underground, reducing impervious surfaces and putting cars out of sight (where they belong).

Not that you’ll really need a car. We’ve got bikes you can borrow, too.

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Summer’s glow warms us still

Even as we slip into a lovely high autumn, we can still take a fond look back to Grow Community’s summer garden party.

Residents of the Village celebrated the rich greenery and edible bounty found throughout the neighborhood with a festive and tasty afternoon get-together.

Flowers in glorious bloom. Vegetables ripe and ready. And neighbors who give the Northwest’s greenest community its amity and spirit. Now that was a day worth celebrating.

We’re already looking ahead to next summer!

Community spirit bring a bumper harvest at Grow Community

Posted to BioRegional Blog
September 26, 2014

Grow resident Ron Kaplan shares how self-sufficiency and community spirit have come together for a bumper harvest at Grow Community, as edibles sprout up in time for Local & Sustainable Food month.

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Edibles in the new Bainbridge Island neighborhood are sprouting up in time for Local and Sustainable Food month, even amongst the native landscaping. On one footpath, tomatoes grow side by side with fronded ferns. “Only in the Northwest, huh?” says Ron Kaplan, a resident of the uber-green development now taking shape a short ferry ride across Puget Sound from downtown Seattle. Grow Community’s first neighborhood – dubbed the Village, one of three phases in a planned 8-acre project – was designed to reflect and promote sustainability at every turn. Rooftop solar provides much of the power for each home, while the residents share bicycles to reach merchants and services in nearby Winslow town center.

The One Planet Living principles so foundational to the project encourage the sharing of locally grown, organic food. So the signature stroke for both self-sufficiency and a communitarian spirit may be the neighborhood P-patch gardens that nestle amongst the close-knit, architecturally arresting homes. Autumn finds the first three designated gardens a veritable cornucopia overflowing with onions, pumpkins, spinach, peas, eggplant, kale, chard, exotic herbs and other delectables. Grapes and other vine fruits hang from trellises in the wings.

The neighborhood organized a community potluck in late August to celebrate the bounty — and the shared endeavor it represents. “There was a lot of good food, all based on vegetables from the gardens,” Kaplan says. “And it was another excuse for people to get together.” The gardeners are still finding a certain equilibrium between their own tastes and the collective palate. The recent harvest produced a surfeit of beans and squash, says Kaplan, confessing his own complicity in a bumper crop of fiery hot peppers. But any excess just gets carted up the street to Helpline House, the local food bank.

“It wasn’t the Soviet Union model of centralized planning,” Kaplan says. “One of the lessons is, next year there might be more coordination about what’s planted.” More raised beds are now going in next to a just-completed apartment building at the project’s north end, and new residents there will assume their own stewardship of the soil or fall into other neighborhood roles. At Grow Community, Kaplan says, everyone chips in according to their interests and abilities, but the harvest is open to all. “People contribute to the community in different ways,” he says. “I’m putting my time into the gardens, others are putting their time into something else. But they should all be able to harvest – so they do.”

Building for Generations

The neighborhoods at Grow have intergenerational living at their heart – because a true community should be “as welcoming to a 73-year-old as it is to a 3-year-old.”

In our new neighborhoods, the Grove and the Park, sixty percent of the homes offer single-level living with elevator access to front entries, and the community spaces invite interaction and sharing between generations year-round.

And accessibility extends beyond the neighborhood. You’re just 5 minutes from downtown amenities like shops, restaurants and theaters – even ice cream.

If you haven’t visited yet, come find out more about intergenerational living at Grow Community at our sales office, 180 Olympic Drive SE, right next to the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal. The office is open noon to 5pm, Tuesday through Sunday. Or see www.growbainbridge.com

 

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!

 

 

One Planet Lunch for Construction Team

Contractors in the Grow Community PHC Construction team were treated to a locally grown luncheon on the job site last week. All food for the noontime repast was grown on Bainbridge and North Kitsap farms. Local agriculture, sustainability and health are always on the menu at Grow!

Grow Community earns Built Green Hammer award for PHC Construction

We already knew Grow Community sets a new standard for sustainable construction. Earning a Green Hammer award just pounds that message home.

Our builder PHC Construction is being honored with a 2014 Built Green Hammer award by the Master Builders Association, a real mark of excellence among regional projects.

The Built Green program is designed to help buyers find quality, affordable homes that protect the health of their families and the Northwest environment. Built Green homes are designed to provide homeowners with comfortable, durable, environmentally friendly homes that are cost-effective to own and maintain.

Yep, that’s Grow!


“We’re very honored to receive this prestigious recognition,” says PHC’s Marty Sievertson. “Our goal has been to help make Grow Community the healthiest, most environmentally friendly project possible, and to show what’s possible in sustainable construction. This award is a great endorsement of how a sustainable project can be a success.” This company is one of many who are looking to make construction sustainable for the future. By using materials, such as steel, construction can be made into a much more sustainable industry. Nowadays, more and more building sites are looking into using steel for building projects as it is strong and long-lasting. This means that the material will last a long time, lowering the chances of the building materials ever needing replacing. When installing steel to a building, welders are normally called out to make sure the pieces of steel have been cut precisely with Hypertherm powermax models. This ensures that the steel will fit in place. Welders will then use high temperatures to join the materials together, ensuring that they last a long time. This is a more sustainable approach to construction.

Congratulations to PHC Construction for this fine honor!

 

Building for Wellness: The Business Case – Urban Land Institute

DOES WELLNESS MAKE BUSINESS SENSE AS A DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVE?
How have developers pursued this objective? What has the market response been? And how have developers measured their success?

Grow Community is featured in this publication by Urban Land Institute as a case study on building for wellness.

Building for Wellness provides answers directly from developers who have completed projects with wellness intentions. In 13 sets of interviews, developers explain their motivation, their intended wellness and health outcomes, the development process and operations as related to their health intentions, and the key issue in this publication—the metrics of market performance.

Click here to read the publication.

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.