Grow Community in the News: Mother Nature Network

Grow Community: Evergreen Homes

By Matt Hickman

Thar she grows! The first three model homes at Grow Community, a net-zero energy development centered around gardening and low-impact transportation, are open for tours on Bainbridge Island.

After going on summer hiatus last month, I’m back with a noteworthy edition “Evergreen homes” — a monthly series of posts in which I break out the geographical bias and spotlight green residential building projects from my home state of Washington — that spotlights a sustainable community that’s well, grown, since I last wrote about it.

I first featured Grow Community — an enclave of net-zero energy residences located in Seattle’s bucolic bedroom community of Bainbridge Island — in July of 2011 after touring an unrelated modular show home designed by the project architect, Jonathan Davis of Davis Studio Architecture + Design, creators of pieceHomes, at the Dwell on Design conference in L.A.

At the time, all I had to share about the 8-acre “pedestrian-oriented, energy-efficient, multigenerational neighborhood” were early renderings and a few key highlights (Community composting facilities! P-Patches! Kayak storage! Minimal parking spaces!). Perhaps one of the more intriguing aspects of Grow — geared to be the largest solar-ready planned community in Washington, by the way — is the fact that it’s the first residential project in the U.S. to be endorsed by One Planet Living‘s Communities program, a rigorous, 10-tier certification program developed by U.K. nonprofit BioRegional Development Group and WWF International that focuses on the greenness of neighborhoods instead of individual homes.

(See Full Article Here)

Grow Community in the News: JetsonGreen

Net-Zero Energy Homes in Grow Community

By Preston

This is Grow Community near downtown Winslow on Bainbridge Island in Washington.  The first three model homes — Ocean, Everett, and Aria — are finished and work is moving forward for the next 24 homes and two 10-unit rowhouse apartments.  The eight-acre project is the first residential One Planet Community in North America (issued by U.K. non-profit BioRegional).  However, in addition to this recognition, the aim is net-zero homes and an entirely net-zero energy community by 2020.

(See Full Article Here)

Grow Community in the News: SMB Nation

Window into the New: Innovative Design Using Technology Shapes Grow Community on Bainbridge Island For Ultra-Cool Sustainable Living

By Tracy Anna Bader

Sustainability is a concept sprouting up everywhere, defining much of what is associated with today’s cutting edge culture. Shedding a stereotype of an idealistic grass-roots environmental movement, today the concept of sustainability is ultra-cool, hip and hot across age and gender groups, a driving force in sales and marketing, taking the lead in shaping modern design and influencing business—using state-of-the-art technology as a foremost ally.

Leading the way in the concept of attractive, affordable, practical solutions for sustainable living in the United States is the new Grow Community on Bainbridge Island, Washington taking root near the heart of the Island’s commercial center in Winslow located only 35 minutes by ferry, directly west across from Seattle in Puget Sound.

As a designer, and University of California Davis Design Department alumni, I am always on the lookout for new trends—especially in environmental design. So, when I stumbled upon Grow Community being built this summer during my initial visit to the Island, I must say, it was love at first sight!  Warm colors and an array of interesting visuals drew my friend and me inside. Other passerby’s stopped in awe, generating a steady stream of pedestrian traffic with a positive vibe of satisfied intrigue…a collective sigh of relief was felt in the air of content excitement to see dreams and concepts actually being turned into a reality we could experience firsthand, and even purchase.

Read article here.

Grow Community on Real Estate Radio Northwest

Grow team members Joie and Greg were interviewed by Nick Neal and Carolyn Frame on Real Estate Radio Northwest, a weekly show dedicated to “providing a forum for consumers to learn the truth of their financial life, which is mostly centered around their biggest investment, the home they live in.” Be sure to listen to the show segments by clicking the links below (give them a few seconds to load) as Greg and Joie talk about Grow Community and the family values, energy consciousness, and community living which the project is centered upon.

Segment 1 First Segment, Grow Community is a new development on Bainbridge Island focusing on building a neighborhood based on good old fashioned family values with energy efficiency and earth conscious living built in. They are accomplishing all of this with beautiful architecture and style. Greg Lotakis on the Project Management Team and Joie Olsen Director of Sales and Leasing joined us to talk about the project. In the first segment we get to know Greg and Joie and find out about the ideas behind GROW and ONE PLANET. (click here to listen to this segment)

 

Segment 2: In the second segment with Greg and Joie we talk about the philosophy behind the Grow Project and how the people of Bainbridge Island helped share in it’s development. We also find out about One Planet Living and how that is good for our future. (click here to listen to this segment)
Segment 3: In the 3rd segment we talk about the nuts and bolts of the project. What types of homes they are building at Grow Community and the features they will offer. The designs are beautiful to look at and efficient and cost effective to maintain. The idea is a neighborhood community of homes that are affordable to buy and lease as well as affordable to maintain. All of this with a warm neighborhood feeling. (click here to listen to this segment)
Segment 4: In the 4th segment on Grow we talk about the team behind the project and how much fun it will be to live there. It’s close to downtown Winslow and the Seattle Ferry. With a lot of BI within walking distance. Greg and Joie were great and did a wonderful job sharing the project with us. (click here to listen to this segment)

Net-Zero Home Revealed on East Coast

A new Net-Zero residential test facility has been revealed this week by the National Institute of Science and Technology. This is great news for the advancement of sustainable housing in the United States, however they have an interesting take on it: the four bedroom, three bathroom house will be occupied by a “virtual” family.

“Helping scientists test the home’s systems and determine whether it’s truly “net-zero” is a virtual family of four. Energy use by the family will be simulated by computers that turn on and off various household appliances according to daily routines.”

The Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility in Gaithersburg, MD.

The goal of the company is to eventually sell energy back into the grid, offsetting the electricity used by the family and making it a truly net-zero home.

“Building the home is just the first phase of the project. This fall, NIST scientists and engineers will begin a two-year long research project designed to put the net-zero home to the test. Computers will simulate everything from cell phone charging, to vacuum cleaner use, to the amount of water used to cook meals and bathe.”

While similar to the goals of Grow Community, there are several differences between these two projects. Grow Community, based on the ten guiding principles of One Planet Living developed by BioRegional, aims to address entire lifestyle impacts, with the goal of reducing overall ecological footprint. Grow Community is the first of its kind in the United States to start construction on sustainable homes using these One Planet Community development guidelines. From zero carbon homes and transportation strategies, programs that increase local food consumption and procurement policies that support a local green economy, the Grow Community is applying One Planet Living solutions to create a cost-effective, creative, inspirational and replicable community on the leading-edge of sustainable development practices.

Jonathan Davis, Owner of Davis Studio Architecture & Design, and Lead Designer for Grow Community, likes the goals of the NIST test facility, but thinks the plan has its own limitations.

“We’re doing something more real, for a lot cheaper.” says Davis, “They’re saying the house prices are about $600,000 for a house with state-of-the-art technology in it, not including the land. So we’re creating homes that are more affordable, with the same claim to Net-Zero energy usage, and we’re testing it with real people.”

“It’s great that someone wants to study something like that and get some useful information, but essentially we are doing it in the real world. And we’ll know in a year, just like they will, whether or not it will work.”

Washington Environmental Council Event at Grow

October 2nd 2012, 6-8pm

Grow Model Homes, Bainbridge Island

Grow Community will be hosting the Washington Environmental Council (WEC) on Tuesday evening, October 2nd. Our architect, Jonathan Davis, will be speaking along with support from Project Manager, Greg Lotakis. This event is intended to educate, inform and showcase the efforts of Grow Community and WEC in advancing clean water & green infrastructure solutions. The evening will consist of a home tour, presentation from the Grow team and updates on the work of WEC. Light refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP to Darren Gray at 26.464.8578, darren_d_gray@ml.com, or Brent Parrish 206.631.2612, brent@wecprotect.org.

 

Grow Welcome Garden Harvest

October 1st 2012, Noon

Scott McGowan of Home Grown Organics and our One Planet Champion for Local and Sustainable Food will be leading the 3rd Grade Class from the Madrona School in harvesting our garden. The effort is part of an educational program in local and organic foods. The kids will harvest, learn to cook with some of the vegetables, and provide some to the food kitchen at Helpline House on Bainbridge.

Growing A Concept

Gardener holding wooden seedling tray in vegetable garden, with plants for cutting garden and vegetable patch (zinnia and pea).

The concept for Grow Community began with a question:  If you could imagine the ideal place to live, what would it be like?  We began to answer this question as we talked with friends and colleagues.  But the idea for Grow really took shape when we reached out to the wider community and challenged people to think about how a neighborhood could be intentionally designed to improve their quality of life.

Over the last two years we have created a vision of a neighborhood where people of all generations and a diversity of economic means can live mindful of their impact on the planet.   An intentional community where environmental, economic and social sustainability are equally valued and where all people can focus on creating abundance, in their relationships to others, to nature and to the community.

This vision is only just the beginning.  We have designed a site plan for the first phase of the community and built three model homes to invite people to learn about the project, about the community concept and the sustainability goals that we have adopted through the One Planet Living program.  These homes are prototypes, representing the various living opportunities that we plan to build throughout the project.  We encourage you to stop by, walk through the community garden, experience the homes and tell us what you think.

Over the last three weeks we have had more than 850 visitors and we have learned an incredible amount of information, about the homes, the community design, the community programs.  We are already incorporating this feedback in to the final house designs and will continue to improve the plans as we learn more from our visitors.

We are now getting ready to launch the next planning phase to create the Community Center and the other spaces that might be associated with it, including non-profit cultural and educational uses, a large open space and community garden.

We have only just begun, and the one thing that we are certain of is that this community will grow and evolve along with the people who contribute to it.   Our vision, our plans, our designs are just the seed.  We are looking forward to seeing what it grows into.  Whether you are a friend, neighbor, visitor or potential resident, we hope you will join us in shaping this community.

 

Now Taking Reservations.

We are now taking reservations on homes in the first 3 phases. We are also taking back-up reservations, and creating a wait-list for rentals and homes in later phases. Regardless of your timeline If you are interested in living at Grow we encourage you to schedule an appointment soon.  Please contact our Sales/Leasing Director, Joie Olsen at 206.452.6755.

Model Home Tour Schedule.

Our Model Homes will be open for tours on the weekends through September from 1-4pm (with extended hours for Labor Day weekend 10am-4pm) and by appointment. Contact us 206.452.6755 to schedule an appointment.

Grow Community Sustainability Tours.

Interested in a sustainability tour? Join us Thursday afternoons at 4pm for a sustainability tour with our Architect, Jonathan Davis (Davis Studio Architecture and Design) or a member of our development team. We can walk you through all of the sustainability features incorporated into the designs of the homes and the community at Grow. Please RSVP here or call 206.452.6755 to schedule this tour.

Share Your Thoughts With Us.

Already toured our Model Homes? Would you like to share your thoughts? We would appreciate your feedback. We have only just begun, with an expectation that this community will grow and evolve along with the people who contribute to it. Our vision, our plans, our designs are not yet complete. Whether you are a friend, neighbor or resident, we hope you will join us in shaping this community. Please share your thoughts, reactions, ideas about the home designs, the community, anything really.

5 Minute Lifestyle; Sustainable Transportation Options For Residents At Grow Community

[The following is part of our Five Minute Lifestyle series. Living at Grow Community makes getting out your car easy with all of your local amenities and transportation needs met within a quick 5 minute walk or bike ride away. Our Five Minute Lifestyle posts are dedicated to spotlighting nearby local businesses, transportation options for residents, community resources and the spectacular local attractions of Bainbridge Island and our surrounding community.]

Building a healthy community takes more than just building energy efficient homes. Solar panels on your home and energy efficient appliances are a great start, but it’s only the beginning. There’s a much deeper story to be told.  Whole communities are built on the understanding that sustainability is defined not only by physical impacts to our environment, but also by the experience of support, equity and connection for the community’s members.  One Planet communities address all aspects of sustainability, from the ecological to the economic and cultural impacts, with social well being and quality of life as a foundation of the concept.

One of the principles behind Grow Community’s One Planet sustainable development model is reducing carbon from transportation. With this principle in mind, we set out to provide several sustainable transportation options for residents of Grow Community to make it easier to live without a car, or with only one family vehicle. Grow Community is a 5 – 10 minute walk (or leisurely bike ride) from downtown Winslow and the ferry to Seattle and the location of the development was carefully chosen to support a lifestyle that isn’t dependent on a vehicle. All of your in-town amenities and transportation needs are close by, and, if you work in downtown Seattle, commuting is easy from Grow.

[Related: 5 Minute Lifestyle; Five Local Food Havens Minutes From Grow Community]

We know that residents will still need a vehicle on occasion, and there is room for each resident to have their own car. But what if you would prefer not to own a car, or need a second car only once in a while? That is when Grow Community’s car-sharing program for residents comes into play. For a small monthly fee residents can opt-in to our Nissan LEAF car-sharing program and book our electric car for trips around town or into Seattle. The car is charged by it’s own dedicated solar panel array and is a 100% emissions free transportation option for Grow Community residents.  If interest is high, we will add a number of cars to the car share program, making this a choice that residents can depend on.

For the more casual outings, we have community bikes available for our residents. We are providing the bikes as a healthy option to easily get around Bainbridge Island, and we are hoping the bikes will help people explore the community. The bikes, made by Public Bikes, have already been popular with our own project team—a great way to get around town.

By providing a number of different options for Grow residents to choose low-carbon transportation options, we hope to reduce our overall carbon footprint, create healthy options for getting around town, and demonstrate how sustainable transportation choices can be easy on the pocketbook.

Scroll down to check out some pictures of our new Nissan LEAF and community bikes! 

 

 In the picture above you can see Grow Community’s new LEAF with it’s EV Station (on the right) and the solar array which is charging the station (the structure just to the left and behind the vehicle). In the background you can see our three solar powered model homes, now open for public tours. From left to right: The Aria, Ocean and EverettRead more

One Planet Principles; Grow Community’s First Community Garden

[The following is a guest post by Lauren Haire, Project Manager at Grow Community. Aside from being a wizard with numbers and graduate of local sustainable-design university, BGI, Lauren enjoys working on Grow Community’s community garden space and has been a leader in planning the community features being built at Grow Community. She also shoots a mean game of hoops.]

Urban agriculture.  City farming.  Community gardening.   Whatever you prefer to call it, growing your own food has become increasingly popular.  In the Pacific Northwest, we are fortunate to live in a region where several organizations have paved the way for others to follow.  A great example is AlleyCat Acres in Seattle, who created their first garden on donated land in Beacon Hill.  The effort brought together volunteers to build the garden, and over the last few years they have helped harvest over 1,600 pounds of produce, much of which is donated to local food banks.  AlleyCat now has sites in the Central District and at MLK and Cherry.

Another great organization is The World in a Garden in Vancouver, BC.  This program has built partnerships with schools, restaurants and Farmer’s Markets to create an educational program that attempts to cross cultural barriers with food.  The garden has successfully built sustainable revenue streams through workshops, garden tours, sales of produce and garden products (honey, plants, etc).

At Grow Community, we have a vision of creating our own sustainable agriculture program right in the center of Bainbridge Island.   We have designed multiple community garden spaces that will allow residents to grow their own food, grow food for others, build connections with their neighbors and be part of the Grow Community Garden Program. Read more