Since I’m taking off to my home state of Washington in a couple of days to visit with my parentals and enjoy some non-muggy summer weather, I thought it would be only fitting to turn my attention to a new and noteworthy green building project in the Evergreen State: The Ellis Residence by Coates Design.


Located on Bainbridge Island, The Ellis Residence is the first LEED Platinum (the highest and hardest to achieve level of LEED certification) single-family home in Washington State outside of Seattle and basically serves as a model for green building done right. The private home features a green roof, geothermal heating, rainwater harvesting, FSC-approved lumber framing and rainscreen siding, photovoltaics, deconstructed building materials, soy-based stains and sealing, hydronic radiant floors, and much more. I love the looks of it — ample wood, plenty of natural light, and a stylish but unfussy, very Pacific Northwest design aesthetic.



Although boutique in size, Coates Design is an eco-architecture firm to definitely keep an eye on. Just a few days ago, the firm helped celebrate the Ellis Residence’s LEED Platinum status at Seattle's Town Hall with none other than Ed Begley Jr. in an informative event called Leading the Way Towards a Sustainable Future. Not too shabby ... I'd say it's like having the Pope show up at your child's christening. 


Next, I'd love to see a LEED Platinum project in Washington pop up a bit further away from Seattle (Bainbridge Island, although in a different county than Seattle, is a quick ferry ride away and basically serves as a bedroom community for the city). How about Walla Walla? Spokane? North Bend? My hometown, Tacoma? Washingtonians: are there any notable green residential building projects in your neck of the woods that are under construction or that have been recently completed? Anything I should perhaps try to check out while I'm in the Puget Sound?



Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

A Platinum hit: The Ellis Residence
Coates Design's Ellis Residence on Bainbridge Island, Wash., scores LEED Platinum. Ed Begley Jr. comes to town to help celebrate.