For this month's installment of “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 — I’m pleased to feature Columbia Station, an exciting project from Seattle-based design and build firm Dwell Development that's not a single home as a majority of my featured "Evergreen homes" tend to be.
Evergreen homes: Columbia Station
Located a stone's throw from a light rail station and a host of ethnic restaurants and public amenities, Dwell Development's Columbia Station is a green micro-community in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood.
Currently comprised of four contemporary residences with nearly a dozen more to come as three additional phases are completed over the coming year or so, Columbia Station is a micro-community of LEED Platinum-targeting homes situated on an infill lot within the Seattle Housing Authority's mixed-use, mixed income Rainer Vista development in the vibrant, diverse (according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the area's zip code, 98118, is the most ethnically diverse in America), and massively WalkScore-friendly southeast Seattle neighborhood of Columbia City.
Phase One of Columbia Station was completed this past October and received Built Green 5 star verification (Built Green also highlighted the project as a featured case study last month which is how I caught wind of it). Each of the four completely unique homes — they measure between 1,300 and 1,800-square-feet and come in two bed/two bath and three bed/three and a half bath models — include an exhaustive laundry list of green features: super-tight fiberglass insulation (the homes boast HERS ratings of 53), rooftop gardens, rain barrels, recycled glass countertops, dual flush toilets, low-flow water fixtures, EnergyStar appliances, triple pane windows, heat recovery ventilators, sustainable landscaping, pine flooring re-milled from reclaimed telephone poles, low-VOC paints, finishes, and adhesives, whole home radiant systems, and much more. This first batch of solar-ready models sold for between the upper $300,000s to the mid $400,000s.
While the eco-friendly features of Columbia Station Phase One are mighty impressive, this is one sustainable micro-community that’s all about location. Rainer Vista itself is built around the Columbia City stop of SoundTransit’s new-ish Central Link light rail system that spans from Sea-Tac airport to downtown Seattle. I’ve taken Central Link several times since it was completed in 2009 and I’m rather smitten with it — it’s a sleek, efficient, and lovely transit system that’s loooong overdue. Too bad it wasn’t around when I actually lived in the area … I could have saved myself a lot of time sitting in traffic on I-5. From the Columbia City station located on MLK Jr. Blvd. it takes about 18 minutes to reach the system’s northern terminus, Westlake Center, in the heart of downtown Seattle.
Evergreen homes: Columbia Station
Located a stone's throw from a light rail station and a host of ethnic restaurants and public amenities, Dwell Development's Columbia Station is a green micro-c
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