For this month’s installment of “Evergreen homes” — a series of posts in which I spotlight great green homes from my home state of Washington — I’m stepping away from the green building hotbed that is Seattle (the projects that I featured in March and April were both within Emerald City limits) … way far away. Today’s featured “Evergreen home,” the Natural Balance House, is located about 100 miles by car and ferry from Seattle, in the bustling little town of Friday Harbor on beautiful San Juan Island.
The LEED Platinum-seeking Natural Balance House is a testament to the concept that green home building can be done right (and then some) outside of a green building-crazy metropolis of more than 600,000 people. The waterfront home, designed by British Canadian firm Blue Sky Design and built by San Juan Island-based Ravenhill Construction, received a fair amount of press from both green building websites and local media outlets this past winter during its final months of construction. Now, with the home completed just several weeks ago, owners Glen and Deb Bruels are opening the doors of their low-impact retirement residence to the public for tours every Saturday in May from 11 a.m to 4 p.m.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the Natural Balance House is the 19,500-gallon rainwater cistern that acts as the sole source of water for the residence. Yep, all of the water used in the home, even for drinking, is reclaimed rainwater. When relying strictly on rainwater harvesting having such a massive cistern does help (check out the view into it from cistern from the repurposed ship hatch that’s in the master bedroom closet, below) as does having a 3,000-square-foot vegetation-covered roof that naturally pre-filters rainwater in addition to moderating heat gain and loss through the roof.
Head on over to the Natural Balance House website to learn more about this just-completed project. Between the home’s social networking presence, photo galleries, and the extensive lists of resources and sponsors, Glen and Deb Bruels have a lot to share. And remember, if you happen to be in the San Juans on a Saturday in May, the proud homeowners will be delighted to show you around (register here). The tour is free, but if you decide to chip in, the Bruels will donate the proceeds to the Whale Museum’s orca protection program.
• Art Stable (Seattle)
• Hale-Edmonds Residence (Seattle)
• Hill House (Winthrop)
• Footprint at the Bridge (Seattle)
• GreenFab prefab home (Seattle)
• Perilstein and Dorsey Residences (Bainbridge Island)
• The Ellis Residence (Bainbridge Island)
• The Pierre (San Juan Islands)
• Lake Forest Park Contemporary home (Lake Forest Park)
• Davis Residence (Bellingham)
Is there a notable green residential building project in Washington that you'd liked to see featured in an upcoming installment of "Evergreen Homes?"