Without a doubt, the eco-friendly abodes that I’ve featured as part 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 — are a delightfully diverse lot and include everything from net-zero energy townhouse communities to LEED Platinum stunners in the San Juans to Tom Kundig-designed urban infill projects. However unique, most of the standout Washingtonian homes have one thing in common: they’re all new builds.


Today’s featured home, The Sentinel, breaks away from the new build trend and is a remodel job through and through.  


Located at 4122 SW Southern Street in West Seattle's Gatewood neighborhood, the Sentinel is a 1,822-square-foot Northwest Contemporary home that was built in 1984 and recently underwent a deep green makeover courtesy of Green Canopy Homes, a community-focused Seattle renovation firm that’s goal is to “re-use and remodel homes in local neighborhoods using leading efficiency methods and materials, while keeping the original charm and home design intact.”

I first stumbled across the work of Green Canopy Homes when reading about the past summer’s Seattle Green Home Tour — a Green Canopy renovation dubbed the Centennial House was a featured stop in that event. Then, later in the summer, I got wind of a gorgeous green remodel in West Seattle with some serious views that had hit the market for just shy of $500,000. Turns out the home was another Green Canopy project called the Sentinel which, by the way, just found itself a very lucky buyer who will be moving in over the next few weeks.
As part of the Built Green certification-seeking remodeling project, the three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home underwent extensive pre- and post-renovation energy performance testing through the Earth Advantage Institute’s Energy Performance Score (EPS) program, a “miles-per-gallon” rating system for homes, if you will. To achieve an acceptable score, the Sentinel received a ductless mini-split heat pump system, dual pane windows, spray foam insulation, bio-ethanol fireplaces, and more.
The home was also treated to a host of sustainable interior bells and whistles such as Energy Star appliances, low-flow faucets and showerheads, bamboo flooring, low-VOC paints, and railings locally crafted from recycled aluminum. And this is cool: The purchase of the Sentinel included an iPad, allowing the new owner to easily tap into the home’s advanced energy monitoring system. And did I mention those sweeping views?
Although the Sentinel’s various energy-efficient upgrades are noteworthy — in all, they cost about $12,000 and are estimated to save the homeowner an estimated $861 in energy costs a year — the community outreach aspect of the project is what really stands out to me.
West Seattle, a hilly and close-knit district that’s severed from the rest of the Seattle by the Duwamish River —until 1907, it was an independent town — has become increasingly popular with young homeowners in recent years thanks in part to an abundance of parks, beaches, and local amenities (and to throw in a super-topical factoid, West Seattle is where Amanda Knox is from). 
Like other Green Canopy renovations where neighborhood residents were invited to BBQs and weatherization workshops, West Seattleites living near the Sentinel were equally engaged. Specifically, Gatewood community members got a hand in choosing the color of the renovated home. Real Teal received the most votes. Green Canopy also hosted a cooking demo at the home with goodies purchased from the West Seattle farmers market.
In addition to a strong sense of community, walkability and access to public transportation played into Green Canopy’s decision to purchase and renovate this specific home. Although the home's Walk Score of 35 isn't all that fabulous, marketing coordinator Krystal Meiners told me via email that “we give a one-on-one session to our homeowners that describe the local transit options including bus options and biking to help take the Green Canopy mission of sustainability beyond the home. We also offer local CSA gift cards for organic and local food delivery.”
Head on over to Green Canopy Homes to learn more about and see additional photos (including ones of those killer views I keep ranting and raving about) of this most unique energy-saving, community-engaging renovation project. It’s also worth perusing the Sentinel’s nifty Buyer Benefit Package (PDF) that outlines the home’s energy performance along with local amenities.
I also recommend taking a few minutes to check out the Green Canopy blog and other current and past Green Canopy projects in a range of Seattle neighborhoods including Ballard, Queen Anne Hill, and Seward Park. Beautiful, transformative stuff. 
Is there a notable green residential building project in Washington that you'd liked to see featured in an upcoming installment of "Evergreen Homes?" Tell me about it in the comments section!
Past "Evergreen homes":

Zhome (Isaquaah)

• EnviroHouse (Tacoma)

• The Method Cabin (Glacier)

• The Boneyard House (Walla Walla) 

• Natural Balance House (Friday Harbor)

• 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)

• Davis Residence (Bellingham)

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

Evergreen homes: The Sentinel
Just taken off the market by one very lucky buyer, the Sentinel is a mid-'80s contemporary in West Seattle that recently underwent a drastic green makeover by G