Launch Slideshow

Project DetailsName: Ellis Residence, Bainbridge Island, Wash.Size: 2,725 square feetLot Size: 0.06 acresConstruction Cost: WithheldCompleted: December 2009HERS Rating: 41Certification: LEED-PlatinumBuilder: Smallwood Design & Construction, SeattleArchitect: Coates Design, Seattle and Bainbridge IslandInterior Designer: All in the Details, Bainbridge IslandLandscape Architect: Outdoor Studio, Seattle

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In Sync

  • Project DetailsName: Ellis Residence, Bainbridge Island, Wash.Size: 2,725 square feetLot Size: 0.06 acresConstruction Cost: WithheldCompleted: December 2009HERS Rating: 41Certification: LEED-PlatinumBuilder: Smallwood Design & Construction, SeattleArchitect: Coates Design, Seattle and Bainbridge IslandInterior Designer: All in the Details, Bainbridge IslandLandscape Architect: Outdoor Studio, Seattle

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    Project DetailsName: Ellis Residence, Bainbridge Island, Wash.Size: 2,725 square feetLot Size: 0.06 acresConstruction Cost: WithheldCompleted: December 2009HERS Rating: 41Certification: LEED-PlatinumBuilder: Smallwood Design & Construction, SeattleArchitect: Coates Design, Seattle and Bainbridge IslandInterior Designer: All in the Details, Bainbridge IslandLandscape Architect: Outdoor Studio, Seattle

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    Project Details

    Name: Ellis Residence, Bainbridge Island, Wash.

    Size: 2,725 square feet

    Lot Size: 0.06 acres

    Construction Cost: Withheld

    Completed: December 2009 HERS Rating:

    41 Certification: LEED-Platinum Builder:

    Smallwood Design & Construction, Seattle

    Architect: Coates Design, Seattle and Bainbridge Island

    Interior Designer: All in the Details, Bainbridge Island Landscape Architect: Outdoor Studio, Seattle

  • COOL ROOFReinforced adhered PVC-based single-ply membrane roofing from Cooley Group offers high reflectance and fleece backing to reduce the heat island effect and help maintain indoor temperatures. It delivers 40% greater tensile strength than standard reinforced single-ply membranes, says the maker. The roofing is certified by the Cool Roof Rating Council. 800.444.4023. www.cooleygroup.com.

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    COOL ROOFReinforced adhered PVC-based single-ply membrane roofing from Cooley Group offers high reflectance and fleece backing to reduce the heat island effect and help maintain indoor temperatures. It delivers 40% greater tensile strength than standard reinforced single-ply membranes, says the maker. The roofing is certified by the Cool Roof Rating Council. 800.444.4023. www.cooleygroup.com.

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    COOL ROOF
    Reinforced adhered PVC-based single-ply membrane roofing from Cooley Group offers high reflectance and fleece backing to reduce the heat island effect and help maintain indoor temperatures. It delivers 40% greater tensile strength than standard reinforced single-ply membranes, says the maker. The roofing is certified by the Cool Roof Rating Council. 800.444.4023. www.cooleygroup.com

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    WOOD SIDING
    Iron Woods ipe from Timber Holdings is an FSC-certified Brazilian hardwood that resists checking, twisting, bowing, decay, pests, and fire for long-term durability. The untreated planks feature a smooth, clean surface with a tight, interwoven grain. The wood siding is combined with exposed concrete masonry units and recycled metal panels to deliver an effective and low-maintenance cladding for the house. 414.445.8989. www.ironwoods.com
     

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    WINDOWS
    A variety of Energy Star–qualified, triple-glazed, aluminum-clad wood windows from Loewen, including fixed, casement, and awning styles, deliver high performance, passive ventilation, and sound attenuation. The windows’ Douglas fir frames, extruded aluminum cladding, and factory-applied Kynar-based cladding paint result in low maintenance and durability. Argon-filled glass helps the units achieve a U-value of 0.12 and SHGC of 0.24 to control thermal transfer and heat gain. 800.563.9367. www.loewen.com.

  • FLOORINGFSC-certified renewable Vida cork flooring from Ecohaus features a formaldehyde-free high-density fiberboard (HDF) core between cork layers. Suitable either for new construction or for installation over most existing floors, sections measure approximately 1 foot by 3 feet and 7/16 inch thick. The floating floors natural cellular cork structure absorbs sound and impact; however, it is not recommended for moisture- or traffic-heavy areas. 877.432.6428. www.ecohaus.com.

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    FLOORINGFSC-certified renewable Vida cork flooring from Ecohaus features a formaldehyde-free high-density fiberboard (HDF) core between cork layers. Suitable either for new construction or for installation over most existing floors, sections measure approximately 1 foot by 3 feet and 7/16 inch thick. The floating floors natural cellular cork structure absorbs sound and impact; however, it is not recommended for moisture- or traffic-heavy areas. 877.432.6428. www.ecohaus.com.

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    DISHWASHER
    The standard-capacity, built-in G-2472-SCVi model dishwasher from Miele is Energy Star rated to use less than 300 kWh (or about $32) per year while consuming just 5.17 gallons per cycle. It is equipped with the company’s PC Update function, which allows technicians to add new technology that reduces water and energy use and thus improves lifecycle cost. It also features a stainless steel interior, built-in water softener, and double waterproof system. 800.640.2613. www.mieleusa.com.

  • DISHWASHERThe standard-capacity, built-in G-2472-SCVi model dishwasher from Miele is Energy Star rated to use less than 300 kWh (or about $32) per year while consuming just 5.17 gallons per cycle. It is equipped with the companys PC Update function, which allows technicians to add new technology that reduces water and energy use and thus improves lifecycle cost. It also features a stainless steel interior, built-in water softener, and double waterproof system. 800.640.2613. www.mieleusa.com.

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    DISHWASHERThe standard-capacity, built-in G-2472-SCVi model dishwasher from Miele is Energy Star rated to use less than 300 kWh (or about $32) per year while consuming just 5.17 gallons per cycle. It is equipped with the companys PC Update function, which allows technicians to add new technology that reduces water and energy use and thus improves lifecycle cost. It also features a stainless steel interior, built-in water softener, and double waterproof system. 800.640.2613. www.mieleusa.com.

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    DOWNLIGHTS
    Halo LED downlight housings, modules, and trim packages from Cooper Lighting are available in models for insulated and non-insulated ceiling mounts and feature adjustable mounting arms for various framing layouts. The Energy Star-qualified dimmable modules are available in various color temperatures and lumen outputs. 770.486.4800. www.cooperindustries.com.

  • DOWNLIGHTSHalo LED downlight housings, modules, and trim packages from Cooper Lighting are available in models for insulated and non-insulated ceiling mounts and feature adjustable mounting arms for various framing layouts. The Energy Star-qualified dimmable modules are available in various color temperatures and lumen outputs. 770.486.4800. www.cooperindustries.com.

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    DOWNLIGHTSHalo LED downlight housings, modules, and trim packages from Cooper Lighting are available in models for insulated and non-insulated ceiling mounts and feature adjustable mounting arms for various framing layouts. The Energy Star-qualified dimmable modules are available in various color temperatures and lumen outputs. 770.486.4800. www.cooperindustries.com.

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    DOWNLIGHTS
    Halo LED downlight housings, modules, and trim packages from Cooper Lighting are available in models for insulated and non-insulated ceiling mounts and feature adjustable mounting arms for various framing layouts. The Energy Star-qualified dimmable modules are available in various color temperatures and lumen outputs. 770.486.4800. www.cooperindustries.com.

  • PENDANT LIGHTINGBocci 14.14 series pendant lights combine a modern aesthetic with energy savings. Hand-cast glass pendants, measuring 4 inches in diameter, deliver unique illumination and can be shaped in square, rectangle, or round canopy configurations in differing sizes and dimensions. The pendants fit both xenon lamps (10 watts; 20,000 hour lamp life) or proprietary and replaceable LEDs (1.5 watts; 50,000 hour lamp life). 604.639.5185. www.bocci.ca.

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    PENDANT LIGHTINGBocci 14.14 series pendant lights combine a modern aesthetic with energy savings. Hand-cast glass pendants, measuring 4 inches in diameter, deliver unique illumination and can be shaped in square, rectangle, or round canopy configurations in differing sizes and dimensions. The pendants fit both xenon lamps (10 watts; 20,000 hour lamp life) or proprietary and replaceable LEDs (1.5 watts; 50,000 hour lamp life). 604.639.5185. www.bocci.ca.

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    PENDANT LIGHTING
    Bocci 14.14 series pendant lights combine a modern aesthetic with energy savings. Hand-cast glass pendants, measuring 4 inches in diameter, deliver unique illumination and can be shaped in square, rectangle, or round canopy configurations in differing sizes and dimensions. The pendants fit both xenon lamps (10 watts; 20,000 hour lamp life) or proprietary and replaceable LEDs (1.5 watts; 50,000 hour lamp life). 604.639.5185. www.bocci.ca.

  • SOLAR PANELSHIT Power 195-watt photovoltaic modules from Sanyo Energy use single crystalline silicon surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers to produce at least 10% more electricity than conventional crystalline silicon solar panels at the same temperature, says the maker. The modules double-wall black anodized aluminum frames add strength and durability. The panels are designed to achieve 16.8% efficiency. 408.861.8424. www.sanyo.com/solar.

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    SOLAR PANELSHIT Power 195-watt photovoltaic modules from Sanyo Energy use single crystalline silicon surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers to produce at least 10% more electricity than conventional crystalline silicon solar panels at the same temperature, says the maker. The modules double-wall black anodized aluminum frames add strength and durability. The panels are designed to achieve 16.8% efficiency. 408.861.8424. www.sanyo.com/solar.

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    SOLAR PANELS
    HIT Power 195-watt photovoltaic modules from Sanyo Energy use single crystalline silicon surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers to produce at least 10% more electricity than conventional crystalline silicon solar panels at the same temperature, says the maker. The modules’ double-wall black anodized aluminum frames add strength and durability. The panels are designed to achieve 16.8% efficiency. 408.861.8424. www.sanyo.com/solar.

  • COMBO FIXTUREThe high-efficiency Profile Smart 305 dual-flush toilet features an integral sink and faucet for water and space savings. The toilet offers 1.28-gpf (solid waste) or 0.8-gpf (liquid waste) options, making it up to 56% more water-efficient than single-flush, 1.28 gpf toilets. After flushing, fresh cold water is directed through the faucet for hand washing and drains into the toilet tank for the next flush. It is WaterSense labeled and IAPMO listed for the United States and Canada. 800.605.4218. www.caromausa.com.

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    COMBO FIXTUREThe high-efficiency Profile Smart 305 dual-flush toilet features an integral sink and faucet for water and space savings. The toilet offers 1.28-gpf (solid waste) or 0.8-gpf (liquid waste) options, making it up to 56% more water-efficient than single-flush, 1.28 gpf toilets. After flushing, fresh cold water is directed through the faucet for hand washing and drains into the toilet tank for the next flush. It is WaterSense labeled and IAPMO listed for the United States and Canada. 800.605.4218. www.caromausa.com.

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    COMBO FIXTURE
    The high-efficiency Profile Smart 305 dual-flush toilet features an integral sink and faucet for water and space savings. The toilet offers 1.28-gpf (solid waste) or 0.8-gpf (liquid waste) options, making it up to 56% more water-efficient than single-flush, 1.28 gpf toilets. After flushing, fresh cold water is directed through the faucet for hand washing and drains into the toilet tank for the next flush. It is WaterSense labeled and IAPMO listed for the United States and Canada. 800.605.4218. www.caromausa.com.

Just as Coates and Smallwood (who had never built green before, except incidentally) wanted to educate and involve their design-build team, the homeowners sought to build awareness of sustainable housing among their friends and neighbors.

Five times during construction, and again 18 months after occupancy, the empty-nester Ellis couple hosted open houses to inspire others to follow suit. Coates also is on the speaker circuit, and his clients often join him to relate their experience to a professional audience, as well. “It became obvious early on that they wanted to do more than build green and live that lifestyle,” Coates recalls.

Their new home’s enviable location, precise design, and high level of performance provide an inspirational model. Resting on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound, the site of an old cabin that was thoughtfully deconstructed, the home’s modern forms and warm, wood-centric interiors are both welcoming and comfortable.

The interior is flexible, too. Despite downsizing to a two-bedroom plan, the Ellis couple wanted living spaces that would easily accommodate different lifestyle needs, multiple entertainment options, and occasional guests without altering the footprint—a tenet of sustainable building design. “Every room in the house serves at least two functions, and usually four or five,” says Coates.

That includes the master bathroom, a local-award-winning space that Coates calls both functional and powerful. Precisely designed for the owners, from tailored mirror heights to a custom tub, the space also serves as a dressing area, private laundry, and closet. “It fits them exactly,” the architect says of his ergonomic and multifunctional methodology.

The home’s modern form also accommodates a 4-kW array of solar electric panels and solar thermal collectors positioned on a roof angled perfectly to optimize the sun’s heat and light. “It’s just integrated into the roof form,” Coates says. “In fact, the slanted roof gave rise to the rest of the home’s design.”

The PV panels alone offset up to 40% of the home’s electrical use and helped the home achieve a HERS score of 41, while the solar thermal system is almost too good, producing more hot water than the owners use. “Net-zero would be a challenge in this market [because it has too few total solar hours], but Seattle gets a bad rap for being rainy all the time,” Coates says. “Wherever there’s sun, you can make a big impact on the home’s energy use, especially as energy costs continue to rise.”

The modern design also helps reduce resource usage, if slightly so. “The way a modern house is [minimally] detailed and trimmed out is arguably more ‘green’ than a traditional house,” he says. “But within the whole scope, that’s a small sliver.”

For Smallwood and most of his subs and suppliers, however, the difference between traditional methods and a contemporary approach to home building has been profound. “We’re so much more aware of the practices and products that can be used to improve durability and value,” says Smallwood, who has been building and remodeling homes since the 1980s. “Now we can apply and offer that knowledge to other clients.”

 Rich Binsacca is a contributing editor to EcoHome.