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Posts tagged ‘built green in seattle’

The New Urban Hybrids, City Cabins at Indian Wall and Columbia Station

By merging the world of traditional architecture with leading-edge building science and hi-performance construction you get the new “urban hybrid” City Cabins™ in Seattle’s Rainier Vista and Licton Springs neighborhoods.   The unique design building combination is a pure comingling of the best of the past and the optimum of the next-gen building movement.

The “Cabins” are packed with smart design features that could easily go-unnoticed, yet these features are perfect solutions to enhance the occupant’s creature comforts and reduce yearly utility costs.  The super-insulated well sealed homes our partnered with a high-efficient heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) that supplies the homes with fresh filtered-air into the living areas and bedrooms 24/7 while simultaneously exhausting the stale air.  New to the City Cabin™ lineup is a high efficient infrared radiant heating panel system.

The City Cabins™ concept was trademarked by homebuilder Martha Rose, president of Martha Rose Construction; City Cabins™ are super energy efficient homes that are certified as 5-Star Built Green & Approach net-zero energy consumption. Utilize water saving technologies, low impact development techniques, & are built using materials that are regionally produced.  We employ 3rd party verifier to certify our standards-the trademark was first used in Washington in February 2011.

The amazing thing to consider about these 8 new high performance homes is that they will be competitively priced with traditional code built homes.  When Rose was asked how she could do this she mentioned “by utilizing integrated design and reputation management, over the years being able to survive in tough building industry lenders notice, and I can get some pretty good financing.”  Rose needs to stay continually sharp looking for design elements that really don’t serve a function in the homes such as belly bands which look good but by eliminating them you save additional labor and materials that instead go into increasing the efficiency and comfort of the new homes.

City Cabins™ at Indian Wall and Columbia Station will be ready in early 2013, for more information visit or Contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536.


 Related posts:
  1. City Cabins at Indian Wall (37.3)
  2. The much awaited City Cabins coming mid-January (25.1)
  3. City Cabins –The Urban Hybrid (25)
  4. City Cabins to be in Seattle Green Home Tour (22.2)
  5. City Cabins in Columbia City (21.4)

A lighting assemblage in a new hi-performance Seattle home

The benefits of natural daylighting in a home or office can’t be over expressed.  Aside from the obvious energy-savings daylighting can offer a bit of drama, energy and add to ones cheerful disposition. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has documented increased worker productivity and a reduction in employee absenteeism in it’s LEED Certified buildings that has enhanced daylighting features.

Seattle home builder Martha Rose takes daylighting and interior lighting to a whole new level in her latest new homes in Seattle, City Cabins.  Maximizing daylighting with strategic placement of windows to allow the natural light to filter into the living spaces, one of the key elements are the 9’ tall ceilings which allow the windows to be placed six inches higher allowing greater depth of natural light into the living areas.

When the sun goes down the homes come alive with well thought-out ambient, task, way-finding and accent lighting.  The open stairways are well lite, using George Kovas’ wall sconces that direct light upward illuminating the tall ceilings as well as casting a soft light downward defining the wood slab steps.  The kitchen features 3 Hudson Bay pendant lights that offer the rare trifecta of lighting ambient, task and accent lighting perfect for a kitchen that looks more like a living area than a food prep area.

The advance lighting package allows the homeowners to easily transition from dinner to after dinner by way of ambient style lighting with undercounter LED lighting and a custom designed dining room fixture that is also a great transitional piece.  The custom fixture is made from a 4’ piece of apple wood (same as the kitchen cabinets) shaped into an artist palette.  Suspended from the ceiling wrapped in stainless steel, the palette shaped fixture takes on a bit of a commercial look while helping to define the dining space from the living room and kitchen areas.  The fixture has a solar tube coming through it surrounded by 7 LED micro-spot lights which can be directed to showcase or to accent.

All of the lighting is eco-friendly energy saving CFL and LED bulbs which use less electricity, last longer than regular light bulbs and put out minimal heat.

The two homes are currently listed for sale, for more information contact Adrian Willanger, Coldwell Banker Danforth.

Related posts:

  1. Stainless in Seattle (11.1)
  2. New Seattle homes have a distinctive urban craftsman vibe (9.5)
  3. People-centric Homes in Seattle near completion (9.4)
  4. Invest In Seattle Green Real Estate and Reduce Your Electricity Bills (9.4)
  5. Tips To Help You Find Hi-Performance Houses In Seattle (8.9)






Not your grandfather’s City Cabins

Martha Rose’s newest hi-performance homes on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill have borrowed old school cabin design elements; building techniques, craftsmanship, attitudes that form follows function mixed with an abundance of natural materials.  The energy-efficient homes are an inspiring look into the next-gen of homes, built with modern hi-tech construction techniques and hi-performance equipment and appliances.

Borrowing from the Arts and Crafts movement Rose has wisely integrating bits and pieces of the pre-industrial faction into City Cabins.  Blending natural materials into finished products, recycled tongue and groove wood plank flooring becomes part of the structure; large Douglas Fir laminated beams create stability while adding interesting architectural elements to the interior.

Blacksmith-Artesian Silas Maddox, owner of Forge & Nail, has been contracted to add elements of beauty that also serve a function and create longer lasting value to the project.  While walking around the homes you can’t help but notice the identifiable hand forged elements that are purposeful and add to the overall look and feel of City Cabins, these small details are often overlooked in spec home building, yet, really add to the authentic look and feel of the finished homes.

The artful blending of Arts and Crafts elements together with high-tech building science are an extremely rare combination in spec-building. Yet, Rose believes that to truly differentiate her homes from the competition she needs to keep part of her old school foundation forged with innovation, building science and Lean building principles to be profitable.

The City Cabins on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill have been well received with multiple-offers on one of the two homes.   For information contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536, Coldwell Banker Danforth.

Related posts:

  1. Cultural Juxtaposition Can Be Seen in City Cabins on Queen Anne Hill (18.4)
  2. The much awaited City Cabins coming mid-January (18.3)
  3. City Cabins on Queen Anne to Host Summer Green Building Classes (16.2)
  4. City Cabins to be in Seattle Green Home Tour (14.9)
  5. City Cabins –The Urban Hybrid (14.6)

The Great Wall of Queen Anne

Actually the phrase is the “great green wall” of Queen Anne.   The green wall is the creation of award winning Seattle Green Builder Martha Rose.  “The great green wall” is actually the wall system designed for her latest hi-performance homes City Cabins on Queen Anne Hill.

The overall goal of the homes was to get to or near net-zero as possible without adding active solar equipment.  The active solar equipment would help off-set the paid-for electricity needed for its occupants.

A major part of using less electricity is in the design and building of the homes.  A tight building envelope includes walls systems, windows, doors, and advance sealing and insulation techniques.  The exterior walls of the City Cabins are an advanced framing double wall system with 1” of blue foam board, ½” inch of CDX plywood with an outer layer of Hardi-plank siding.  The cavities of the wall are filled with no VOC blown-in-fiberglass batts.

City Cabins at framing stage

The 9 ½” thick walls have an R-31 rating, normal code build homes would typically have wall systems rated between R-19 and R-21.  The multi-solution wall system helps keep out moisture and wind, greatly reduces the need for large heating and cooling components, increases indoor thermal comfort by eliminating drafts and will aid in reducing the homeowners overall utility costs.

The multi-certified hi-performance hi-tech City Cabins are now available for sale, for more information contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536.

Related posts:

  1. City Cabins in Seattle are Designed for both Passive and Active Solar Heating (18.4)
  2. City Cabins on Queen Anne Hill Are Aiming at Being Part of the Solution (18.3)
  3. The Juniper Connection on Queen Anne Hill (17.8)
  4. Color up Your Queen Anne Condo For A Great Effect! (17.4)
  5. Green Steps on Queen Anne Hill (16.3)

Will reducing energy codes create more jobs?

Will reducing energy codes create more jobs?

This morning’s Google email alert regarding Albuquerque’s City Councils decision to scale back Albuquerque’s eco-friendly building standards really raised lots of questions for me.

While studying for my masters in sustainably one of the required courses was environmental law, while studying each state’s environmental and energy policies I was impressed by New Mexico’s aggressive regulations and initiatives, dating as far back as 1978 when they passed the Solar Energy Right Act.  And now I’m wondering did they perhaps go too far too fast?

Supporters of rolling-back the eco-friendly building codes that were initially adopted in 2009 had concerns that within the current economic environment any mandatory increases in construction spending, such as energy efficient building requirements, would dampen many new construction projects because of the added cost to become code compliant.  Opponents of the roll back included, homeowners, architects, environmental activist, and engineers thought the move was shortsighted. The merits of a stricter code were argued by argued by Councilor Isaac Benton said “it’s clear that higher energy-efficiency requirements benefit the consumer, though not right away.”   “But that’s part of the problem in this country today: people wanting to buy something cheap up front, without any regard for the long-term costs.”

Is this eco-friendly code reversal the tip of the iceberg?  Will other cities that have increased energy conservation into their building codes take similar measures?

Things to think about:

  • The more energy efficient a state is the lower the cost of doing business in the state.
  • How will relaxed energy building codes effect poor and moderate income households once energy prices spike up?
  • Are states falling behind by failing to provide energy efficient alternatives?
  • Will rolling back the building codes help the construction market?


Only time will tell how rolling back energy-efficient building codes will affect the local Albuquerque economy and create new job opportunities.

The Juniper Connection on Queen Anne Hill

City Cabins on Queen Anne Hill

City Cabins on Queen Anne Hill


Once Martha Rose, president of Martha Rose Construction, learned about ecological benefits that are derived from the harvesting of western Juniper from Oregon’s high desert it was clear that this would be natural fit to use.

The juniper in 1934 barely covered 1 million acres in Central Oregon today they cover 6 million acres. The main concern with the growing juniper’s growing population is its thirst. Junipers pull moisture out of the ground all year long. Which results in the prairie grasses that provides  food, shelter and erosion control don’t get enough water to survive.  By thinning the junipers, mostly young trees, the underground wells are able to produce more water especially during the late season mid-July through September when the high desert really needs more water, helping to increase the spring output to 3-5 gallons per minute, which during the dry months is a lot of water.

Rose likes the juniper’s’ rustic characteristic, durability, its environmental credentials and thought it would add an element of authenticity to her City Cabins project in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood.  The juniper natural rot- and decay-resistances makes it an exceptional choice for decking, retaining walls, fencing and landscaping at City Cabins.

City Cabins are the newest next-gen high performance multi-green certified homes in Seattle are scheduled to be completed in December of 2011. For more information and availability visit or contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536.


Homes of the Future Being Built Today on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill

Exterior -City Cabins

Thermal envelope -City Cabins Seattle

At first glance the new homes being built on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill, by builder Martha Rose, look like your typical new construction; these looks can be very deceiving. These homes are very aggressive high-performance homes, the Tesla of new homes. Rose’s previously built community, Queen City Eco-Village, were dubbed by a TV reporter as the Prius of Green built homes these homes performance is next-gen worthy.

Built to surpass today’s energy codes these two new homes will also provide valuable energy-efficient field testing and home building R& D results to their green building partners for evaluation.

The new homes will be the most energy-efficient homes Rose has built.  An award winning Green builder Rose has stayed out ahead of the rapidly changing building codes for a decade and is pushing the envelope with their latest collection.

City Cabins on Queen Anne Hill are being built with double-wall exterior construction filled with 7 ½” of blown-in fiberglass insulation, 1” Dow Blue Foam Board, ½” CDX plywood, caulked gaps & seams, 2 layers of moisture barrier paper and lap siding increasing the overall R-value and performance from their previous designs.

Rose’s partnership with Dow has allowed Rose to increase their insulation package to meet Passive House Standards. The overall insulation package will include R-31 walls, 6” Dow Blue Foam R-30” insulated slab, Serious Material’s R-6 fiberglass windows, and an R-60 insulated attic space.

City Cabins on Queen Anne Hill is scheduled for completion in November of 2011, for more information visit or contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536.


City Cabins Exhibit at The 8th annual Northwest SolarFest


The annual SolarFest in the City of Shoreline is the longest renewable energy and sustainability event in the region. Starting in 2004 the event has grown in attendance and exhibitors each year.

The clean technology’s one-day venue is filled with presentations, exhibits, entertainment and food. Exhibitors at SolarFest will demonstrate a wide range of responsible choices including alternative energy, transportation, home building, food and sustainability.

Home builder Martha Rose, president of Martha Rose Construction, will be an exhibitor and will talking about her newest project City Cabins on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. Martha will be on hand to talk about the innovative design and hi-technology that is being incorporated in the building of City Cabins.

Some of the features at SolarFest:

Demonstration of the revolutionary Evolucient Plastic to Oil System
Mini solar cars (free for the first 300 kids) giveaway and races in the KIDZone, supported by Snohomish PUD
Electric car display by Plug In America and Seattle Electric Vehicle Association (SEVA)
Shoreline Farmer’s Market Association “mini farmer’s market”
Shoreline Backyard Wildlife Certification Celebration
Zero Energy House interactive tours”Cooking With the Sun” by Jack Lavin and Larry Owens. Song written for Shoreline Solar Project
Shoreline Auxiliary Communications Service van solar powered by Shoreline Solar Project
Viking 45, Western Washington University Vehicle Research Institute Progressive Automotive X PRIZE team vehicle
Beer Garden featuring Sierra Nevada Brewing
After Party with Yogoman Burning Band

New Green Homes in Seattle-First Glimpse City Cabins

City Cabins on Queen Anne Hill

City Cabins on Queen Anne Hill

Seattle’s newest green built homes are located on the northwest corner of Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill. The homes are built by award winning green builder Martha Rose, president of Martha Rose Construction.

City Cabins are built to the standards of the governments Building America and Builder’s Challenge, Energy Star, and Built-Green’s tough 5-Star rating system.

The 1900+ square foot homes will be built with advance framing techniques, reduce lumber and also allows more space for insulation. The whole-house insulation package and air sealing techniques are Rose’s strengths, knowing where the normal thermal weakness is in the envelope’s corners, headers, windows and doors they focus on making these areas as air tight as possible.

Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill area is known for some of the best views in Seattle. City Cabins’ unique design elevations will take advantage of its westerly exposures and provide the new homeowners with views of the Olympics Mountains and Salmon Bay.

Adding to the overall uniqueness of City Cabins, some low-impact-development strategies will be green vegetated roofs on the detached garages, draught tolerant native plantings and pervious patios and walkways

City Cabins are slated for a mid-October 2011 completion and are available for presales. For more information contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536.

Green Builder Martha Rose Chooses High R-Value Windows for City Cabins

*please note City Cabins will be installing the Serious 925 series windows

By, Adrian Willanger

When selecting windows for City Cabins our goal was to find the windows that would provide the highest levels of comfort and energy efficiency and were manufactured in the United States. Selecting Serious Windows was relatively easy after comparing performance data from the all of the top manufactures.

Martha Rose, president of Martha Rose Construction located in Seattle Washington, has continued to raise the bar in residential home construction. Building at Built Green’s highest level, 5-Stars, since the program started in 2002 Rose has continued to seek out the best products and implement improved building science to their new homes.

City Cabins are located on the northwest corner of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle are striving for net-zero and are using  built  Passive House techniques.  They should be the  most energy-efficient homes Rose has ever built.
We decided to go with the Serious 925 model for many reasons. The environmental friendly fiberglass frame is very strong, and expands and contracts at the same rate as the panes of glass since it’s made out of the same material. Because the frame is hollow, it can be insulated. With these particular windows, foam is injected into all of the hollow parts of the frame to help eliminate thermal bridging. Fiberglass windows last longer than wood and require little or no maintenance. The color is integral and painting them is unnecessary, however, fiberglass is fully paintable. Finally, the expected lifespan greatly exceeds vinyl and most wood.

• Up to R-9.1 insulation 3x ENERGY STAR® rating
• 99.5% UV Protection (reduced fading)
• Reduced condensation
• Increased comfort with less draft in winter and reduced solar heat in summer
• Lower energy bills
• Over 28 years experience in both residential and commercial windows
• Can contribute to LEED credits
• Decrease the size of your HVAC system
“Choosing to use better materials and designs to increase our energy efficiencies and indoor comfort in our homes is one of our highest priorities” -Martha Rose (Builder)

City Cabins are now available for pre-sales. For more information contact Adrian Willanger or follow the process on Twitter @martharose_Bldr