Archive for the ‘Green Building’ Category

Green Steps on Queen Anne Hill

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
Energy Heels at City Cabins

Energy Heels at City Cabins

Award winning green home builder Martha Rose, president of Martha Rose Construction in Seattle, believes building a high-performance home you really have to pay attention to the small details.

At her current project, City Cabins in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, prior to installing the drywall Rose has a thermographic inspection by building performance consultant Tom Balderson.

Using an infrared camera they look check for cool spots in the exterior walls.  This helps Rose determine if there is any air infiltration that needs to be sealed prior to drywalling and also as a quality control measure to make sure the insulation has been installed correctly.

After the drywall has been installed, taped and all the finished work has been installed  Rose will have Balderson do a blower door test to look once again for any air leakage, the leaks will appear has as contrasting colors on the viewfinder of the infrared camera.

City Cabins are perhaps the most energy efficient spec-homes on the market today in the Pacific Northwest. The homes are slated for a mid-December completion. For more information contact Adrian Willanger, LEED AP. Or visit the website

Made in USA Gaining Traction with Home-builders

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
Framing at City Cabins

Framing at City Cabins

Made in USA Gaining Traction with Home-builders

A September 2011 article written by Kirk Johnson published by the New York Times about a Bozeman Montana general contractor whose goal is to build a new home made entirely of materials made in America has influenced other builder around the country.

The article is written about general contractor Andres Lewendal’s plan that would help the struggling construction industry and would offer relief towards the nation’s economic recovery.

“The point is that little things can add up,” mentions Lewendal. “I think we could solve this recession if everyone shifted just 5 percent of their purchases to U.S.-made products.

Cedarland Homes owner Tarek Saad who builds in Oklahoma was inspired after reading an article about a home being built in Bozeman Montana made entirely of American products.  Saad is now committing his business to the Boston Consulting Groups challenge that predicted “that if every builder used five percent more American products, the United State would see 220,000 more jobs right now.

Most builders would agree the cost of buying USA made products may add 1-3% more to the total cost of building yet, some builders believe their getting a better product, seemingly a small concession that could create more jobs.

Seattle builder Martha Rose, president of Martha Rose Construction, agrees, her company focuses on sourcing as much locally made materials as possible for their City Cabins project in Seattle.

The New Green Appraisal Addendum

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Green Home Marketing

Last month the Appraisal Institute published their green addendum which can be attached to any appraisal. The addendum won’t guarantee that the homeowner or builder will get their increased property value for the green features added but what is guaranteed is that it will at least be looked at.

The new addendum can be downloaded filled out and submitted as part of the appraisal to the lender. Some of the key points are to make sure that the energy saving features are listed accurately and if you can provide any records of energy production or savings these would be documents that should be included.

Any third party certifications (LEED, Energy Star, Built Green, Earth Advantage) documentation should also be included for review. Appraiser using the new addendums will be better equipped to compare like features and properties much easier when determining value.

Seattle builder Martha Rose mentions that she already filled out both the Appraisal Institutes’  Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum along with the High Performance Home Addendum from Earth Advantage filled out for her new homes, City Cabins. “I typically will include any third party energy estimated usage reports along with lots of photos of the construction methods we use.”  “Typically we won’t get full credit for all the components that go into building a high-performance home but it’s a good start” comments Rose.

City Cabins –The Urban Hybrid

Sunday, October 9th, 2011
City Cabins exterior

City Cabins exterior sealing

City Cabins –The Urban Hybrid

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 Queen Neighborhood.  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.  Workings in harmony with the HRVs are the Mitsubishi Mini-Split heating/cooling systems that provide zonal heating and cooling throughout the homes.

Strategic window placement increases the natural daylighting and breath-taking views of Fisherman’s Terminal, Salmon Bay and beyond to the Olympic Mountains.  Incorporating a wide range of lifestyle components into every detail makes these home truly special from the all-electric systems,  the use of unmatched re-claimed tongue groove wood planking, LED lighting, movable kitchen island are all part of the new “get-used-to-it must-haves” the new buyers are looking for.

City Cabins are currently under construction and scheduled for a mid-December release. For more information visit or contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536.

City Cabins Locked-Up

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Two of the last remaining defenses used to divert moisture penetration in new construction are the windows, doors and exterior cladding. The siding and windows are being completed this week at City Cabins in Seattle Washington.

The final windows are being installed this week completing the “lock up” phase. The selection of Serious Windows was made because of their overall thermal and acoustic performance.

Controlling rain water and moisture penetration is especially important when Seattleites experience seasonal rainfall and dampness without many sun breaks that would normally allow for installed materials periods to dry out. To mitigate these concerns, builder Martha Rose and her architectural  team have designed a comprehensive building envelope, roof overhangs, advance sealing techniques, custom made stainless steel window pans all designed to help avoid water and or moisture infiltration.

Each exterior layer designed for a specific purpose; yet working together they provide an advantageous, long-term wall assembly that will aid in reducing long-term maintenance costs and increase the indoor air quality (IAQ) of the homes.

An important item to note is that during the construction of City Cabins it has been one of driest summer/fall seasons in recent Seattle history helping to avoid lengthy drying out periods between construction applications.

City Cabins are the latest high-tech high-performance homes built by Martha Rose Construction, conveniently located in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood with close proximity to the bustling South Lake Union neighborhood as well a short distance to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Fremont, Ballard and downtown Seattle.

City Cabins are scheduled to be completed in the 4th quarter of 2011, for more information visit or contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536.