Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Friday, January 20th, 2012

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The Art of Sustainable Building in Seattle

Friday, November 4th, 2011
The Art of  Sustainable Building in Seattle

The art of sustainable development starts by analyzing the building site and coming up with a site design that protects natural and other features that exist on the site. Builder Martha Rose elected to reuse a large percentage of the existing foundation from the existing 1940 duplex for their latest urban project City Cabins in Seattle. Retooling and reusing the existing foundation was key component in reducing pollution from construction activities by minimizing soil erosion, topology disturbance, waterway sedimentation and dust that would have taken place if they had elected to use traditional construction methods.

The three  story homes are designed to take advantage of the views of Fisherman’s Terminal and the Olympic Mountains to the West while providing natural daylighting and privacy without feeling like you’re in an urban-fishbowl. The homes are slightly terraced off the street separated by an elevated sidewalk from street level.  The terracing offers the City Cabin homeowners privacy from the pedestrian’s view while the top of terrace offer a level platform for sitting, greeting neighbors or just enjoying the view.

The raised sidewalk is a unique urban pattern that adds to the walk-ability of the North Queen Anne neighborhood, configuring to the natural terrain the walkway offer increased pedestrian safety from automobiles, view corridors and green planting strips that separate the sidewalk from the street.

City Cabins are scheduled for a mi-December completion for more information visit or alternatively contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536.

Related posts:

  1. The Art of Sustainable Building in Urban Seattle (53.4)
  2. Sustainable Deconstruction (16.6)
  3. City Cabins on Queen Anne to Host Summer Green Building Classes (14.9)
  4. In-Fill-Da-Vida on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill (14.3)
  5. City Cabins –The Urban Hybrid (13.4)

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.

The Juniper Connection on Queen Anne Hill

Monday, October 10th, 2011

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.

Scammers are focusing on solar power

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Scammers are focusing on solar power

Can you go broke by going green? It can happen if you get scammed. Jesse Jones shows you how to protect yourself.

Next-Gen Homes on Queen Anne Hill Targeting 3 Green Certifications

Monday, September 12th, 2011

The buzz on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill neighborhood is starting to pick about the two new high performance homes being build on the Hill’s northwest side. The two homes, City Cabins, constructed by Martha Rose Construction in Seattle, are extreme green homes. What does this mean? The homes will be put through extensive testing and third party certifying before being awarded the 5 Star Built Green, Energy Star and Building American Certifications.  Rose a builder with a high green IQ has been building at the highest levels of the Built Green program since its inception and has within the last 5 years added the ENERGY STAR and Building America’s Builders Challenge certifications to all of their new homes.  Today’s focus ENERGY STAR

To qualify as an ENERGY STAR home

To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC), and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20–30% more efficient than standard homes.

City Cabins should be 40-50% more efficient than standard built new homes. These “next-gen” built homes will have earned the government’s trusted ENERGY STAR label; homeowners will have the comfort knowing it’s been built to meet or surpass the strict guidelines of the Environmental Protect Agency.

Some of the important benefits of owing an ENERGY STAR home:

Lower Utility Bills

By using less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating, ENERGY STAR qualified homes deliver approximately 20% savings on annual utility bills. Over the 7 to 8 years that a typical family lives in a home, you can save thousands of dollars in maintenance cost.

Enhanced Performance

In ENERGY STAR qualified homes, comfort is ensured with consistent temperatures between and across rooms; indoor air quality is enhanced by reducing dust, pollen, bugs, and excessive humidity; and durability is improved with comprehensive water protection, windows that block damaging sunlight, and better grade equipment.

Environmental Protection

The energy used in our homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants. So, by using less energy to operate, ENERGY STAR qualified homes help to prevent air pollution—an added benefit for today’s environmentally-conscious consumer looking for “green” choices.

City Cabins are now under construction and are scheduled for a November 2011 completion. For more information visit the website or contact Adrian Willanger.

Seattle’s West Queen Anne Hill Real Estate Market Today

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

The 90-day Roling Average for west Queen Anne Hill-Appears to be

trending relatively stable from mid July through the first week of September 2011.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

The Market Action Index (MAI) for West Queen Anne Hill represents the balance between

supply and demand using a statistical function of the current rate of sales compared to

current inventory. An MAI greater than 30 indicates a Seller’s Market, which usually

means demand is high and inventory is being quickly absorbed. MAI below 30 indicates

a Buyer’s Market, the lower the number typically causes prices to fall. The demand trend

is starting to trend up but it still has a ways to go before it turns from a buyer’s market

to a seller’s market. Low inventory levels can help expedite this change.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Days on Market-Have steadingly been coming down since March of 2011 to just under

100 days in September.  Low interest rates and inventory levels declining on

West Queen Anne Hill have reduced the time on market of available homes

for sale. Generally there’s less homes on the market over Fall and Winter.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Inventory levels in West Queen Anne Hill  bottomed-out in early spring and have

started trending upward until mid-August where the levels have appeared to flatted out.

The selection of homes could possible start to decrease during the Fall and Winter month

creating more competition from buyers that are still in the market.

1st Behind the Walls Tour for Innovative Green Built Seattle Homes

Friday, August 26th, 2011

In the midst of the rapid growth of the life-science/biotech activity in Seattle’s South Lake Union it’s no wonder Seattle has become a leader in innovative green home building. Seattle builder Martha Rose has been at the forefront of Green Building in the Seattle market place for over a decade and has built some of the most energy-efficient, healthy spec-homes in the Seattle marketplace. Join Martha to learn firsthand how she integrates hi-tech building science and clean technology advancements into their new next-gen homes City Cabins. Coming in September 2011.

Some of the areas to be showcased in the behind the walls tour:
o Advance slab, wall, ceiling, and roof components
o Air sealing and techniques used to eliminate thermal bridging
o Heat-Recovery-Ventilation used for producing continuous fresh air
o Photovoltaic system and wiring requirements
o Innovative reclaimed green features

City Cabins in Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill neighborhood are scheduled for a November 2011 completion. For more information contact Adrian Willanger.