Seattle Net Zero Homes-Who Benefits? Buyers

September 24th, 2011

A Seattle net-zero energy home (NZEH) is a grid connected homes that, over a course of a year, produce as much energy as they use.  The underlying purpose of these homes is to use the most sustainable energy with the least expense.



Several homes in the Seattle area marketplace are targeting for net-zero, the recently completed Z-Home a revolutionary 10-unit development in Issaquah and Martha Rose Construction’s innovative City Cabins under construction on Queen Anne Hill, both of these projects will be multi-certified and recognized by leading green home building programs.

Z-Home is a collaboration effort from wide range of stakeholders from Ichijo USA Co. Ltd., Built Green, Puget Sound Energy and Washington State University Extension Energy Program to name a few that are responsible for the Z-Home project.

Martha Rose is president of Martha Rose Construction in Seattle Washington. Their goal is to deliver the highest level, affordable, spec-built home. Rose’s current project is on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, City Cabins two totally electrified homes that exceed industry standards.

This almost sounds like a David vs. Goliath type story, Ichijo Co. USA a subsidiary of a large Japanese hi-tech production home builder that built 8000 homes in 2008, compared to a small local regional builder that built 4 high performance homes in 2009.  Both companies are trying to achieve the same thing and deliver a quality product to the homebuyers looking for something different.

The real winners are the buyers who are looking for next-generation energy saving standards in a new home.  These homes are constructed utilizing the latest construction technology, product innovations, designs, appliances and equipment.

The benefits, other than the dollars saved on reduced energy cost, are often over looked because it’s extremely hard to quantify benefits like comfort, health and overall livability. These homes have been engineered, designed and built to optimize all of the individual components to enhance their counter parts. For example a tight building envelope reduces the amount of moisture and air flow coming into the living areas providing a healthier indoor living environment, reducing drafts, and also the amount of heating and cooling equipment needed to live comfortable.

These homes are filled with integrated  design features not to be missed.

Z-Home has its grand opening this week-end Saturday and Sunday September 24-25 2011and City Cabins will have its first “behind the walls” tour as part of The National Solar Tour next weekend, October 1, 2011  from 10am-4pm onsite at City Cabins.

For more information contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536.

Scammers are focusing on solar power

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.

City Cabins in National Solar Tour

September 19th, 2011

Time to ROCK the Solar Nation! Registration is now open for the 2011 National Solar Tour, slated for October 1. Last year’s tour featured 700 tours across all 50 US states, the Virgin Islands and Mexico. Let’s make this year’s tour even grander.

The ASES National Solar Tour is the world’s largest grassroots solar event. This event offers you the opportunity to tour innovative green homes and buildings to see how you can use solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies to reduce monthly utility bills and help tackle climate change.

City Cabins

City Cabins will be open to tour October 1, 2011 from 1-4pm.  See the solar array installed by A & R Solar and many more high tech building techniques that are being used by Martha Rose Construction, this behind the wall tour is a rare opportunity to see firsthand how a high-performance home is designed and built.

Location Map

Seizing Energy Efficiency

The Seattle event, Solar Washington, features open house tours of solar-powered homes, to introduce the solar technologies citizens are using to 1) slash monthly energy bills, 2) reduce harmful carbon emissions, 3) assert their energy independence and 4) enjoy rich tax credits and cash incentives as they improve their property values.

For more information contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7535

Solar Truths….Get Jesse

September 19th, 2011

Solar Truths….Get Jesse

Seattle, WA- Last Friday September 16, 2011 Jesse Jones from King 5 News was onsite at City Cabins filming an up-coming Get Jesse story about the truths about soar panels. Jesse’s interview with City Cabin home builder Martha Rose can be seen at 5pm September 21, 2011 on king

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

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

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

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.

Building homes to DOE Builders Challenge Standards Interview with Martha Rose-Uncut, Unedited

August 23rd, 2011

Click on Image to Listen

Building homes to DOE Builders Challenge Standards with Martha Rose – Martha Rose Construction

Martha Rose, known by many as the ‘Queen of Green,’ is a national leader in the Green Building Movement. Her interest in energy efficiency and sustainable building practices goes all the way back to the 1970‘s and currently is her main focus. Today Martha is striving toward building Zero-Energy spec-homes.

Listen to full interview.

Invigorated Green Houses Being Built on Queen Anne Hill

August 22nd, 2011

The answer to a lackluster housing market in Seattle is to invigorate it with some extreme green homes.  This has been the mantra for Seattle award winning green builder Martha Rose for the last three years during which time the Seattle new home building market has been a mere image of its former self.

New energy-efficient homes

Rose, believes that the recent downshifting in the housing market is an excellent time to introduce an even more energy efficient product to their home building lineup. Sensing part of the home buying population has become increasingly frustrated with maintaining an older home and are looking to re-establish themselves within an amenity rich urban neighborhood, wanting to be close to libraries, markets, churches, parks and free from week-end home repair projects while having a home that is energy-efficient, healthy and sustainable.

High-performance homes in the city

Rose’s newest spec-built-high performance homes, City Cabins,  located in  Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill neighborhood could easily be the new “lifestyle house” for a targeted group of buyers looking for a well designed, environmentally  responsible house in a neighborhood centric area.

Rose’s Built-Green City Cabins will be a perfect example of adding value to the community by building less, smaller homes that are more environmentally friendly that blend seamlessly into the existing neighborhood.

The City Cabins will be about 2000 sq.ft. 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and will be equipped with mini-splits and Fantech’s heat-recovery-ventilator system that runs continuously at low speeds and acts as the lungs of the home providing fresh air 24/7.  Both homes will be wired and plumbed for an electric vehicle, solar panels and solar hot water tubes. The northern house is being equipped with a 2kw solar panel system being designed and installed by local solar company A & R Solar.

City Cabins are scheduled for a November 2011 completion, for more information contact Adrian Willanger 206 909-7536.

Recent blogs about City Cabins:

Seattle Green Builder Strives for Net Zero Homes

Queen Anne Hill New Home Project Chooses A & R Solar

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

A Cabin for All Seasons

A Mosaic of Eco-Efficiency on Queen Anne Hill

City Cabins in Seattle are Designed for both Passive and Active Solar Heating

Cabin Couture on Queen Anne Hill

August 16th, 2011

The blending of natural finishes with high-performance construction is part of the new hybrid homes being developed on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill by Martha Rose Construction.

Choosing to build to the standards of the government’s Building America and Builder’s Challenge programs, Energy Star and local green home building program Built Green, which require that the homes be at least  30% more energy-efficiency than code built homes.

This alone is a task that requires strict attention to detail when constructing the homes ensuring they are built virtually air tight.  To off-set the lack of air flow into the home a high performance heat-recovery-ventilator will be installed to exhaust the stale air with fresh filtered air 24/7 in all the living areas.

A feeling of tone downed sumptuousness is created in the interior finishes with au-natural ceiling and floors made from re-claimed tongue and groove Douglas Fir planks while the design theme maximizes the use of natural daylighting. A & R Solar is responsible for the design and installation of an array of solar panels on the northern home which should provide enough electrical power to an electrical vehicle for approximately 8000 miles.

The simplicity of the homes basins and sinks add to the authenticity of the “cabin-ish” feel that adds to the uniqueness of these homes.  Unlike the cabins of yore these fixtures are equipped with energy smart water saving features.

The City Cabin concept is a unique offering, which should fit nicely into a marketplace when buyers are seeking value, style, sustainability, and of course great connectivity.

City Cabins are scheduled for a November 2011 unveiling, for more information contact Adrian Willanger.