San Juan Community Home Trust (Trust) recycled twelve homes with historic character for the second phase of the Sunrise permanently affordable housing development. The neighborhood features reclaimed homes from Victoria, Canada moved by barge and track vehicle to their current locations in Friday Harbor, Washington. Homes were inspected by engineers for integrity before transport and permitted as renovations to existing structures.
Replacing an old and poorly installed fireplace resulted in the construction of a handcrafted brick and plaster masonry heater. The owner/builder faced fire hazard concerns, structural hurdles, and indoor air quality standards but used hands-on experience and an extensive support network to see the project become the centerpiece of her household.
Construction of a 40-unit apartment complex with a 1,000 square-foot community building. Plus an additional 8 units in a future phase, bringing the total to 48 units. Site was developed with Glass Cullet (made from crushed bottles diverted from municipal waste) as a 100% substitute fill material to construct a slab-on-grade foundation capillary break, and for waterline pipe zone bedding. Approval of the alternative material required endorsement of geotechnical engineer and warrant by subcontractor of product quality, using manufacturer supplied 3rd-party product testing data. Glass cullet provided a low-cost, highly workable, permeable and structurally stable (equal or better) alternative material that is also clean and safe for workers and the environment.
This project was primarily challenging due to innovative insulation technique (straw bales); Tumwater and Thurston County jurisdictions were previously inexperienced with this type of engineering. Due to material choices based on ecologically based decision making, straw bale walls were approximately 2’ thick, this required extra discussion to verify footprint, whether to count sq ft from internal or external footprint of house—an important qualification to meet ADU permitting guidelines.
This home was one of the first in Oregon to permit rainwater for drinking. By pioneering a potable rainwater innovation, the owners and the design/build team helped spur Portland to become an early adopter of a city-wide rainwater harvesting code in 2004. The specialty designer on this project was landscape architect Pat Lando who himself has gone on to pioneer many advanced strategies for treating stormwater and recycling graywater and blackwater.
This home’s exterior envelope was constructed entirely from Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), and the interior was heated with a Ductless Heat Pump and included a Heat Recovery Ventilator for indoor air quality, all resulting in an extremely airtight, energy efficient non-standard home. While no building codes were ignored, the home incorporates several systems many building officials may be unfamiliar with. There is no code section detailing the use of SIPs as a roof structure, however an engineer or architect may sign off on this usage. Premier SIPs, the company that supplied the Panels, offers technical information for SIPs in roofing and other non-prescriptive uses. Plans were only approved after several educational meetings with Thurston County Building Officials, including Rowland Zoeller, Scott Bergford, his designer, and several building scientists.
To improve thermal performance of her townhome development “City Cabins” while keeping material and labor costs to a minimum, builder Martha Rose devised a “plywood-over-foam” wall assembly designed to provide greater insulation, air sealing and thermal break. With her engineer’s stamp, City of Seattle and Shoreline have accepted her innovative design numerous times through prescriptive code compliance.
This case examines the partnership between the residents of Camp Quixote – a self-governing tent community of homeless adults – and Panza, their nonprofit support organization, Thurston County and the City of Olympia, to site a permanent supportive housing community in a light industrial zone. This required a comprehensive plan amendment and a zoning code amendment adopted by the Olympia City Council over the objections of neighboring commercial property owners, as well as a conditional use permit. On Christmas Eve, 2013 Quixote Village welcomed its previously homeless residents to their new homes, which include a 1700 sq. common house with shared facilities, and 30 individual “tiny house” 144 sq. ft. sleeping units.
This permitted installation of straw/clay wall insulation had to meet Washington energy code and International Building Code standards. Existing code supplements from other states were referenced and applied by the building team and the approving building department. The straw/clay insulation filled a 12” thick split stud cavity in a single family structure at the Port Townsend Ecovillage. It appears that this was the first straw/clay house permitted in the State of Washington. The permit was issued in May of 2013
Occupy Madison Village (OM Village) is a tiny home eco-village that affordably houses previously homeless individuals and couples. Through an innovative zoning process established in city code, OM Inc (OMI), the associated non-profit, negotiated with neighbors and city officials to amend their site’s pre-existing zoning map from Neighborhood Mixed-Use to a self-designed Planned Development District.