In Seattle, going green is more than a bumper sticker or vague political stance. Builders and homebuyers alike have learned that when you translate the eco-conscience ideology into real estate, real sustainability can be achieved.
This month, the very first Built Green Emerald Star level home was sold in the northern Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. To achieve the high rating, the $850,000 property had to fulfill a long list of requirements, including:
- Creation of clean energy production such as wind or solar
- Use of locally sourced materials that are certified by small forest program
- Use of building salvage or reclaimed materials
- Project must receive an overall construction waste recycling rate of 90% or better
- Restricted uses of PVC, galvanized metals, zinc or copper
Under the program’s guidance, a property must meet a set amount requirements in order to be named a three, four or five Emerald Star property. Some project requirements are as simple as providing LED/CFL light fixtures throughout the home, or can be as grand as ordering Australian-made heat pumps that use 78 percent less energy than traditional hot water systems.
The first Emerald Star home in Ballard boasts a long list of eco-friendly materials and building practices. The home’s frame was built with FSC certified lumber along with cedar siding and salvaged steel from a cannery in Oregon. The process is an intensive one for obvious reasons. Check out the video tour.
Created by the Master Builders Association, the Built Green program is a non-profit that provides strict guidelines to create greener, cleaner and more energy-efficient homes. The Daily Journal of Commerce reported that property developer Dwell had challenges finding the correct materials and even sourced the high-performance windows from Poland.
While certainly impressive, the Ballard home is not the only Built Green-certified residence in Seattle. The official site states that over 30 percent of all new homes are now built with some type of eco-friendly process.
Interested in making the green switch? More details can be found on the King County BuiltGreen website.