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Northwest Green Living and Sustainable Seattle Lifestyles

Built Green is an environmental building program of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, developed in partnership with King County, Snohomish County, and other government agencies in the Seattle area. Built Green is designed to help homebuyers find quality, affordable homes that offer opportunities to protect the health of their families in the Seattle area.

Contact us today to start your search for your own sustainable Built Green home in Seattle. Call Marlow Harris at 206-329-3795 or email


christmas ornaments from recycled materials

christmas ornaments, originally uploaded by la.daridari.

They look like crystals or falling snow, but they're actually plastic drink holders from 6-packs, cut and hung from the lights. Clever use of recycled materials!

Seattle's first electric trolley

We here at Northwest Green Living rue the day that Seattle tore out their old electric trolleys. What a wonderful and inexpensive way to get around town. It's hard to find a more efficient mode of mass transportation.

But finding your dream home in Seattle has never been easier. You'll want to research loans and home mortgages. Clean up your credit if necessary. Plan on getting home insurance. And research homes using the Home Search on Seattle Dream Homes.


Building with plastic bottles

Building with plastic bottles, originally uploaded by bryanilona.

The U.S. discards 13 million tons of plastic annually — more than 12% of our overall waste — and barely 7% of the plastic we discard is recycled. The biggest proportion of that plastic waste comes in the form of plastic bottles (beverages as well as personal care products, cleansers and the like) and packaging. How about a plastic bottle greenhouse? Or a colorful outdoor wall? That’s what this sewage treatment plant in Scotland tried, to great effect:


Green Gardens

NHS Seattle Gardens Tour 2008, originally uploaded by AGA~mum.

Here's a great example of a low-water use garden full of hens-and-chicks, sedums and cacti. I think this kind of garden is called a xeriscape garden.


Nube Green - Eco Decor

Nube Green - Eco Decor, originally uploaded by KentofKent.
Beautiful lamps made out of recycled cardboard at Nube Green on Capitol Hill in Seattle.


A House by the Park

A House by the Park: "A House By The Park is a first-hand chronology of the design, planning, and construction of a modern home in Seattle."

Green Living Contests for Homeowners

You could win the

Refresh Your Nest Sweepstakes With Target Style Expert for Home, Sabrino Soto

Get a chance to win a home makeover (valued up to $50,000*) that will instantly refresh your place. Just a little help to redesign your space and make your home more stylish, functional and sustainable.

Two contests that educate homeowners on green living | AgentGenius: Target is having a big Green Home contest and is giving away a $50K prize to re-do your home. In addition, Recycle Bank's Green Your Home is a cool contest with a grand prize of a random $18K to go towards a Green Kitchen makeover.


Water and City View "Built Green" and Three Star Energy-certified home comes on the market in High Point

Water and City View living, an urban oasis overlooking Downtown Seattle, Elliot Bay & Mt. Baker has come on the market at High Point at 3012 SW Cycle Court. Elegant like-new home, carefully customized for a modern aesthetic, designed by noted architectural firm Mithun, constructed to Built Green and Three Star Energy standards.  The asking price is $499,000.

4+ bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, gourmet kitchen, master with adjoining bath, office, finished basement w/family room, one car garage. Adjacent to pond and waterfall. Be a part of this ecologically conscience, award-winning planned community of High Point.

High Point's stormwater collection pond has aesthetic and practical functions.  It prevents flash floods in the area, and it forms a centerpiece to the park.  By the time the water flows here, it's been cleaned and is ready to enjoy year-round.  The pond attracts a variety of water fowl, ducks, geese and heron.

The home has 2 bedrooms on the upper floor plus a den that can be enclosed and made into a 3rd bedroom upstairs.  It also has an additional bedroom on the 2nd floor and a bedroom plus family room in the lower level.

Come and see this beautiful like-new view home on Saturday August 16th 10am-4pm and Sunday August 17th 10am-4pm.


Seattle Green Home Tour April 16-17

The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is hosting the Seattle Green Home Tour on April 16-17.  Homes on the tour highlight various green building, remodeling and retrofitting techniques, such as Net Zero Energy use, Passive House standards of super energy-efficient construction, and where to purchase eco-friendly products.

The free Seattle Green Home Tour is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 16-17.

Included in the tour is High Point's Neighborhood House High Point Center by Environmental Works.

HIgh Point Neighborhood CenterThe building includes administrative and counseling offices, a family center, large classrooms, a teen center, youth tutoring, and a Head Start Program. Sustainable design concepts identified fro the project should yield a LEED Gold Certified project. Included in these concepts are: redevelopment of an urban site close to public transportation systems; providing bicycle storage and a shower for alternative transportation users; collecting and filtering rainwater from impervious surfaces through the stormwater system established throughout the high Point Master Plan; preventing solar heat gain while increasing daylight into spaces through the use of external shading devices; conserving electricity by specifying a Ground Source Heat Pump HVAC system; and generating up to one half of the building’s electricity needs with a 4,000 SF photovoltaic array, the largest to date in the State of Washington.


Greenfab's Prefab Model Home is OPEN for one more week

Greenfab prefab modular LEED platinum green home seattle

Seattle’s first ever targeted LEED Platinum prefab home is now open to the public from March 2nd to March 27th, Wednesday to Sunday, 12pm-5pm.  Stop by to learn about the home, finish options and pricing by Greenfab.

Wednesday to Sunday, 12pm - 5pm, from March the 2nd through March 27th, 2011
1827 S. Lane St.
Seattle, WA 98144

New Green home built by Greenleaf Construction

Artistically & functionally designed certified Green home built by Greenleaf Construction just hit the market.  This swank modern abode in Judkins Park will win you over with its creative uses of reclaimed materials & unique design. This is modern you can live in from the shared zen-like communal courtyard to the private backyard. Plus, detached garage & large bright stand-up in loft space with storage. Green amenities including recycled concrete counter tops, on-demand Hot H2O, radiant floors & dual flush toilets!

It has 2 bedrooms, 1.25 baths and is about 1300 square feet for $389,950.  The address is 904 26th Ave S #A, in the Central District in Seattle.



Beck Studio Architect: Rainier Pavilion

Pictured above is a "sleeping pavilion" at Mt. Rainier

Beck Studio is an office for residential architecture based in Seattle, owned by Phillip Beck. The studio has completed projects varying in scale from an ecolodge in Nepal to a two-room cabin in the Pacific Northwest. The scope of services ranges from site planning to the design of buildings and interiors.

From his website:

"The main pursuit of the studio is design quality, achieved through collaboration with clients and careful consideration of place: climate, culture, and topography. Sensitivity to the environment is an important theme in the work, and leads to a continual exploration of the ways in which new technologies (or neglected traditions) can be used to make buildings more responsive to their users and surroundings"

Beck Studio Architect: Rainier Pavilion p.1

Apartment dwellers, as well as homeowners, will now be required to recycle yard waste

Starting in September, all Seattle apartment and condo dwellers will be required to compost food scraps. If your apartment or condo has any kind of landscaping, there is probably already a yard waste cart. But if you don’t see a food waste cart, you might want to put a bug in your landlord’s ear to visit this page to sign up. The deadline for the ordinance is September 2011. 

Food and yard waste composting reduces garbage and greenhouse gases, saves landfill space, and creates compost to enrich the soil of local parks and gardens.
Take advantage of the benefits of composting rather than throwing it all away. Why waste a good thing?

Want to Start Food and Yard Waste Collection Service?

SPU has two weekly collection service options for apartments and condominiums:
  • Onsite service (maximum convenience)
  • Curbside service (most economical)
If your property doesn’t already have food and yard waste service, ask your property owner or manager to review the Apartment/Condo Owners website and sign up.

Friends of Recycling and Composting (FORCs)

If you are a dedicated recycler, ask your property manager about signing up as a FORC steward. Your property will get a one-time $100 utility bill credit and you will qualify for training as well as enjoy the satisfaction of helping your community and the planet. FORC responsibilities (pdf) include educating residents and reducing contamination.
To qualify for the for the $100 credit, your property must use SPU's food and yard waste collection service. Properties that already have a Friend of Recycling can get another $100 credit by adding SPU's food and waste service and designating a FORC.

What goes in my food and yard waste cart?

All food scraps including fruit, vegetables, yard trimmings, meat, dairy, and fish as well as food-soiled waste like pizza boxes, paper napkins and kitchen paper towels are accepted.

How do I store kitchen scraps?

Options include using a reusable container with a lid, approved compostable bags, and wrapping the food scraps in newspaper or a paper bag. No plastic bags or containers are allowed. See these handy tips.

Compost on Your Property

Some properties prefer to make compost at home. This will save money and benefit the environment. However, no dairy or meat products can go into a home pile due to potential odor or animal and pest problems.

Related links

Reduce, Reuse, Exchange - for ways to keep other useful items out of the waste stream
Can I recycle this item? Look It Up! 
Play the Where Does It Go? Recycling Game
Cedar Grove Composting - Local processor of yard and food compost materials


Can huge homes be sustainable?

seattle houses 2, originally uploaded by seewhy.
Here's an interesting juxtaposition of a modern home built as infill, adjacent to a typical neighborhood Craftsman home in West Seattle, near Alki. Though I approve of building a modern home rather than a fake "old house", I would like to see it smaller and keeping with the scale of the neighborhood. Cheaper and more efficient to heat equals better for the environment and better for the neighborhood.


Ballard Library Eco-Roof

Ballard Library, originally uploaded by Hydrotech6125.
The living roof of the Ballard Library is a beautiful example of a green sustainable roof covering. Cool in Summer and retaining the heat in the winter and using rainfall for watering, this is a great example of a living roof.

Zeta Communities

Zeta Communities, originally uploaded by KarolinaP..

This 1,540 square foot townhouse has received LEED Platinum, 240 GreenPoint, EPA Indoor Airplus, Energy Star, and DOE's Builders Challenge.

It's located in a colorful mixed industrial/artist/residential urban neighborhood and I've noticed that whenever a builder takes a chance in building these kinds of homes in these diverse types of neighborhoods, it improves the whole area.

Are you interested in buying a home such as this in Seattle? If so, please give me a call! My direct line is 206-329-3795