Resilience and Sustainability Through Pocket Neighborhoods

Resilience and Sustainability Through Pocket Neighborhoods

The term pocket neighborhood sometimes referred to as “bungalow courts” or “cottage clusters,” was first coined by Ross Chapin of Ross Chapin ArchitectsPocket neighborhoods tend to consist of about 12 homes that all face a common area that residents must walk through to access their front door.  

Creating small homes on small lots allows more compact development, which uses land efficiently and can offer greater access to amenities. 

 

Pocket communities really took off in the Pacific Northwest in collaboration with developers and builders, including The Cottage Company in Seattle, Triad Associates in Kirkland, and Artisan Fine Homebuilding. Third Street Cottages in Seattle, is a community of eight detached cottages located on four standard single-family lots. To help this vision come to life, the municipality adopted an innovative Cottage Housing Development (CHD) zoning code. The code allows for up to double the density of detached homes in all single-family zones.  

Pocket communities also serve as a great solution for increasing the number of affordable units within a municipality. Creating small homes on small lots allows more compact development, which uses land efficiently and can offer greater access to amenities. Residents may also enjoy a smaller mortgage, with the option to enhance their home by selecting higher-end finishes. Then there’s the increasing value of these small homes. The Third Street Cottages, the first of the pocket neighborhoods, have resold for as much as 250 percent of their original price, proving their enduring appeal and value.

Small homes feed our recent fascination with resilience and sustainability because they meet the needs of communities that wish to increase density and reform land use patterns without losing the feel of a single-family community. Smaller homes also can reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through the use of passive solar energy, low water-use fixtures, and the abundance of vegetation in these communities found in the interior courtyard, personal gardens and surrounding open space. Additionally, the demographic shift toward smaller households and the rise in single-person households is driving a need for a more diverse housing stock that includes small homes.

Surviving the Viaduct Closure

Surviving the Viaduct Closure

The SR-99 Viaduct officially closes down starting Friday January 11, 2019. Here are some tips from Sound Transit (and us!) on how to make the best of the increased travel times and traffic congestion:
  • Work from home when possible
  • Ride your bike to work – check out SDOT’s new interactive bike route map
  • Take the Sounder Train or Link Light Rail – ride share services are offering discounted rates on rides to transit stations through February
  • There will be additional Water Taxi Service – a fun way to get to/from West Seattle!
  • Talk to your employer about flexing your hours to avoid peak commute times
  • Be patient and considerate on public transportation – together we’ll get through the #SeattleSqueeze!

flex your time, pack your patience, be a good rider

SPU Rebates on Water-Saving Toilets

SPU Rebates on Water-Saving Toilets

Did you know that the biggest water-user in most homes is the toilet? Seattle Public Utilities is offering $100 rebates for homeowners and property managers who replace their toilet with a Premium Toilet that uses 1.1 gallons per flush or less. There are also free toilets available for income qualified applicants! Check out the list of eligible toilets and rebate applications here.

Here are some FAQ’s from SPU:

Q: Will I need to flush twice if i replace my old toilet with a new, Premium 1.1 gpf (or less) toilet?

A: No. New water-efficient toilets work better than older toilets. 98% of survey participants who replaced their toilets with Premium 1.1 gpf (or less) toilets say the new toilets work better than their old ones.

Q: What else can I do to reduce my water use?

A: Find and fix leaks or report them to your property manager. A leaking (running) toilet can waste 200 gallons or more every day.

Save Money on Heating + Cooling Costs

Save Money on Heating + Cooling Costs

As summer heat sets in, here are some simple, but effective ways to save money on your cooling costs now and heating costs during the winter:

  • Keep blinds and curtains closed to keep heat from the sun out during the summer
  • Leave the thermostat alone or install a programmable one, to avoid frequent temperature changes
  • Keep conditioned air inside – don’t run your kitchen and bathroom fans too often
  • Make sure your home is airtight – seal leaks in drafty doors or windows and add insulation where needed
  • Use nature’s energy to heat your home during the winter by opening blinds and curtains to let sun in during the day
  • Keep your HVAC system clean – change filters, and keep leaves and debris away from outdoor units
  • Replace or update your system if it is over ten years old – invest in Energy Star appliances

Read the original list, from Angie’s List here.

#YesOn1631 for Green Jobs + Clean Energy

#YesOn1631 for Green Jobs + Clean Energy

people holding clean air and clean energy signs

Washington State has a chance to put a groundbreaking environmental initiative on the ballot this year! Initiative 1631 will put a price on pollution and invest in clean energy like wind and solar, as well as healthier forests, and clean air and water across the state, creating thousands of local Washington jobs.

We encourage you to learn more and join us in supporting this diverse coalition of businesses, nonprofits, and communities fighting for a healthier future for all of us. Read more or volunteer here.

Below is the endorsement from Chris, the  NW EcoBuilding Guild’s executive director:

Call to Action for Climate Justice: It’s a critical time to get more involved if we’re serious about leaving a habitable planet to future generations.  Many Guild Members and partners support Yes on I-1631 a proposed initiative to put a price on carbon pollution in Washington.  Organizers are now racing the clock to get enough signatures to put it on the ballot in November.  You can:

This Initiative gives the Guild a chance to live up to our mission statement which includes “Encourage building practices that dramatically reduce carbon emissions… to create optimal conditions for human health and community.”  I urge everyone to do what you can to help!

Best wishes!  Chris van Daalen, Executive Director | chris@ecobuilding.org

Free Workshop: Salvaged Cabinets 101

Free Workshop: Salvaged Cabinets 101

Salvaged cabinets are one of the most popular ways to incorporate reclaimed materials into a remodel. Like most salvaged material, working with salvaged cabinets presents many rewards, as well as a few challenges.

Join our very own Doug Elfline on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at Second Use Building Materials SODO to gain an understanding of how to shop for salvaged cabinets, prevent common installation mistakes, identify the different types and parts of cabinets, and determine what type of cabinets are the best fit for your project.

Please RSVP to maryanne@seconduse.com at your earliest convenience to reserve your spot.

Saturday March 10, 2018

11am-12:30pm

3223 6th Ave S Seattle, WA 98134

RSVP on Facebook