Worthwhile Events: Summer 2017

We’re looking forward to these events, workshops, and conferences this summer. Join us!

Weekly: Neighborhood Farmer’s Markets 

July 13: Planning for Equitable + Sustainable Growth

Advocating for Living Wage Green Jobs & Internships

Though last week’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement left many of us feeling hopeless it can also serve as a reminder of our ability to innovate and create a sustainable future on a local & national level despite federal policy. This summer, we are highlighting environmental work in our community that puts people and equity at the center. And there’s no better place to start than with Got Green, a grassroots community nonprofit based in South Seattle, that is working for climate, economic, and racial justice.

An impassioned group of young people at Got Green, known as the Young Leaders in the Green Movement have been successfully waging a campaign to increase the number of dignified, living wage green jobs for young people of color in Seattle. In fact, last fall they saw a huge win when the Seattle City Council passed the Green Pathways Resolution that will kickstart the effort by creating a definition of “Green Jobs” for our city that includes both environmental impact and social equity! Stay updated here.

 

Mighty House Honored w/ Green Remodeling Excellence Award!

 

MBA 2017 REX/T-REX Awards Banquet. Winner: Green Remodeling Project, Mighty House Construction. Photo by Alabastro Photography.

Last month, we were honored to accept the 2017 REX Award for Green Remodeling Excellence from the Master Builders Association! We had an incredibly fun evening and would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our staff, partners, supporters, and awesome clients who made our winning project, the Deep Green Westwood Addition, possible! We truly couldn’t do our work without you! This project implemented beautiful and innovative design solutions, advanced heating and ventilation, and creative reuse and salvaged materials.

Summer Home Maintenance

Summer is just around the corner! To keep your home in tip top shape, here are a few tasks to make time for this season:
  • Prep for cooling season by cleaning ceiling fans and filters in air conditioning units
  • Install blinds (interior or exterior) to reduce the need for cooling systems
  • Stop the majority of summer dirt from entering your home with both an interior and exterior walk-off mat
  • Check for rot and any mold/mildew or pests in your basement, deck, and attic
  • Save money and energy by installing an outdoor clothesline and hang-drying your sheets, towels, and clothes in the sun
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly
  • If you didn’t get to washing your windows during the spring, now’s your chance
  • Have your roof and gutters cleaned
  • Plan and implement a summer schedule for landscaping and watering your lawn and plants
  • Clean and test (or consider professional service!) for the following: your range hood, bath fans, sump pump, wood stove, sprinkler system

Creative Corner: Solutions for Older Homes

Sustainability is often about creativity and working with what you’ve got. This is especially the case when remodeling older homes, many of which were not built with modern kitchen design or location in mind.

At this home in Leschi, the existing kitchen windows were lower than standard counter height. Our solution was to create a window-well behind the sink. This allowed the windows to stay in place, while also reducing cost, minimizing landfill waste and preserving the home’s old world charm.

See more photos of our kitchen remodel projects here.

Is Hydroponic Produce Organic?

As reported in the PCC Sound Consumer, there is a currently a heated debate on whether or not hydroponic produce (grown without soil) should be considered organic. The argument is that while hydroponic produce can be grown less expensively and with fewer inputs, many proponents of organic farming believe that soil is a central part to maintaining biodiversity and promoting healthy plants, animals, and humans.

We found the debate interesting – read more here.

Project Spotlight: Contemporary Wedgwood Kitchen

While this kitchen was never the prettiest, what really drove these homeowners to Mighty House was how it severely lacked any sort of functionality – from layout and cabinet style to lack of functioning outlets and poor storage, the homeowners found it nearly impossible to cook solo — never mind as a collaborative family effort!

With a substantial shift in layout and only a few inches of change in footprint, their designer provided a concept that has revolutionized how they nourish themselves and socialize in their home.

BEFORE

 

AFTER

The original layout was quite traditional with its 3-point work triangle between fridge, sink, and stove, however, it severely lacked functional workspace. By moving the refrigerator just slightly out of the “ideal zone” they gained over 13 square feet of countertop. In actuality, the total functional counter space was doubled beyond that by replacing the poor storage capabilities of the 1950’s, narrow, non-adjustable shelf cabinets with durable, sustainably-manufactured, and locally-produced cabinetry from Canyon Creek.

Recycled Paper Countertops by Trea – made from post-consumer recycled paper and bonded with a petroleum-free, water based system. The material is strong, durable, hygienic, and resistant to staining and heat damage. Composite recycled paper countertops are environmentally friendly, elegant, and contribute to healthy indoor air quality.

Marmoleum, or natural linoleum flooring is very durable and made entirely from natural, readily renewable ingredients (linseed oil, rosin binders, wood flour, limestone, dry pigments , and a natural jute backing). Naturally resistant to bacterial growth it is a spectacular alternative to other sheet goods.

Other healthy home solutions include:

  • No-VOC paints
  • Low-maintenance finishes and appliances
  • Weather-resistant doors and windows
  • Mini-split ductless heat pump
  • Energy Star appliances

window and LED light next to refrigerator

Between opening the kitchen to the dining room to maximize light from those windows, replacing the back door with a glazed version, and adding a Solatube in the kitchen this project maximized the potential for daylighting their space reducing the need for mechanical illumination. The homeowners took it one step further and used LED bulbs throughout.

Workshop: Doors + Windows 101

Join us on May 6 for a FREE workshop at Second Use! Our very own Doug Elfline will guide you in assessing window and door projects to see if using salvaged materials is an option. He will also demonstrate how to choose appropriate salvaged windows and doors and share tips for proper installation and maintenance. These free workshops fill up so be sure to RSVP!

Saturday May 6, 2017
11:00 – 12:30 PM
Second Use Building Materials
3223 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

 

Project Spotlight: Blue Kitchen Ravenna

Kitchens are the hearthstone of the home — a place to nourish, console, debate, love, and celebrate. After raising a family in this classic home, the kitchen had reached its limits. After research and design advice from their design team at Greenhome Solutions and builder Mighty House Construction, the homeowners were able to achieve their vision of an updated kitchen that not only met their dark green renovation goals but also would sustain their needs and give them an enjoyable, beautiful space to sip their morning coffee.

Creative, Budget Conscious Design – Farm sinks are unusual and beautiful but often not inexpensive – nor are the cabinets that fit them. Here an IKEA sink and cabinet were used in conjunction with Canyon Creek doors to maintain consistency. The Katana line by Canyon Creek is offered at an excellent price point for people on a tight budget. Made in Monroe, Washington, in a state-of- the-art facility, the finish is completely cured when delivered to the job site providing excellent indoor air quality. Canyon Creek cabinets are available through Greenhome Solutions.

Reused Tile Backsplash – Reusing salvaged building materials is a sustainable alternative to buying new products. Salvaged materials greatly reduce natural resource consumption and landfill demand. A great alternative to buying new! The tiles used in this project were salvaged from a previous project on site

Creative Salvage – Salvaging old materials is a great way to give your space character without opening your wallet. It’s also a way to mix old in with the new. This door
to the basement was made with custom shutters repurposed from the previous owner’s own shutter business.

Which features of this kitchen might you implement in yours? Let us know!

Watering Wisely, Even in the Rain

Did you know that across the country, about 9 BILLION gallons of water are used for watering gardens and lawns every day?! By using the same practices that save water in the summer, we can keep our waterways and salmon healthy in the winter and spring. At the Natural Yard Care Series, King County provided tips for keeping rain gardens, watering the right amounts at the right times, and the benefits of compost and mulch. Making small changes in the ways we care for our gardens can have a big impact on our neighborhood waterways.

water collecting on side of the road

Read more here.