NW Green Home Tour, April 25-26

Come one come all! Together Mighty House Construction and our sister company, Mighty Energy Solutions, are co-hosting two homes on the 2015 NW Green Home Tour! This year tour sites south, central, and east of downtown locations will be open Saturday with north sites open Sunday.

Westside Remodel and Heat Conversion, April 25. Young Architecture designed a simple and sweet, 2-story, energy efficient addition to give this family a little breathing room. Mighty House was not the general contractor (although did encourage some finish selections) but rather our role was advisory in implementing a hybrid heating system (infrared heat panels coupled with a ductless heat pump). Come experience this cutting edge system. There is much to learn and be inspired by from this home. — Saturday, Apr 25, 11am-5pm, 3443 49th Ave SW, Seattle

Blue Kitchen Ravenna Renovation, April 26. Kitchens are the heartstone of the home. After raising a family in this classic home, the kitchen had reached its limits. In partnership with the homeowner’s vision and Greenhome Solutions design team, MHC carpenters helped the homeowners achieve their goals 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. —Sunday, Apr 26, 11am-5pm, 5708 26th Ave NE, Seattle

These homes will be open to the public free of charge from 11am-5pm. For more information about these sites and others on the 2015 NW Green Home Tour visit NWGreenHomeTour.org

Designer Spotlight: Greenhome Solution’s Design Team

Greenhome Solutions is a local business that supplies eco-friendly and healthy building products. They are passionate about the environment, conservation, design, and sustainable building practices. In addition to having a showroom and online store for their products they also offer design services.

Meet the retail sales team:
Tess Robins: showroom manager and all around designer
Cara Davis: kitchen, bath, and cabinetry designer
Drew Billings: woodworking design specialty
Stephanie Borden: design specialist

All of them plus their wholesale sales team work with homeowners, contractors, and builders in the showroom to help choose materials that not only look good but also perform well and are appropriate for each specific situation.

We appreciate the passion the Greenhome Solution’s staff brings to the work – not only in “selling” but also helping people to choose products that are non-toxic and durable, from local, renewable, reclaimed or recycled resources. They are careful about appropriateness of the materials, how they’re installed, and maintenance.

One of Mighty House Constructions and Greenhome Solutions collaborative projects is being featured on the NW Green Home Tour.

Worthwhile Events April-May

Weekly
Neighborhood Farmer’s Markets
April 14
Sustainable StartUp Fair
April 19
Earth Week BBQ + Fun
April 22
Earth Day!
(search the web for fun celebratory events all around our region)
Living Walls- NWEBG
April 24
Ballard Earth Day Party
April 25
Handmade and Homegrown Market
April 25 + 26
NW Green Home Tour
April 28
Free Solar Workshop
April 30
Go Green 2015 Conference
May 1
May Day
May 3
Bicycle Sundays Start

 

No VOC Paints: Green Building Material of the Month

Many people know that lead paint is dangerous to our health but fewer understand the dangers that still exist in paints on the market today. Currently, the majority of household paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOC).

VOC’s are a large group of carbon based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature. Federal and state governments have put a limit to the amount of allowable VOC’s in paint but any level of VOC’s can be dangerous to your health and the environment. Currently these regulations only cover the base paint so if you are to add color to your paint it can contain even higher levels of VOC’s than legal. Studies have shown that VOC levels are generally 2-5 times higher indoors than outside. This is because paint, and varnish, (and several other products such as carpet, vinyl shower curtains and cleaning products) can off-gas VOC’s into your home. Health symptoms from VOC exposure can range from ear nose and throat irritation from short term exposure to cancer and liver damage from long term exposure. Two of our favorite low/no VOC paints are Bejamin Moore Natura Line and YOLO Colorhouse paints because of the ease of application. Whether on a budget or DIYing your painting, ease matters! Colorhouse goes one step further by incorporating sustainable practices in everything from the materials they use to their LEED manufacturing facility. More information about Colorhouse paints here.

Project of the Month: View Ridge Bathroom

Project of the Month: View Ridge Bathroom 

A bathroom is one of the most high functioning and utilized spaces in the home. It often serves as a multipurpose room for relaxing in the tub, preparing for your day, or even escaping from guests and family members for a few moments. Which is why it’s so important to have a bathroom that makes use of its space in a smart, efficient, and hardy way. Mighty House has had the honor of renovating several bathroom remodels over the years. One of our recent remodels was in a 1960’s home in View Ridge. This bathroom was a long narrow room with a marbled Formica countertop, dark-wood, and old-school fixtures. Picture your grandmothers bathroom, but with only a sink and toilet.

Brandt Design Group worked with us to create this bathroom. We turned this half bath into a full bathroom by adding a shower and replacing fixtures to be more water conscious. The cabinets were custom build by Cabinetworks, a local Seattle builder with Caeserstone countertops. We included specialty design attributes such as tile from Ann Saks to ad flair to the space without interfering with it being a hardworking space for a family of 4.

before photo

before photo

 Architect Spotlight: Colin Brandt

Colin’s firm, Brandt Design Group is a Seattle based firm “where “green” design is good design. This firm focuses on art and function to create beautiful, grounded spaces. They have a holistic approach to sustainability and work towards smart, efficient, and thoughtful design. We have been proud to work on several of their projects.

Ask an Expert- This Weekend 3/21!

 Ask an Expert- This Weekend 3/21!

Doug + Laura at a previous ask an expert.

Are you thinking about tackling a project in your home but need some advice? Trying to find ways to make your space greener + more functional? Doug + Laura are here to help! Mighty House will be hosting Ask an Expert at SecondUse on Saturday from 11a-3pm. We will be discussing some of our favorite resources for learning about green practices and sustainable homes. Joining Mighty House and the SecondUse staff will be Artisan Electric to answer any questions about solar panels that you may have.

Bruce of EarthSystemsNW showcasing cisterns at the 2014 NW Green Home Tour.

Earth Systems NW will be there to share with you all about cisterns. Designer Vic Opperman will also be there to guide you into healthy home design solutions. All of these experts focus on green and sustainable residential building. If you’re looking to have a healthier solution that is also gentle on the environment with your next project these are the people to talk to! Come with a question, an idea, a goal and leave with these expert’s knowledge and confidence!

SecondUse Building Materials
Saturday, March 21st
11am-3pm
[No formal presentation, drop
in anytime.]

 

 

Laura on Presentation Panel – Wed. 3.25

The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild will be hosting a guided discussion with a panel of professionals focusing on the operations and maintenance of homes. Laura will be speaking from a builder’s view on the importance of upkeep within your home and its impact on remodeling decisions. Other key points explored on the panel include challenges and opportunities in energy retrofits, financial considerations and options for remodels, and how to decide if you should remodel or de-construct and build anew.

 

Wed. March 25
7pm-9pm
Phinney Neighborhood Center

RSVP Here

Caesarstone: Green Building Material of the Month

Caeserstone counterops in a recent kitchen remodel

 

Granite and Corian used to be the go-to’s for durable surfaces and countertops in home and commercial building. All of that changed when Caesarstone came on the market in 1987. Caesarstone is an awesome sustainable material that is nonporous, stain, scratch, and heat, resistant and backed by a residential lifetime warranty. Caesarstone is made from ground quartz aggregates, pigments, and polymers to create a product superior to marble, granite, and other manufactured surfaces. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in the earths crust and quartz aggregates are often bi-products of frequently mined rocks. This means that Caesarstone is not using large amounts of non-renewable resources like granite in their product. This is an important distinction from granite when we turn our sustainability lens towards resource management. Caesarstone also makes sure to use sustainable practices in production, from recycling 97% of the water used in manufacturing, to collecting dust; using processes throughout production, processing and shipping that seek to protect the health of the planet, workers, and their customers. Let us know if we can help you distinguish between Caesarstone and other solid surface counter tops.

Show of your local love on Valentines day!

Little Rae’s Small Hearts Box

With Valentines Day just around the corner we will soon be searching for the perfect gift to show our love for our friends and family. There are so many options for Valentines day and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to show a lot of love.

DIY projects can save money and can be made with reusable materials to create a truly unique gift. Pinterest has countless DIY ideas from cards and wine racks to even patio furniture! If you’re thinking of impressing your honey with a home improvement project check out Second Use, their unique and reused materials can add a special touch to any project.

Another option is buying gifts from local shops and artisans. If you are looking to give a traditional gift of flowers and chocolate Terra Bella is a sustainable flower shop that sources local, organic, consciously grown flowers. Theo has fair trade, organic and locally produced chocolate sold at their factory location and local grocery stores. If the way to your partners heart is through his or her stomach then head to a local bakery. We love Stuffed Cakes which specializes in vegan and gluten free options and Little Rae’s Bakery which is an all nut-free bakery that will ship their products anywhere for you and has them available at Thriftway, PCC, Metropolitan Market and other local cafes. For unique, locally flavored gifts and cards you can go to Northwest Art & Frame. Or if your four-legged friend is your valentine this year Mud Bay has all-natural treats for your pet. For those of you with kids who exchange valentines with their class, consider having your children create homemade valentines with recycled materials or swapping out candy for seed packets from Seattle Seed Co.

Shopping local is a great way to not only show love for your local economy but also to find one of a kind gifts from your own neighborhood that are ethically and responsibly produced.