Growing in the Green Belt

Growing in the Green Belt

Picture of Blue Home with Trees behind it.

Mighty House Construction and ming | architecture and design present Growing in the Green Belt for the 2021 NW Green Home Tour.

When we met this family of four (Mom, Dad, Daughter, and Son), they were living in chosen simplicity in a small 2-bedroom/1-bath home, less than 1000 sq ft. As the kids were growing, they knew it was time to expand, and they assembled a project team who they could trust to guide them through the process and who understood their minimalist approach – Grace Huang of ming| architecture and design and Mighty House Construction.

The family was concerned about maintaining a small visual impact in the neighborhood and keeping within a limited budget. There was great effort to design the new second floor to feel like it had been there a long time and will continue to be around a longtime. A lower roof height and vaulted ceilings reduced the overall height yet didn’t reduce the amount of usable floor space.

The new 720-sq-ft second floor contains 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. The new bath is designed with privacy details to allow the entire family to use the room at one time. The parents intentionally avoided the typical primary bedroom/bath suite – this saved both resources and space. The former first-floor bedrooms became multipurpose spaces –one became the stairs, laundry room and pantry; and the other became a flex room that serves as den, office, online school classroom, crafts space, or guest room. The new covered back deck provides a year-round outdoor space and greater connection to the yard and green space beyond.

Green features include:

A ductless mini-split heat pump replaced the gas furnace on the main floor. Ductless heating and cooling systems are two-way heat pumps that transfer heat between outdoor and indoor air by compressing and expanding refrigerant. The Dept of Energy reports that heat pumps produce up to 4x the energy they consume.

Infrared radiant heat ceiling panels and cove heaters by Mighty Energy Solutions provide heat on the 2nd floor. Infrared radiant heaters utilize the same physical properties that warm the earth from the sun (minus UV radiation). Panels are heated by infrared coils which radiates energy down —heating the objects in the room inc. the floor, furniture, and people. The heated objects radiate heat out, warming the space faster and longer with very little electricity. This contributes to healthy indoor air quality by not circulating dust/pollutants and they require need zero maintenance.

WhisperGreen Exhaust Fans in the new laundry and bathroom help regulate humidity.One contributor to unhealthy air quality can be buildup of moisture and potential growth of mold and mildew. These fans operate automatically until moisture levels are normal and are a great option for bathrooms and laundry rooms, where moisture is generated in a home.

Two pairs of Lunos HRV’s (heat recovery ventilators) in the bedrooms bring in fresh air and exhaust stale air, while pre-heating the incoming air with heat from the exhaust air. These units are quiet, communicate wirelessly to work in tandem, filter the incoming air, and are a great way to save energy.

An exterior tankless water heater saves space and a dual flush toilet reduces water use.

Marmoleum was used in the kitchen and the new bathroom. Marmoleum is a natural linoleum made from linseed oil and mixed with other natural products on a jute backing. It is also naturally resistant to bacterial growth, making it an extremely hygienic flooring choice.

Cork flooring was used in the new bedrooms. As cork is bark, it is a rapidly renewable resource, a great sound and thermal insulator, anti-static, hypo-allergic, impermeable, and fire retardant.

No VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints were used in the project, ensuring the highest indoor air quality.

The south facing roof was kept clear of roof penetrations to maximize solar access for future solar panels.

Products such as Kebony decking, fiber cement siding, and Ceasarstone quartz countertops were selected for durability and low maintenance.

Seattle ADU/DADU 101 – Presented with Second Use

The City of Seattle recently changed the rules on Accessory Dwelling Units (Detached and Attached Accessory Dwelling Units) for single-family zoned lots. The options for these ADU/DADUs are only limited by the imagination. These units could be used as homes to house renters or extended family, but also home offices or other bonus spaces. Come learn a few basics on what an owner needs to think about before jumping in on an ADU or DADU project, and why building material reuse is a perfect resource for when you decide to move forward with a new dwelling or bonus space on your property.

Laura Elfline of Mighty House Construction leads this discussion on how you might take advantage of the new zoning changes in our city. This is a recording of a live workshop that occurred on April 10th, 2021.

Garden Kitchen Addition

Sometimes a small targeted addition can make a world of difference. In this case the just-right-sized addition enlarged and updated an older cramped kitchen and created a gracious connection to the back garden for a family that loves cooking and hosting garden parties. This home’s original small kitchen was showing some wear, and the stairs out to the back were narrow and not connected to the kitchen, so having people over for outdoor events was awkward. With a small addition that expands the kitchen and rebuilds the stairs, the kitchen is now large enough for parties and has a good connection to outdoors for entertaining. The “bump-out” addition provides better natural light and ventilation, so that the heart of the home can be a bright and welcoming space. The avid gardener homeowners also have an easy spot to peel off dirty shoes and clothes and store away small gardening tools. Although this is a small addition, there were still several opportunities to build with healthy and energy-efficient materials. Whether your project is big or small, here are some potential strategies you can choose to make your home greener:

  • Quartz counters by Ceaserstone – Manufactured, highly-durable, no-VOC, stain and heat resistant, quartz countertops are produced with a high commitment to health and environmental considerations.
  • Locally-manufactured cabinetry – Local sourced products reduce carbon impact and are made with healthy sustainably harvested materials.
  • Local sustainable butcherblock – The kitchen island is topped with sustainably harvested Pacific Northwest wood butcherblock.
  • Salvaged live edge wood shelves and bench – The shelves and bench are made from salvaged alder wood, thoughtfully crafted to highlight the beautiful natural edge.
  • Energy efficient windows – These wood and fiberglass windows match the original house window style with modern energy efficiency, providing excellent natural daylighting and ventilation.
  • Vapor Smart Air Barrier Wall – The new walls are 2×6 wood stud wall and air sealed at the interior and exterior of the wall with “vapor smart” membranes. These membranes create an air barrier, but also allow trapped moisture to escape from the wall system. Sealing leaks in the building envelope is one of the best ways to improve energy performance – a well-insulated but leaky wall does not perform as well as the R-value listed for the insulation.
  • No VOC Paints – Superior quality no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints ensure the highest indoor air quality
  • No wasted space – Every square inch is thoughtfully utilized to get the most out of this compact addition. Where the footprint would not allow a full-depth cabinet, there are shallower cabinets that provide storage for smaller items. And the former staircase is now home to the refrigerator, a small pantry, and a storage closet at the entry level.
  • Creative solutions – The cabinets are installed “tetris style” to create useful storage at the kitchen level on one side and down a few steps on the other side at the backyard entry level.
NW Green Home Tour 2021 Spotlight: Garden Kitchen Addition

NW Green Home Tour 2021 Spotlight: Garden Kitchen Addition

Stairs going to Kitchen

On May 1 | 9:11:30 am, Mighty House Construction and LD Arch Design will be presenting a Garden Kitchen Addition at the NW Green Home Tour. This home’s original small kitchen was showing some wear, and the stairs out to the back were narrow and not connected to the kitchen, so having people over for outdoor events was awkward. With a small addition that expands the kitchen and rebuilds the stairs, the kitchen is now large enough for parties and has a good connection to outdoors for entertaining. Come ask us about the green features that make this project environmentally friendly.

Kitchen with colorful painting over sink

 

MHC and 2nd Use Present: Salvaged Cabinets 101 with Doug.

Thinking about starting a kitchen remodel this year? 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 Doug Elfline of Mighty House Construction 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. This is a taped workshop that was presented live via Zoom on Saturday, February 27th, 2021. This workshop was presented by:
Second Use Building Materials – https://www.seconduse.com/
Mighty House Construction – https://mightyhouseconstruction.com/
For information on how to shop reuse for your design – 0:30. 1:12:30 General design terms – 2:00 Kitchen remodels with salvaged cabinets examples – 4:30 Info on painting cabinets – 11:20 Staining – 29:20 Info on installing cabinets – 16:30, 36:20 Info on creating kitchen islands – 33:45 Info on unique countertop integration – 44:15, 52:55 Info on cabinet hardware: hinges & drawer glides – 47:45, 1:02:30 Tips on shopping for Cabinets at Second Use – 1:15:20

Northwest Green Home Tour Friends, We’ve Been Thinking of You!

Northwest Green Home Tour Friends, We’ve Been Thinking of You!

With NWGHVT (“v” for Virtual) coming to you over three successive Saturdays in May 2021 on your Internet connected device. We hope that you will join us again at this event. We offer conversations on topics you are interested in, virtual tours and discussions of new Green Home construction trends, products and ideas. It is a highlight of our professional year and a chance to show off our work and talk about your projects. Check out the plans for this year at https://www.nwgreenhometour.org/ and we hope to see you again in May!

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