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.
Mighty House Construction’s latest detached auxiliary dwelling unit (DADU) includes WalkGreen® FSC Certified Cumaru Decking. Cumaru Decking is among the most resilient natural untreated decking materials available on the market today. Supplied by Green Home Solutions, Cumaru is a highly dense exotic hardwood that has a warm honey brown color with beautiful grain. Cumaru, also known as Brazilian Chestnut or Brazilian Teak, can be left untreated to age to a nice silver-grey or oiled to retain its warm brown color.
Widely recognized as the global “gold standard” for responsible forestry practices, Forest Stewardship Council ® (FSC) Certified products are sustainably harvested and ensure eco-friendly and economically viable forestry practices. The FSC Decking is one of the top decking products available in the market in terms of its strength, stability, durability and natural resistance to the elements. The FSC Decking does not contain any harmful chemicals or risk of contaminating water sources.
Decks are fantastic ways to maximize outdoor life in the NW! Mighty House Construction builds everything from backyard porches to decks large enough to celebrate all of life’s milestones.
This family had two tweens that needed their own bedrooms, and a home-based furniture business involving a lot of bulky inventory. They desperately needed more space! An innovative, 2+ story DADU (Detached Auxiliary Dwelling Unit) significantly expanded available living space, without tackling the structural challenges of increasing the existing home. Living Shelter Design Architects and Mighty House Construction collaborated on this project to include super energy-efficient building solutions; emphasizing healthy finishes for superb indoor air quality. Plus, it’s Built Green 4-Star Certified!
With total living space under 800 square feet, the expense of installing ductwork or a heat pump system just didn’t make sense. Instead, we chose cozy and efficient infrared radiant ceiling panels. Heated by an electric infrared coil, these units radiate energy down — heating the people and objects in the room directly. Spaces warm up faster & stay warm longer with very little electricity and zero maintenance, and no dust or allergens being blown around. Provided by Mighty Energy Solutions.
The DADU’s walls are filled with Havelock Wool insulation, and air sealed 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 efficiency and get the best performance out of your insulation. Havelock Wool insulation is as eco-friendly as it gets – it grows on sheep! Provided by 475 Building Supply.
Flexible, multi-use spaces help maximize square footage with a below-grade first level. The sunken patio and french doors, bring generous amounts of natural light to the DADU’s interior, and provide use of outdoor living spaces.
Recycled glass tile is produced on the West Coast by Oceanside Tile and Fireclay Tile. In 2103, Fireclay was the first company to recycle panel glass from CRT (the first 1/2” section of optical glass used in older computer monitors and TV sets) and incorporated it into an innovative line of lead-free glazed, glass tile. Oceanside provides 30% pre-consumer recycled glass content in their products.
The light shelf provides roof deck access and additional light in the stairwell and kitchen. Access to this top floor was custom designed by Living Shelter Design. This simple and innovative ladder uses a weighted pulley system to easily fold against the wall when not in use. When open, it is safe to climb and just as sturdy as a set of stairs.
Cork flooring is a rapidly renewable resource, as well as a sound and thermal insulator. This material is also anti- static, hypo-allergic, and completely impermeable. Other flooring in the DADU is FSC Certified Maple, which is plantation grown. It contains zero added urea-formaldehyde and zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds) adding to an even healthier indoor environment for occupants. Provided by Greenhome Solutions.
After having their first child, this artistic couple decided they needed more space for their creative pursuits than their small home could offer. They also wanted to find a sustainable solution that would have minimal impact on the property, lifestyle, and the planet.
Two Stories of Space – The two-story structure provides the maximum additional space for artistic pursuits, but with a minimal footprint on the property and maximum efficiency for life-work balance.
Reclaimed Barn Wood – All of the siding for the artists lofts is reclaimed from a barn that had been de- constructed in Bothell. Additional materials from the barn include: old floor joists used for breezeway between the studio and house and for accents on the front of the structure.
Creative Solutions – As evidenced by the artworks on the wall, neither artist create small works yet they really wanted a spiral staircase. The challenge that arose was how to get the large artworks down a spiral staircase. The artists creatively decided a hidden slot in the second story floor would give them the ability to slide larger paintings through, avoid the stairs altogether, and keep the aesthetic they desired.
Salvaged Staircase – Utilizing salvaged materials not only provides an opportunity to breathe new life into old items, but also to get creative with their implementation. The spiral staircase, sink, and skylights were all salvaged and re-purposed.
The homeowners live in a very small home and decided to convert their garage into a detached auxiliary dwelling unit (DADU) to be able to house guests, host parties, but also to simply GET. MORE. SPACE!
Mighty House Construction believes, it’s not always about making the most green choice, it’s about knowing all the options and finding the greenest solution that balances need, budget, and aesthetic. The design originated with Mark Johnson of Signal Architecture and was then collaborated on with Mighty House Construction and the homeowners resulting in unique detailing and creative solutions in every square foot of the space.
Longevity – Building for sustainability means considering current and future needs when designing a space. Right now the DADU needs a simple kitchenette, but the homeowners thought ahead to aging in place and designed the DADU as a multi-use space with a kitchen that will be useable by a caregiver or other on-site family.
Budget Conscious Kitchen – Although the materials used for the kitchen aren’t high on the eco-conscious scale, they kept the project within its budget. Because of these cost-efficient choices, the homeowners were able to maximize their investment in the green-ness of the other features and more quickly invest in more solar.
“Wet Room” Bath – The bathroom is designed so that everything in it can get wet! This means that square footage is maximized within the bathroom and the rest of the DADU. The “skinny” sink and towel nook commanded a custom cabinet built by MHC staff on-site for a perfect fit.
Multi-Functional Space – A Murphy bed folds into the wall and can then function as a dining space. Features like this make this DADU functional for anything from an art studio or expandable party space, to guest quarters or a quiet place to escape for cat naps. Every design choice was made with an uber- flexible space in mind.
Salvaged Materials – The pendant lights were purchased from Second Use Building Materials, which means they were salvaged from another project. By renovating the garage, we also repurposed the space itself. Reusing and repurposing is a great way to minimize resource consumption and breathe new life into old materials.
Creative Daylighting – By including skylights, Solatubes, and a huge west-facing entry door, we were able to maximize the natural light entering an otherwise dimly lit room. Taking advantage of daylight also reduces the amount of mechanical illumination needed for this space. The homeowners took it one step further and used LED bulbs throughout.