Explore zHome, ‘green’ highlands residences, on Thursday tour

March 1, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 2 p.m. March 1, 2011

Step behind the fencing at the zHome construction site in the Issaquah Highlands on Thursday.

The tour focuses on the ongoing effort to build 10 eco-friendly townhouses designed to produce as much electricity as the units consume. The tour runs from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

The construction site is near the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride, 1755 Highlands Drive N.E.

Participants can check out wall cavities inside the unfinished residences and discover heat-recovery ventilators designed to warm incoming air by using escaping exhaust air.

Plans call for the townhouses to harness solar power and use recycled building materials. Officials expect zHome to be completed in the spring.

The groundbreaking project is a featured destination the upcoming Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Green Home Tour.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 16-17. The tour includes in-depth education at eco-conscious residences throughout the area.

The project is also on the agenda at regional conferences in March and April.

The annual Cascadia Green Building Council Living Futures conference is April 27-29 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The project is to be highlighted for the public-private partnership used to create zHome.

The project is also part of the annual American Public Works Association joint Washington and Oregon conference from March 29 to April 1. The event is the key regional conference for civil engineering issues. Dignitaries broke ground on zHome in September 2008, but the recession delayed construction until April 2010.

The city spearheaded the development of zHome. Howland Development Issaquah — a joint venture of Shoreline developer Howland Homes and Ichijo USA, a subsidiary of Japanese homebuilder Ichijo Co. — handles the construction. Ichijo USA financed the project.

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