Issaquah’s innovative zHome community to open Sept. 14

May 3, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 10:30 p.m. May 3, 2011

The opening date is Sept. 14 for zHome, a groundbreaking cluster of carbon-neutral townhouses under construction in the Issaquah Highlands, the project manager announced Tuesday morning.

Construction is scheduled to conclude earlier, but the additional weeks should allow crews enough time to prepare the units for public open houses. The grand opening is scheduled on the same day as the Built Green Conference, a yearly gathering for building industry professionals interested in eco-conscious practices.

Plans call for tours to run from the conference at Pickering Barn to zHome in the highlands. Brad Liljequist, zHome project manager, announced the grand opening date.

The project is designed to produce as much electricity as residents consume — hence the zero-net energy name — and is meant to be a leader in energy and water conservation.

Construction crews also used a high percentage of salvaged, reclaimed and local materials to build zHome.

Construction on zHome started last April, after Howland Development Issaquah — a joint venture between Shoreline developer Howland Homes and Japanese homebuilder Ichijo Co. subsidiary Ichijo USA — teamed up to build and finance the project.

The city started to conceptualize zHome in 2006. Other zHome partners include highlands developer Port Blakely Communities, Puget Sound Energy and the Washington State University Extension Energy Program. The city and Port Blakely donated the land — about a half-acre — for the project.

Liljequist received a Green Globe Award on Earth Day for work on the project. The project also received a shout out from Gov. Gregoire at the Shanghai World Expo in September.

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