City plugs in energy-saving zHome, leader in ‘green’ living

September 13, 2011

Family spends night at zero-energy townhouse to test innovations

Some of the 10 carbon-neutral townhomes of the zHome community glow in the setting sun along Northeast High Street in the Issaquah Highlands. By Greg Farrar

The steeply angled roofs and street-side rain garden attract attention to the townhouses along Northeast High Street.

The effect is deliberate, because the 10-townhouse complex, called zHome, is designed to encourage people to explore and rethink notions about “green” living. The project is the first carbon-neutral and zero-energy multifamily community in the United States.

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Innovative zHome community opens Sept. 14

May 31, 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 May 3.

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 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.

Explore zHome on Green Home Tour

March 8, 2011

Discover eco-conscious features at zHome in the Issaquah Highlands during a regional tour of “green” residences next month.

The project is a featured destination on the upcoming Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Green Home Tour. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 16-17.

The tour includes in-depth education at residences throughout the area, so participants can learn tips about reducing energy costs and creating a more eco-friendly home environment.

Organizers offer more information, and a list of featured homes, at the guild website, www.ecobuilding.org.

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.

Dignitaries broke ground on zHome in September 2008, but the recession delayed construction until April 2010. The residences should be completed by late spring.

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

March 1, 2011

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.

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Tour eco-friendly zHome construction site Thursday

February 3, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 3, 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 is free and runs from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

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

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

Dignitaries broke ground on the project 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.

Innovative zHome construction site opens for tour Thursday

January 5, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 5, 2011

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

The tour focuses on electrical and plumbing components, plus measures to reduce lumber use in framing. The tour is free and runs from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

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

The last construction site tour attracted about 40 participants.

Plans call for zHome to include 10 eco-friendly townhouses designed to produce as much electricity as the units consume. The homes will harness solar power and use recycled building materials. Officials expect zHome to be completed in the spring.

Dignitaries broke ground on the project 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.

Learn about eco-friendly zHome project at tour

November 30, 2010

Track the construction of zHome during a public tour Dec. 2.

The free walk-through focuses on panel installation, fiberglass windows, construction recycling and rainwater plumbing. The tour runs from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Look for the construction site near the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride, 1755 Highlands Drive N.E.

Plans call for zHome to include 10 eco-friendly townhouses designed to produce as much electricity as the units consume. The homes will harness solar power and use recycled building materials. Officials expect zHome to be completed by the spring.

Dignitaries broke ground on the project 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.

Governor shines international spotlight on Issaquah’s zHome

October 5, 2010

Gov. Chris Gregoire offered a high-profile shout-out to zHome during a Sept. 17 sustainability address at the Shanghai World Expo.

The governor, on a trade mission to China and Vietnam, mentioned the Issaquah Highlands townhouse project during a speech to the Sustainable Cities Forum, a part of the World’s Fair.

“The city of Issaquah is building a zero-energy housing development in partnership with businesses,” Gregoire said as part of her remarks. “It involves designing, constructing and selling houses that demonstrate advanced ‘green’ building technologies.”

Plans call for zHome to include 10 townhouses designed to produce as much electricity as the units consume. By harnessing solar power and using recycled building materials, developers hope the complex causes only minimal impact to the environment.

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Help Issaquah’s zHome earn regional recognition

September 13, 2010

NEW — 2 p.m. Sept. 13, 2010

The innovative zHome project could be named a favorite in a design contest hosted by the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

But in order to be honored in the People’s Choice category, zHome needs support. Vote for the project here by Monday night. (Click the arrow next to the number to vote.)

The competition is part of FutureShack, a forum about the future of housing.

Plans call for zHome to include 10 townhouses designed to produce as much electricity as the units consume. By harnessing solar power and using recycled building materials, developers hope the complex causes only minimal impact to the environment.

Read more

See zHome construction up close Thursday

August 4, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 4, 2010

Explore the innovative zHome development during a monthly tour Thursday.

Meet at the Issaquah Highlands construction site — east of the Northeast High Street and Highlands Drive Northeast intersection along High Street — at 3:30 p.m. for the tour. The walkthrough should last until 4:30 p.m. Get directions here.

Because the tour includes the construction site, participants must sign a liability waiver.

Plans call for zHome to include 10 townhouses designed to produce as much electricity as the units consume. By harnessing solar power and using recycled building materials, developers hope the complex causes only minimal impact to the environment.

Read more

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