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.

Bellevue homebuilder purchases Issaquah Highlands lots

May 23, 2011

NEW — 1:15 p.m. May 23, 2011

Taylor Development, a Bellevue-based real estate firm, is joining Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to foster development in the Harrison Street neighborhood, a ritzy collection of custom homes perched on Grand Ridge.

Taylor Development has purchased 48 lots in the neighborhood, and plans to work alongside custom homebuilders and homebuyers to complete the neighborhood. The companies announced the deal Monday.

“Issaquah Highlands is among the Northwest’s premier communities and the acquisition of a large number of home sites in the highly desirable Harrison Street neighborhood represents a key opportunity for Taylor Development,” company President Kevin Taylor said in a release.

The neighborhood includes about 90 home sites — 35 have been sold, including 24 completed or under-construction.

The acquisition is part of a series of construction projects planned, completed or in progress for the highlands.

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Issaquah environmentalists receive Green Globe Awards

May 10, 2011

Every two years, King County awards its best environmentalists with the Green Globe Awards at the Earth Day Expo.

Of the 16 awards given to individuals, schools districts, cities and businesses that won the 2011 Green Globe Awards, three award-winners are from Issaquah — two people behind the Issaquah Zero Energy Village and Dr. Jessica Saepoff, a dentist with Natural Dental Health Associates in Issaquah.

County Executive Dow Constantine praised the finalists for their work toward helping “green” their communities.

“Award winners are leaders, innovators and are truly dedicated to making King County and the greater Puget Sound region such a tremendous place to live, work and play,” Constantine said in a news release. “I want to thank all of our winners for proving that commitment and dedication makes a positive difference in the community.”

Linda Hall, with the YWCA, and Brad Liljequist, with zHome Issaquah Zero Energy, both received the award for Community Leadership in Green Building.

Their projects, the YWCA Family Village at Issaquah and zHome, required years of planning, forethought and persistence on behalf of the YWCA and Issaquah to incorporate housing for Eastside working families.

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Issaquah’s zHome re-creates the forest’s natural hydrology

May 10, 2011

What sets zHome apart from other green residential communities?

We set the bar incredibly high with zHome. Conceptually, we asked ourselves, “What would a highly livable neighborhood with as close to zero impact as reasonably possible on the environment look like? Is such a thing even possible?”

We set benchmarks in each key category, including energy, water use, materials, indoor health and site practices, which all attempt to minimize the long-haul impacts of the homes on the environment.

Isn’t zHome mainly about using zero net energy?

We are pulling out the stops in every area, though of course zero net energy is an extremely high bar to achieve. In the area of storm water and site practices, we set as a standard that the volume of rain that infiltrates into the ground after site development should emulate the way it hit the ground in its original forested state.

That seems impossible, given the high density of the site, with paved and roof areas.

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Issaquah’s innovative zHome community to open Sept. 14

May 3, 2011

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.

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Come behind the scene at zHome to meet the experts

April 19, 2011

What is zHome?

When it opens this September, zHome — just east of the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride — will be the first multifamily, production, zero-energy, carbon-neutral community in the United States.

Brad Liljequist

ZHome is a template for what 21st century, carbon-neutral housing looks like. It will use:

Zero net energy by balancing out its carbon emissions during the course of the year.

70 percent less water than a typical home.

Materials that come from some of the greenest sources possible.

Who is behind this project?

The city is spearheading the project. ZHome, however, is also a collaborative effort of several organizations and companies, including Ichijo USA, Built Green, King County, Port Blakely Communities, Puget Sound Energy and the Washington State University Energy Program.

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Swedish Medical Center campus nears completion

April 12, 2011

The north wall of the Swedish Medical Center campus in the Issaquah Highlands is close to completion. By Greg Farrar

Campus serves as economic engine in highlands

Starbucks is coming to the Issaquah Highlands.

Only, rather than opening a shop on a street corner, the coffee giant is setting up inside the Swedish Medical Center.

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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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Mayor predicts ‘momentous year’ in State of the City speech

February 15, 2011

City is poised to complete long-term projects in coming months

Mayor Ava Frisinger offered a bold prediction for the year in the State of the City address last week.

“2011 will undoubtedly be a momentous year for Issaquah — one that will not only reinforce the importance of our day-to-day business, but will also celebrate our larger accomplishments,” she said during the Feb. 7 address.

The can-do speech highlighted projects scheduled for completion in the months ahead, including the city-coordinated zHome townhouses and a landmark effort to outline redevelopment in the 915-acre business district.

“2010 sets high expectations for this year, and I am confident that we can meet them,” Frisinger said. “Our list of goals for 2011 is extremely impressive and yet very feasible.”

The annual address — like the spring City Council goal-setting session and the autumn budget announcement — helps city leaders outline priorities for the public.

Frisinger used the speech to shine a spotlight on long-term efforts on track to mark milestones.

The city is poised to complete the long-running effort to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain soon.

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