Genesee Park Reaches Net Zero

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Photography by Tucker English

This 3,700-square foot home, located across from Genesee Park, near the shores of Lake Washington and a broad open meadow that stretches 5 blocks north to Stan Sayres Memorial Park on Lake Washington Boulevard in Seattle, will achieve net zero energy and 5-Star Built Green certification.

The 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home features a spacious, free-flowing floor plan that is filled with natural light, airy living spaces, flexible bonus rooms, and indoor/outdoor entertainment areas. In addition to proximity to a public park, the home sits on a large 8,000-square foot lot, offering generous outdoor entertaining spaces, native landscapes, and gardening opportunities.

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The home’s unique architectural style is in striking contrast to the surrounding green landscape, while the responsibly harvested, white-oak siding creates a sense of belonging. The layering of materials such as concrete, oak, metal, and fiber cement also contribute to the dynamic modern exterior. Inside, the home features classic designer finishes and an array of reclaimed, local, and recycled materials, for an eclectic modern aesthetic. The combination of natural materials and free-flowing spaces, including a stairway that leads to a bonus room overlooking the living
room and kitchen, creates a unique home fit for both a family and the design-conscious. The rooftop terrace is ideal for entertaining guests and taking in the expansive views of Lake Washington. But what truly sets this home apart are the water and energy-saving systems.

High Performance + Smart Design

Dwell Development’s net-zero strategy requires a strategic approach to homebuilding. The Genesee Park home features an innovative combination of green building techniques and systems, including a 9.0 kW rooftop solar array, air-tight building envelope, high-performance windows, 12-inch thick walls packed with insulation, high-efficiency heating, and also solar thermal technology for hot water, which is a first for Dwell Development. Since the company’s inception in 2006, Dwell Development has been dedicated to exclusively Built Green certified homes, which has helped them develop a signature approach to high-performance home building powered by Passive House concepts. Their commitment to innovation has led to their latest venture into solar thermal technology; an uber, energy-efficient method for residential water heating. Utilizing solar technology and systems such a these helps Dwell Development’s homes reach net-zero energy.

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The ultimate goal is always net zero — meaning the home produces the same amount of energy as it consumes — ultimately helping to reduce carbon footprints and energy bills. This home will also achieve 5-Star Built Green certification, which is an environmentally friendly, nonprofit, residential building program from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties. This certification ensures best practices in green development, verifies a home’s sustainability, and establishes a new home’s net-zero status.

Solar Panels + Solar Thermal

The Genesee Park home’s 9.0 kW rooftop solar panel system serves as the primary energy source, which is the driving force behind net-zero living. Solar panels also act as an additional income stream for residents, as the energy overage can be deposited back into the city grid for others to use, resulting in net gains on monthly energy bills for homeowners. This home is different than any other home by Dwell Development because its uses solar thermal technology, another key component to reaching net zero. The technology is quickly gaining popularity in the green building industry, because it uses the sun’s energy, rather than fossil fuels, to generate low-cost, environmentally friendly thermal energy. When combined, solar panels and solar thermal technology work together to create a holistic energy efficient system to power the home using the sun’s natural energy.

Green Landscape + Healthy Living

The home’s location near Columbia City, Lake Washington, shopping and retail districts, and mass transit, including light rail, supports Dwell Development’s philosophy to develop homes in dense, walkable urban areas and support Seattle Parks. Genesee Park is a 57.7-acre park that was recommended for acquisition in 1908 by the Olmsted Brothers because of its “fine views” of Lake Washington. Set back in a quiet area, the park contains large, open, grass play fields, walking trails, child play areas, wild bird habitats, picnic shelters, and a turf field for soccer and
football. Genesee also boasts a fully fenced 2.5 acre off-leash dog park, complete with a dog drinking fountain and kiosk for community notices. The L-shaped park is bordered by Lake Washington, the Stan Sayers Memorial Park, and the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center. The park also plays host to the popular summer event on Lake Washington, Seafair, which includes hydroplane races and air shows every August. With its proximity to the park, large lush yard, and multiple outdoor entertainment spaces, the home offers a variety of reasons to go outside.

Project Team

Architect Designer: First Lamp Architecture

Builder, Developer, Land Planner, and Interior Designer: Dwell Development