The first One Planet Community in the USA to have occupied homes, the Grow Community is just a short ferry ride away from Seattle. Now fully powered by photovoltaics in its Village phase 1 neighborhood, and with Phase 2 under construction, Grow’s intergenerational housing project is proving to be an attractive alternative to unsustainable suburban sprawl.
Sustainable in Seattle
Grow Community is sited on Bainbridge Island, a 25 minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle – the biggest city in the North West USA and home of Boeing and Microsoft.
Here, 131 homes are being built in line with a sustainability action plan based on the ten One Planet Living principles. The first phase of 23 houses for sale has been completed with all of them sold. It also includes 20 apartments for rent. Work is underway on the second phase with many of the units already sold off-plan.
The emphasis is on creating a compact, neighbourly community with plenty of shared green space and essential services and facilities all a short walk or cycle ride away. Grow Community is in stark contrast to the car-dependent, fossil fuel-guzzling suburbia and McMansions found across the USA.
The Grow Community has highly insulated, air tight, all-electric homes. Residents have the option of installing enough power-generating rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels to meet almost all of their homes’ energy demands – or even exceed it in some cases. In Grow Community’s first phase, 22 of the 23 households have opted for PV panels supplying them with .grid-connected, zero-carbon solar power. Electrically powered air source heat pumps with heat exchangers keep them warm and well ventilated in winter.
With car parking spaces separate from the homes and only one car parking space per property, residents are encouraged to cycle and walk instead of driving. Grow Community has shared gardens, its own orchard, woodland, a green and a community building which will be run by the community. The development is designed to appeal to people of all ages and life stages – young adults, families with children and retirees.
About the developer
Asani, the developer of the Grow Community, has interests in commercial and residential real estate, a green construction company and clean energy projects. Its goals of sustainability are focused on creating real economic and environmental benefits through each of its projects and investments.