Energy Efficient Home with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington

Architects: SHED Architecture & Design
Project: Energy efficient home
Location: Seattle, WA, United States
Square Footage 3,764
Photography: Mark Woods

From the architect: Site: Built on a steep slope lot in Seattle with sweeping views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains, the project presented a number of challenges, both technical and permit-related. As a designated Environmentally Critical Area (ECA) Steep Slope, the lot is subject to a far more rigorous standard of review than an ordinary flat lot. Also, due to the ECA regulations, the new house had to be located within (or uphill of) the footprint of the previous house which was built on 10-12 feet of fill.

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 1

Program: The clients are a couple with two teenaged kids, looking to downsize from a large old East Capitol Hill house into something smaller and far more energy efficient. In addition to simply building a smaller house, the clients also wanted to be able to convert the kids’ floor to a rentable unit, or ADU after the kids move out.

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 2

Design: To meet client’s needs, the kid’s rooms were placed on the basement level, which is fully daylit on the north and east sides. One of the kid’s rooms with an en suite bathroom, along with the media/living area, will be converted to an ADU by adding a wall and a kitchenette down the line. The remaining basement bedroom will become a guest room, and the laundry and mechanical rooms will continue to serve the upper floors. The main living floor includes living, kitchen and dining, as well as a large deck facing the lake. The upper floor houses the master suite, office and exercise room.

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 3

To negotiate the site’s environmentally critical steep slope, a structural slab supported by 26 piles drilled deep into the hillside effectively “floats” the house above marginal soils on a “platform-on-stilts.”

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 4

Sustainability: The decision to design to Passive House standards came during the design process. By investing in sustainable site development strategies, efficient building systems and a high performance envelope, this energy efficient home project transforms an environmentally critical lot-with-a-view into a sustainable one, all while achieving the world’s most demanding building energy standard.

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 5

Structural foam insulation lines retaining walls and the structural slab to eliminate thermal bridging
High-density cellulose cavity insulation, ZIP sheathing for air-tightness, mineral wool exterior insulation board, and rainscreen of vertical cedar siding
7kW solar PV array on thermally isolated stanchion, sized to offset much of the home’s energy demand
Exterior mechanical blinds and triple-pane windows to modulate solar gain
A green roof and rainwater harvesting to reduce storm water run-off and irrigate drought tolerant plantings

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 6

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 7

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 8

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 9

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 10

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 11

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 12

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 13

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 17

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 14

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 19

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 14

Energy Efficient Home Built on a Steep Slope Lot with Sweeping Views of Lake Washington 16

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Reconstruction of the Artist’s Studio in a Residential Loft, Paris

Situated on a courtyard in the 20th arrondissement in Paris, this 50m² artist's workshop (13m longx3.5m wide x 5m high) was transformed into place...

Sustainable hybrid timber-frame Mini Home with playful design

This lovely two-room cottage has an adventurous and playful design. The sustainable cottage was designed by Nir Pearlson Architects, architecture studio based in Eugene, Oregon, United...

Small Fisherman’s House in Toulon Transformed into a Bright Family Home

Nestled on the heights of the district of Mourillon in Toulon, this small fisherman's house has been completely renovated by Marseille-based architecture firm vGH Company.

SAMI Arquitectos Have Transformed a Ruin into a Vacation Home

SAMI Arquitectos have used a ruin to design a vacation home on the island of Pico, Portugal. Description by SAMI Arquitectos: A ruin was the starting...

Wateka Residence by Domiteaux + Baggett Architects

As is typical with our work this residence is a complete reflection of the homeowners. The Wateka residence was thoughtfully planned to make a comfortable space that lives with them. The site had several mature trees that the homeowners desired to preserve. Site placement of the home was strategic to the trees.

The Floating Piers – A Walkway Across the Water of Lake Iseo

For sixteen days – June 18 through July 3, 2016 (weather permitting) – Italy’s Lake Iseo is being reimagined. 100,000 square meters of shimmering...