Columbia City Green – Behind the Walls

Our Behind the Walls tours of green building projects originally started way back when we listed 13 5-Star Built Green townhomes in the redeveloped community of Rainier Vista. These homes were built by the Queen of Green herself, Martha Rose, of Martha Rose Construction and were loaded with green features a majority of the general public had never seen before. Unfortunately, some of the really important features like Advanced Framing and blown-in cellulose insulation were going to be hidden behind drywall right quickly. So, we decided that getting people in these homes for a “Behind the Walls” tour was essential.

Not only were these tours packed, thanks to mass invitations to Seattle’s green building industry, but people really got enthused about what they were seeing. Even those just walking in off the street were impressed by the fact that here was a builder willing to lay all their work out for everyone to inspect, and actually excited to talk face-to-face with them about it.

So despite not having a lavish model home, or a sales office on site, like many of the bigger builder/real estate teams in Rainier Vista at the time, all Martha’s home were under contract before they were even completed.

Fast forward to 2009, a completely different market, economy and mindset about about green homes, and what do you get?

At Case Design’s Columbia City Green project this past weekend, we got 75+ people. Infiniti RED’s own Eva Otto and Architect Tony Case were on site to take anyone who wished through two beautiful single family homes now under construction. Some of the highlights were again Advanced Framing and blown-in cellulose insulation, but added to that list were ICF (insulated concrete formwork) walls, 800 gallon cisterns for rainwater harvesting, a rainscreen siding application of multi-colored fiber cement panels and more!

Columbia City Green - Under Construction

Columbia City Green – Under Construction

Were people coming to see the green features – definitely! Were they interested in talking face-to-face with the architect – absolutely! Were they just curious about a project in their neighborhood – most certainly! Were they in the market for a home – sure! But, you have to wonder if there wasn’t a more subtle, maybe subconscious, reason so many people came out on such a temperamental spring day – optimism. That’s right, chew on that one for awhile and we’ll circle back on that in another post.

Thanks to everyone who came! We hope you left with inspiration and ideas!

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