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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our blog has moved! We hope you will join us on our new blog.

Hi everyone, thank you so much for following along on our Grow Community blog. We've moved our blog over to our new website and hope you will join us over there. So, if you're subscribed to this blog and want to keep following our updates, point your browser to: http://growbainbridge.com/blog.

You can also grab our RSS feed by adding this link to the subscription section of your reader:

 http://feeds.feedburner.com/GrowCommunityBlog

Other fun ways to connect with Grow:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Newsletter

Hope to see you there!

Grow Community Bainbridge


Contact Details:

Grow Community Bainbridge
428 Grow Avenue NW,
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
T: 206.452.6755
E: live@growbainbridge.com

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Weekly construction update! Learn how the Grow Community is building energy efficiency (and savings) right into the walls.

A lot has been happening at the Grow Community construction site this week and we want to make sure you’re kept in the loop! Last week we talked about the air barrier being put up on the Aria which left some residents wondering if we were painting all of the homes at Grow black. We know that with a project this size there will be lots of questions and general curiosity from the community, so read on for your weekly digest of construction updates at the Grow Community and please let us know in the comments if you have any feedback or if there’s anything specific you would like us to address in a future blog post. 
Energy is the Name of the Game at Grow this Week 
Energy efficiency is about more than turning down the heat.  And we have always said that living at Grow isn't all about warm beers and cold showers.  While residents will need to be mindful of their energy use in order to achieve net-zero energy in their homes, we have put an incredible amount of thought into how we can design homes that will be inherently energy efficient, and even more than that, homes that will be comfortable. You won't be chilly in these homes. We promise.   
In order to achieve this, it’s necessary to build the savings right into the walls. Creating enough solar energy to power an entire home with the amount of space available on most roofs’ is very difficult, so the goal is to eliminate enough heat loss (during the winter), control heat gain (during the summer) and to tighten up the energy systems within the home to keep power needs to a minimum. The cheapest energy in the world is that which is not used.
After much exploration of different types of wall systems, we settled on double-stud walls, which you can see a cross-sectional view of in the picture to the left.  Most homes are built with a layer of insulation within a single 6-inch wall. The homes at Grow are using a double wall system of two, 2x4 walls. This wall system creates insulated areas with a 1" thermal break between them which greatly reduces heat loss and gain, keeping the home warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Combining the efficiency of the walls with the waterproof air barrier system we have put on the outside, the home is essentially given a shell with an R-Value more efficient the Washington State Energy Code requires. Greg Lotakis, our Project Manager on the Grow Community construction site, described it as being as if the home were, “wearing a thicker jacket, but in this case, it’s not just about keeping you warm, but also about keeping you cool in the Summer months”. 


Friday, June 8, 2012

Grow Drinks Was a Huge Success! Thank You all For Participating!

Our second Grow Drinks was a huge success! We really enjoyed meeting with everybody and being able to share our vision and ideas for the Grow Community and to hear all of your feedback and listen to your thoughts.

We had expected to give a simple presentation and then mingle with the crowd, but instead, an amazing thing happened: 

Our simple presentation turned into a lively round-table style discussion that felt truly unique and collaborative. We felt very connected to the community and everyone who's interested in the project in that moment. It's extremely important for us to be able to enter into conversations about the Grow Community and One Planet Living so we can design a better community for all.

We were honored to have Geof Syphers, an early proponent of the One Planet Living framework in North America, and lead on the Sonoma Mountain Village project, join our discussion and to be able to provide his insight and experience with One Planet Living and sustainable development.


So, in the spirit of last night's event, we invite you to keep the conversation moving forward with us and to please send us your thoughts here on the blog, on Facebook and Twitter or to join our mailing list for news and updates. 

Don't forget to mark your calendars for our next Grow Drinks, on July 12th! But don't worry, we'll send you an update to remind you. 

Thank you!

The Grow Team 



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wondering What's Going On at the New Construction Site Along Grow Avenue?

Those of you who have driven by Grow Avenue have seen that we have started construction and may be wondering what we are up to.  We have recently begun construction of three model homes that will be prototypes for the Grow Community. The model homes face Grow Avenue and are intended to showcase the different designs and floor-plans which will be available throughout the site. Construction will be complete and the homes available to tour mid-summer.


Grow is the first endorsed One Planet Community to build residential homes in the United States. A One Planet Community is built to the highest standards for environmental, economic and social sustainability. One Planet takes development beyond the standards of LEED, requiring not only sustainable building design, but sustainable lifestyle design. The Grow project pays attention to every detail - not only how buildings are built, but how people live in those buildings. We at Asani believe that our built environment affects our health and happiness and are building Grow to reflect our needs as social creatures as well as the needs of the planet.  With solar power on the roof, a garden in the backyard and a car share program on-site, it will not only be easy, but affordable and fun to live a zero-carbon lifestyle at Grow.


To accomplish this, our team has designed incredibly energy efficient homes which will provide residents with an easy way to live a carbon-free lifestyle.  We have worked hard to balance cost considerations with the latest in building systems and technologies. The homes you see under construction just now are model homes that will be used to test not only the various energy-efficient building designs and systems, they will also be used to gather feedback on the home layout and design, as well as the One Planet living concept. 


The three homes that will be available for touring in the next couple of months are the Aria, the Ocean and the Everett.The Everett, the largest of the group, is a single-family, 3 bedroom dwelling meant to comfortably house a family.  With a study, a mud room, a playroom and endless storage, this is the perfect family house. The Ocean is an intergenerational home designed for main-floor living with a master suite on the ground floor.  A second master suite and roof-top deck on the second floor make this a flexible house for all different living situations. The Aria, a 2-bedroom single family dwelling with a light footprint, has tons of space and is perfect for a young family.

As these homes go up we will be sharing more about the designs and the thought-process behind the sustainability choices we have made.  We will be sharing our mistakes as well as our successes.  We look forward to an open dialogue as we learn and hope that our efforts will spark new and interesting discussions around sustainable design.

Check back next week for more details on the energy-efficient wall designs being tested at Grow and for general construction updates and progress reports. Let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns here in the comment section, or on Facebook and Twitter.



The Grow Team

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Is Johnny Cash Moving to Grow Avenue?



We’ve been getting a lot of questions at the GROW site regarding the new homes being built along Grow Avenue. Mostly, people seem interested in the progress on the site, when the homes are going to be ready for touring, and why they appear to be being painted black and if we plan on leaving them like that. Our Project Manager, Greg Lotakis, laughed and said he thought it looked like Johnny Cash - the infamous ‘Man in Black’ - was moving to the Grow Community.

You might be a little disappointed to learn that the late, great Johnny Cash is not moving to Bainbridge Island. You will, however, be happy to learn that we aren’t planning on building black homes along Grow Avenue, but are instead, in the process of building some of the most energy efficient homes in North America.

What you’re seeing going up on the first model home at the Grow Community is a weather resistant barrier system called Enviro-Dri, created by Tremco. We chose Enviro-Dri, as opposed to more familiar home sheaths like Tyvec, because the product is top in its class for weather resistant barriers and works for the life of your home to remove moisture and fight molds and mildew, an important aspect to home building in the Pacific Northwest.  


Each of the three model homes will be constructed using slightly different wall systems and materials.  We will be testing and monitoring each combination for effectiveness and cost efficiency.  The next home will be coated with a similar product called StoGuard Gold Coat


As we learn more through the application of each of these different products, we will be posting our thoughts and inviting your feedback.  Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and information on the Grow Community project.

The Grow Team.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Announcing GROWdrinks 2 - JUNE 7th at 7 pm!

Join Us For GROWdrinks Part 2 On June 7th! 
 
Our first GROWdrinks was a huge success so we would like to make this a monthly event.  We hope you can join us for our second GROWdrinks on Thursday, June 7th from 7-9pm.

If you're thinking about living at the Grow Community - or are interested in learning more, and would like to meet others who are interested as well - join us for a positive evening of connection:  drink some wine, eat some cheese, and partake in some stimulating conversationIf you are interested in connecting, please RSVP here and mark the date on your calendar!


Where?

The festivities will be taking place at OfficeXPats in the Pavilion on Bainbridge Island. We'll be meeting from 7 - 9 pm and are really excited to meet everyone and talk about the Grow Community! Check out the map below for directions and if you're coming from Seattle, go here for the ferry schedule. 



OfficeXPats is located at: 


403 Madison Ave. N, Ste. 240
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110







Can't make it?  UPCOMING GROWdrinks DATES:  July 12th and August 9th. You can sign up here for our newsletter if you're interested in future events and news from the Grow Team. 

See you next week! 

Grow Team 



Monday, May 28, 2012

Share Common Ground

More boomers are opting for smaller neighborhoods with a bigger sense of community

   
Pocket neighborhoods are small on space but big on community. — Photo by Misha Gravenor
Rosemary Fowler calls them "the parade of gawkers." Every night after dinner, as she sits in the white wicker chaise on her front porch, she sees them stream by to check out her cozy neighborhood-in-the-making.

See also: Pocket neighborhood slideshow.


The Carmel, Ind., nurse, 56, is not surprised that her sunny yellow house, and the seven other two-story cottage-style homes in various stages of completion, are attracting attention. Instead of a street separating the $225,000-to-$400,000 homes that face one another, a landscaped courtyard divides them. Visitors walk to the front door of each home through a common walkway.

Although the houses are clustered together, their layouts ensure privacy: The houses may be close, but if one has large windows on one side, the wall of the house next door will be windowless. Each cottage has a picket fence in front.

Eventually, the development, called Inglenook, will have 27 cottages in groups of six or eight ranging from 1,000 to almost 2,200 square feet.

Fowler, who bought the small three-bedroom home and shares it with her best friend, Becky Meadows, 60, has not regretted her move from her bigger house and yard. "This is beautifully designed, easier to maintain and gives me more time to get to know my neighbors," she says.

Not that there are any yet. Fowler and Meadows are the new kids on the block in fact, the only kids in Indiana's first pocket neighborhood. Developer Casey Land is writing new contracts, so it's only a matter of time before Fowler will chat with neighbors hanging out on their porches. "I'm going to be part of a close-knit community where people look out for one another, socialize and when needed, take care of each other," says Fowler. "I fell in love with the concept."

A what?
Chances are, you will be hearing more about pocket neighborhoods. This increasingly popular housing option generally consists of a dozen or so compact houses or apartments that share common or green space. That might be a pedestrian walkway, garden, courtyard or shared backyard or alley. Central mailboxes give neighbors even more opportunities to interact.

Backyards are typically small, with the focus on the front especially those porches. Usually, pocket homes have an open floor plan and are newly constructed, but could also be in an existing enclave. Regardless, they are tucked into "pockets" of a neighborhood or part of a larger new development, often near walkable destinations like shops and restaurants.

Parking, you ask? Pockets may have a separate parking area or attached garages, but they deemphasize the automobile mentality, where drivers pull into garages and disappear into houses until it's time to hop back into the car. Instead, the architecture emphasizes forming relationships with neighbors.

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