Jul. 12, 2010
Seabrook's Evergreen Cabin Goes LEED© Platinum
The Evergreen Cabin is now one of only 125 LEEDÂ© certified homes in Washington State, and the first such home in Seabrook, the city of Pacific Beach, and Grays Harbor County.
LEEDÂ© Certification is an internationally accepted standard that measures the sustainability of a building. There are two types of LEEDÂ© certification - residential and commercial. For each type of LEEDÂ© certification, there are multiple levels that a building can achieve: silver, gold, and the highest one - platinum. The Evergreen Cabin has reached the highest sustainability level for a residential home, which is quite outstanding!
As Seabrook's most energy-efficient beach house, the Evergreen Cabin is a prime example of Seabrook's commitment towards sustainable real estate development in the Pacific Northwest. Our homeowners are passionate about preserving the nature and truly believe in real-estate sustainability - which is what Seabrook has been about since its beginning.
For all the information on how the Evergreen Cabin achieved their Platinum LEEDÂ© Certification, read the press release featured in the rest of this article.
The Evergreen Cabin at Seabrook
July 8, 2010 ?? (Pacific Beach, WA) ?? Roughly one year after undertaking the development of the Coast's first green certified vacation rental in Seabrook, WA, The Evergreen Cabin achieved a LEED Platinum Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on May 18, 2010. The accomplishment makes the cabin the first completed LEED for Homes project in the Town of Seabrook, the City of Pacific Beach, and Grays Harbor County, as well as one of only 125 LEED certified homes in Washington State.
But what makes this project truly one?of?a?kind isn't its third?party green certification, nor the expansion of green real estate development to the coastline of the Olympic Peninsula. What is noteworthy is that rather that being developed for the exclusive use and benefit of The Evergreen's owners, The Evergreen was purposefully conceived as an educational demonstration project, available for widespread experience through vacation rentals. Megan Ritchie Saffitz, one of the co?developers and a sustainability consultant, notes that this aligns with the original mission of the USGBC: catalytic market transformation. She notes, "Through our signage, literature, websites, and open houses, we're able to share with those who are interested why we chose the materials and products we used and how they've improved environmental performance of the project."
The Evergreen is one of ten single?bedroom plus loft "Beach Camp Cabins" in the Town of Seabrook, a New Urbanist development 20 minutes north of Ocean Shores. With similar cedar shingled facades and floor plans, one might wonder how The Evergreen is any more or less green than its neighbors. Explains Michael Saffitz, the cabin's other developer: "With the exterior design guidelines for the Beach Camp, we knew there would be constraints, but the constraints allowed us to focus on where we could affect change and have a positive impact. As such, we principally focused on environmental performance - specifically energy and water conservation - as well as the use of environmentally responsible materials."
Mr. Saffitz is eluding to features such as the cabin's heating system, whose principle component is a propane fireplace - the world's most efficient. To improve its performance even further, the fireplace is connected to an online building automation system that uses a motion detector, allowing the fireplace to only provide heat when occupants are present and in need of thermal comfort. Another example is the bathroom fan, which turns on and off automatically upon sensing humidity at levels requiring exhausting. "By using automated technologies to improve environmental performance, we also improve the guest's stay by giving them a more carefree experience. It's win?win," concludes Mr. Saffitz.
Some of the most impactful green features of The Evergreen are more difficult to see; for example, the cabin installed high?efficiency insulation, windows, and sky?lights, sealed the drywall, and used third?party testing to ensure a tight envelop for the house so that no heating energy goes to waste. "Reducing the energy demands of the cabin was a top priority and probably the 'greenest' thing we did; the story and its impact is captured in a lot of our educational materials. However, it's easier to share the more tactile and experiential green features; that's why I really get excited about the eco?materials and products we used." Mrs. Saffitz is referring to amenities like coasters made from recycled vinyl records, drinking glasses made from reused wine bottles, and a dog bed made from repurposed Levi Jeans. She adds, "Also, to ensure that The Evergreen is as holistically sustainable as possible, we purchase carbon offsets through CarbonFund.org for our guests' travel to and from Seabrook. We say 'come to Seabrook, go green, and stay at The Evergreen Cabin!'"
About the Evergreen