Green Builder Media, hosted its 8th Annual Green Home of the Year Awards in which nine projects were selected to represent 2015’s best green homes. This year’s homes upped the ante on overall sustainability with several of the winners achieving net-zero energy or are net-zero ready.

Dwell Development took home two awards:

Grand Overall Winner, Rainier Vista Community

Best Infill Project, Reclaimed Modern

This year’s Grand Overall Winner, Rainier Vista Community, located in Seattle,  began as a 15 home partnership between Dwell Development and the Seattle Housing Authority in 2010. The project expanded to 36 additional homes over the next five years. All 42 homes are designed for zero-energy living and are 5-Star Built Green certified.

The goal of the project was to create a community within the bustling Columbia City neighborhood that brings together likeminded individuals who value community, sustainability and modern design. The homes are arranged in micro-blocks: clusters of six to eight homes around an outdoor common area, which includes a community garden and informal gathering spaces. The pedestrian-friendly location near the Light Rail Station and the retail and dining district in Downtown Columbia City help further reduce the community’s carbon footprint.


“Every year we think we have maxed out the possibilities with the current crop of entries, until we get the new set of entries the following year,” says Green Builder Media President, Ron Jones. “I have to say that I am completely blown away by the judges selections for this year’s awards and amazed by the diversity of project types, geographic locations, selections of materials/products/systems, and architectural styles. The masterful combining of creativity and building science so beautifully and convincingly demonstrated in these projects should inspire everyone, everywhere in the shelter industry to emulate these extraordinary designers and builders.”

Judges evaluated the entries on comprehensive criteria, including siting, the depth of building science employed, materials sourcing and reuse and overall resilience. The other projects that received honors include:

  • Bellingham Power House – Bellingham, WA (Best Alternative Construction)
  • Brookline Residence – Brookline, MA (Best Inspired Green Design)
  • Reclaimed Modern – Seattle, WA (Best Infill Project)
  • Below Zero – South Glastonbury, CT (Best Mainstream Green)
  • The Beach House at Truesdale Lake – Lewisboro, NY (Best Renovation)
  • Rainwater Ranch – Burnet, TX (Best Resilient Design)
  • Birch Case Study – Bellingham, WA (Best Building Science)
  • House for a Writer in Bohemia – Czech Republic (Best Affordable Green)