Dwell Development of Seattle has built the “Emerald City’s” first Emerald Star home. Emerald Star is the highest honor given by the regional Built Green program, and an impressive achievement for the home which was also designated a 2016 U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home Housing Innovation Award winner. The home is Dwell’s third home to be certified to the DOE program although, according to founder Anthony Maschmedt, Dwell has built over 100 homes, duplexes, or townhomes that meet the program criteria.

DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program requires every home to be certified to ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Version 3.0 and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor airPLUS program. Each home must meet the hot water distribution requirements of the EPA’s WaterSense program and the insulation requirements of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code. The program also requires homes to have solar electric panels installed or at a minimum to have the conduit and electrical panel space in place for future PV installation.

Dwell’s 2016 award winner met all of these criteria as well as the rigorous criteria of Built Green, a program conducted by the Master Builders Association, in partnership with King and Snohomish counties of Washington state. The home was Dwell’s 100th to achieve a 5-Star Built Green rating and the first in the state to achieve the Emerald Star, which requires homes to achieve net zero energy usage, implement high indoor air quality measures, meet a 70% reduction in water usage versus the King County average home’s water consumption, and verify that 90% of the wood used is reclaimed or FSC-certified.

This last requirement helps to account for the home’s unique appearance. Settled in the old Seattle neighborhood amidst 100-year-old craftsman style homes, the 3-story, 2,117 ft² contemporary home stands out as a testament to maximum efficiency.

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