Rainier Vista Sustainable Micro-Community
Award-Winning Residential Community in Columbia City
Rainier Vista is a 42-home sustainable micro community in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood designed by JW Architects and built by Dwell Development. The New Rainier Vista Community project began as a partnership with the Seattle Housing Authority in 2010 and a commitment from Dwell Development’s Founder and Principal, Anthony Maschmedt, to build 15 homes using green building techniques and high performance technology that would help homeowners conserve resources and cut costs. The excitement and demand generated by the project led to an additional 36 homes over five years with the last home completed and sold this year.
All 42 homes in the community are designed and ready for zero energy living. Every home in the community is 5-Star Built Green certified – a voluntary certification program developed by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties that establishes environmental standards for energy efficiency, water use and indoor air quality.
Each home in the Columbia City community features solar-ready rooftop configurations, advanced framing, high impact insulation, triple-glazed windows, tankless on demand hot water, radiant heating systems or uber efficient ductless mini-splits, as well as heat recovery ventilation systems (HRV) to help prepare the home for net zero energy usage in the future.
The community also includes two units clad in 3 inches of cork siding that serves as both exterior insulation as well as finished siding material. One of these homes is certified as Net Energy Positive (HERS -1) and is officially Seattle’s first net positive spec home. The community also includes Dwell Development’s first Passive House; a rigorous construction method centered on creating an airtight building envelope to reduce heating and cooling needs for ultra-low energy usage.
Dwell Development partnered with local architecture firm, Julian Weber Architects, to deliver 42 unique architectural plans for the community so no two homes are alike. Dwell Development skillfully integrated environmentally conscious elements into the process from initial designs to final interior touches, seeking out unique reclaimed and recycled materials for floors, counter tops and tile.
The goal of the project was to create a community within the city of Seattle that brings together like-minded individuals who value community, sustainability and modern design. “Rainier Vista was a vision. It has become a reality, and our firm’s greatest feat yet! I couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished,” says Anthony Maschmedt. The homes are arranged in micro-blocks and clusters of 4 homes centered around a community garden and informal outdoor gathering spaces to promote neighborly connections. The pedestrian friendly location near the Light Rail Station and shopping and dining in Downtown Columbia City help further reduce the community’s carbon footprint.