Sustainable Washington

3.8 Project Example #1

Action: Zero Energy Project, “ZHome”
Where: Issaquah
More Info: ,, and

In 2006 the City of Issaquah began planning for an innovative 10-unit “ZHome”townhouse development. The housing benchmarks include: Zero net energy use, Zero average net carbon emissions from home operations, a 90% diversion of all construction-related debris, 60% reduction in average water use, as well as low toxicity of materials and proper ventilation. Multiple features helping achieve these benchmarks include: solar “photovoltaic” panels, heavy insulation and double-paned windows, highly efficient “Energy Star”Appliances, large on-site rainwater cisterns, and locally-produced/recycled/durable materials including FSC-certified wood.

The project, built to be affordable to the median income, was sponsored by the city and aided through collaboration with King County, Built Green, Port Blakely Communities, Puget Sound Energy, and the Washington State University Program. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in October 2008, and project completion is slated for the end of 2009.

Not only is the City of Issaquah modeling a higher standard for its building stock, it also employs a variety of incentives for more green buildings in the future, including water utility rebates, energy rebates, free technical assistance, and preferential building permit review.


3.8 Construction and Green Building Practices | Table of Contents