Last month you heard about the very successful 2007 Annual Built Green Conference & Expo. This month we want to tell you about the success of the accompanying Built Green Low Impact Development and Green House Tour. Sponsored by the Sustainable Development Task Force of Snohomish County, the tour was held March 14 and featured visits to Cottage Wërks’ small plat development and 3-star home in Mukilteo.
Four tour buses headed out from Paine Field to the tour the nearby sites. The LID tour focused on how to incorporate low impact development strategies into smaller projects. The original plans for the plat’s twelve homes proposed retaining many of the large trees to provide vital stormwater management and privacy. Cottage Wërks developer, Chris Chase, wanted to retain these trees to help intercept, store or convey precipitation into the soil before it reached surrounding impervious surfaces. These impervious surfaces lead stormwater directly to adjacent Puget Sound. Unfortunately, many of those trees fell during last winter’s wind storms.
The revised plat calls for new bio-swales and retention of a few of the fallen tree snags to enhance soil stability. The remaining windfall will be ground up and used to help condition the soil for greater stormwater absorption. Other low impact strategies, including native plant retention and replanting, pervious surfaces, minimized footprint, compost berm installation, and optimal home orientation, will be used to compensate for the loss of the large native trees.
The second stop on the tour focused on the Built Green features of Cottage Wërks’ 3-star home. Participants were led through the house by Built Green verifiers, either Alistair Jackson of O’Brien & Company or Dan Wildenhaus of Atmosphere, Inc. The tour guides pointed out Built Green features incorporated into the design, material selection, and heating and cooling components of the home construction.
For more information on Cottage Wërks please visit the Sustainable Development Task Force’s http://www.SustainableSnohomishCounty.com