A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Open house Saturday for “Mini-B” passive house at Phinney Center

January 14th, 2011 by Doree

The “Mini-B” passive house was installed in the lower parking lot of the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., last month, and the official open house is from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Mini-B during its installation on Dec. 12, 2009.

The 300-square-foot eco-friendly, energy efficient modular residence was built by 22 carpentry students at Seattle Central Community College/Wood Construction Center.

The Seattle chapter of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is using the Mini-B to encourage building practices that promote super energy efficiency. After six months at the PNA, it will go on sale, with the hope being that more will be built and sold if it proves popular enough.

The Mini-B, designed by architect Joe Giampietro (Johnson Braund Design Group), has a kitchenette, three-quarters bath, living/dining room, bed loft, closet, equipment loft with storage, solar hot water collector, and vaulted ceiling. It is built to an energy conservation standard that uses approximately 15 percent of the heating energy used by similar houses built to current Washington State Energy Code requirements. Once the last inspection and test is completed, Mini-B will be certified as a “Passive House” by the Passive House Institute U.S.

Representatives from Seattle Central’s Wood Construction Center, Johnson Braund Design Group, Phinney Neighborhood Association and the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild will be on hand during the open house to answer questions about the Mini-B.

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Go Green with Agent Green during Friday’s Art Up Art Walk

February 9th, 2010 by Doree

This Friday’s monthly Art Up Art Walk will have a twist. Six local businesses will use 25 percent of their profits from that day for their energy retrofit projects, as part of the Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce’s Agent Green program.

Agent Green is an organized culture mob that works to bring Seattle residents into the neighborhood to use their collective purchasing power to support neighborhood businesses that promise to dedicate 25% of their sales from the day towards energy and water efficiency retrofitting.

This event honors six pilot businesses in particular, the first to participate in the chamber’s Green Smart Sustainable Business Program. This new program is designed to help neighborhood businesses reduce their carbon footprint and improve their overall sustainability.

Shop local, give back and build your community. The monthly art walk offers friends and neighbors an evening where they can shop works from local Northwest artists, explore great food in the Greenwood-Phinney community and support community giving throughout the year.

In February, your purchasing power, combined with the Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities’ cash rebates for energy efficient upgrades, will create the capital and inertia needed to aid the businesses in drastically reducing their energy use.

The Green Smart Sustainable Business Program’s pilot businesses are:

Gainsbourg will be the “headquarters” for Agent Green on Friday. Stop by from 6-10 p.m. and learn more about the program, and enjoy live music and food and drink specials.

The Green Smart Sustainable Business Program, powered by the Chamber’s Sustainability Committee, helps small businesses in our neighborhood reduce their carbon footprint and improve their overall sustainability. The program’s goals include:

  • Assist businesses to perform a carbon footprint analysis and lower operating costs through increased energy efficiency and waste reduction strategies
  • Connect businesses with available City of Seattle resources such as rebates and funding and with local, green contractors to perform retrofits
  • Provide marketing for participating businesses
  • Provide workshops and educational materials on small business sustainability

(Disclosure: Agent Green is a PhinneyWood sponsor.)

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Tour local homes on Solar Tour

September 29th, 2009 by Doree

The annual Seattle Solar Tour gives homeowners a chance to see how incorporating solar energy into their homes could save their energy bills and the environment. The Solar Tour is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and covers 30 homes and businesses.

Two of those homes are in our neck of the woods. The Galvin home at 111 N. 74th St. features a solar hot water system, with solar panels that do double duty as sun shades for the koi pond. The Herndon home at 808 NW 64th St. features a solar energy system and tubular solar skylights, plus a rain water harvest system to water plants and flush toilets.

See a list of participating homes here, with links to maps and directions.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently designated Seattle as one of 25 Solar America Cities. According to Seattle City Light, only about two dozen customers had solar electric installations in 2005. That number has now climbed to about 200 residential and business customers.

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