Here’s a press release that was recently issued for the Kulshan CLT/Habitat project we’ve been involved with up in Bellingham:
KulshanCLT’s Indiana Street homes:
Four new compact, super energy-efficient, and permanently affordable homes
for the Birchwood neighborhood
(Bellingham) – Kulshan Community Land Trust begins construction soon on its newest super energy efficient, permanently affordable homes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Whatcom County in the Birchwood neighborhood at 2776 and 2788 West Indiana Street.
Working together, the goal is to demonstrate that sustainable features can be incorporated into affordably priced homes. Using third party verification of U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes and local BIAWC Built Green rating systems, the Indiana Street homes builds on the success of KulshanCLT’s Madrona Street home to serve as a model energy efficiency and affordability for our community. The four homes – two with attached accessory dwelling units (ADUs) will be sold at an affordable price to households at or below 80% of area median income (AMI) for their household size. For example, a household of 3 would need to make $48,850 or less to qualify.
KulshanCLT acquired the four lot Indiana Street homes building site, at risk of foreclosure, in 2009, using its own equity and Neighborhood Stabilization Funds (NSP) from the City of Bellingham. Like the Madrona Street home across the street, this home site is ideally located adjacent to trails, close to jobs, transportation options, and downtown Bellingham.
Following the building site acquisition, the Northwest Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (Northwest AIA) ran a design competition for the Indiana Street Homes, encouraging innovative designs from among its members. The design team, led by Fred Wagner AIA of Grinstad & Wagner, reviewed and evaluated submissions and chose the successful designs. These include Stig Carlson AIA, in association with intern architect Bennett Hart, Landsem Architects AIA, , in association with intern architect Dan Demeules, and Marcus Swed AIA, in association with intern architect Marc Griffin.
Concurrently, KulshanCLT engaged Habitat for Humanity of Whatcom County (HFHWC) in the project, which will build two of the four homes using the Stig Carlson AIA and Marcus Swed AIA Passivehaus designs. According to HFHWC Executive Director John Moon, this will be the first time HFHWC has built inside Bellingham city limits for 12 years.
“Designing the Madrona Street Home in partnership with The Cascade Joinery showed us that building energy efficient homes our homebuyers can afford is challenging but doable,” said Executive Director Dean Fearing. “That success inspired us to invite Habitat for Humanity to be involved in these four new Indiana Street Homes, and make similar upfront investments in energy efficiency for their homebuyers. Together, we are raising the bar and aim for these homes to be both high performance and close to self-sustaining from an energy standpoint.”
Landsem Architects AIA, in association with intern architect Dan Demeules, designed KulshanCLT’s homes and include attached accessory dwelling units (ADUs), creating two additional rental units affordable to households less than 50% AMI. The homes’ compact footprint will advance new developments in energy efficient construction methods and materials with a goal of achieving optimum energy efficiency and affordability. Its passive solar design and reliance on energy conservation will help homeowners achieve additional cost savings and efficiencies. As with KulshanCLT’s Madrona Street Home, we are requesting additional funding for a solar PV array. The two homes will be built by Emerald Builders for KulshanCLT.
KulshanCLT projects that its homeowners may recoup their investment in up-front high performance building costs through annual energy cost savings in five years or less. The estimated purchase price for qualified buyers is $145,000. Homebuyer downpayment and mortgage, combined with permanent affordability investments, cover the full cost of construction.
As planning and construction progresses community members will be invited to workshops, tours and open houses to learn more about the home’s affordable, sustainable design, features and advanced construction techniques. Construction is scheduled to be completed in summer 2013.