Clearwater Commons is an intentional, ecologically-responsible residential community located in Bothell, WA.
This is the first project of its kind to use comprehensive low impact development methods, intentional community values, innovative green building techniques, and environmental improvements based on the restoration of North Creek, an important endangered salmon habitat. In 2012, the Commons contracted Guild member Cascade Built to complete construction of the first phase of 4 homes, and is now looking for folks interested in presale purchasing of phase two homes. Learn more…
Site plan features:
Pedestrian Friendly Design . The entire residential portion of the Commons is pedestrian access only, minimizing the amount of pavement used. Parking is restricted to the perimeter lot, but with access for emergency vehicles and loading/unloading.
Rain Gardens . The design of rain gardens mimic natural site conditions, allowing stormwater from the homes and the site itself to be stored and slowly released through infiltration, thus minimizing the impact on North Creek.
Permeable Pavement . Used in several locations on site and designed to allow water to flow through it into a layer of base rock below which holds the water while it slowly infiltrates into the site.
Native Plantings . The site, including the North Creek and its surrounding wetland areas, will evolve from a pasture to a wetland woods and meadow as invasive weeds are replaced with native trees and plants.
Community Plaza . Adjacent to the Common House and overlooking the North Creek ravine, the plaza is another place to gather. It will have an outdoor barbecue and an area for tables.
Community Garden . A community garden will be located near the south end of the site where members can participate in gardening activities, poultry production, as well has have garden plots for personal use.
Common House. This will be the central indoor gathering place at the Commons, used for sharing meals, activities and parties, with a kitchen, restrooms, quiet places to sit and relax, wifi access and outdoor space for barbeques. It will also house the solar panels for electric production or solar tubes and storage tanks for a district water heating system.
House Plan Features:
Layout . There will be a combination of 16 townhouses and single family homes. Like European cohousing communities, kitchens will face the common area with the more private living rooms located at the back of the homes – most with views to the wetlands. There will be both three bedroom and two bedroom unit plans available.
Green roofs . Green roofs will be incorporated on some of the units and may also be incorporated on some of the common buildings. Green roofs improve stormwater management by minimizing runoff onto the site. They also have the added benefits of increased energy efficiency, air quality and noise reduction while also extending the roof life and improving aesthetics.
Pin Pile Foundations . These foundations replace the traditional poured concrete foundations. Whereas standard foundations create small dams limiting subsurface ground waters natural flow, pin foundations allow shallow groundwater to move unhindered under the house thus mimicking traditional flow paths.
The house foundations are small concrete pods that support the structure of the building without digging down into the soil. They are roughly egg shaped and have steel pins that go down into the soil like roots to hold it in place. Here is a link to the manufacturer’s site: Pin Foundations
Advanced Framing & Increased Insulation . Advanced framing results in a substantial reduction in the amount of lumber used, while maximizing space for insulation and reducing thermal breaks and heat loss through walls. Combined with the use of both fiberglass and rigid foam insulation (on all exterior walls), the heating and cooling requirements for these homes will be greatly reduced.
Indoor Air Quality. Through the use of low toxic materials and heat recovery air exchange systems, the houses will have fresh air and greatly improved indoor air quality.
District Solar Water Heating . One energy production technique being researched is a district solar hot water system. The common house would feature a solar water heating system with storage tanks. This pre-heated water would then be piped to the houses in insulated pipes where the temperature would be adjusted for domestic household uses.
Solar Electric . Community solar electric panels will generate electricity for common buildings. Excess summer electricity will be fed back into the utility grid creating ‘credits’ which can be used during the cloudier winter months. The houses themselves will be pre-wired for similar systems, which can be installed when the homeowner’s choose.