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French TV Feature – A quest for the greenest residential developments

French TV came to town last summer looking for the greenest residential developments in the USA, and their quest led them straight to Grow Community.

Over the course of four busy days, Echo-Logis program host Anthony DaSilva and his crew interviewed Grow residents and the folks from our project developer Asani.

Watch the Echo-Logis half-hour feature here.

Even if you don’t speak French – there are no subtitles, Hélas! – the videography of Grow Community and our Bainbridge/Seattle land-and-seascapes is simply stunning. The Echo-Logis crew made extensive use of aerial photography with a small drone, and the footage is well worth seeing – whether or not you live at Grow, you’ll be reminded why you want to live here.

Thanks again to Anthony and his very talented crew for visiting Bainbridge Island and taking the Grow Community story to the globe. We know your storytelling will inform and inspire!

The sun shines on Grow construction

Winter took a short holiday this week and Grow was aglow in the low afternoon sun. The worksite hummed with construction activity as we round out the northernmost buildings in the new Grove neighborhood.

Windows were trimmed and sealed at the Salal building, while interior finishes including doors and fixtures went in to complement the beautiful hardwood flooring and generous south-facing windows.

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Outside, workers added the spacious enclosed patios featured with many units. New sidewalks were poured along Wyatt Way, a great amenity for surrounding neighbors as they skirt the north side of the Grow Community grounds.

And up on the roof, the Juniper building’s 44kW solar array took shape with the installation of inverters and related hardware, with panels to be installed next week.

Construction on the Elan townhomes and the Tsuga that bound the Grove neighborhood also made great headway, as work shifts south toward the third and final neighborhood, the Park.

Be sure to see all of these features for yourself at our new model home in the Grove neighborhood. Make an appointment today by contacting our sales team: live@growbainbridge.com or 206.452.6755.

One planet, one community, and one goal: a new model for sustainable living.

Grow Community was founded on the principles of One Planet Living, proving that from design and construction to the choices we make as neighbors, we can live within the productive capacity of the earth.

How are we doing? Find out in our “One Planet Annual Verification Report,” now available for download HERE.   Bio_BioOPL_Colour_RGB_A-01

It’s Grow’s report on itself, a self-assessment of our progress toward Health and Happiness, Local Food and Sustainable Water, Culture, and other key indicators of a forward-thinking community.

1planet-reportDid you know:

  • 85 percent of Grow residents say they’re walking more, and 31 percent are biking more, since joining our community
  • More than 65 percent participate in our bountiful shared garden program
  • Every resident in our first neighborhood, the Village, has invested in a home solar system, making Grow the largest planned solar community in Washington State – and still growing as our next two neighborhoods build out!

We’re proud of our success so far, and will strive with our residents to meet the goals of One Planet Living. It’s built into Grow Community by design, and comes with the lifestyle.

Download and read the report HERE, and find out more about what Grow has to offer the earth, and you.

Now selling in the Park: Lilac townhomes and Sage single-level homes

Grow Community’s third and final neighborhood is planned to begin construction in early 2016, with homes now for pre-sale in the Lilac and the Sage buildings.

grow-the-lilacThe Lilac townhomes offer two- and three-bedroom floor plans over two levels, with covered front porches and private back patios for entertaining. Generous natural light filters throughout each home with views of the central parkway that gives the neighborhood its name.
grow-the-sageHomes in the Sage feature single-level, open plans with ample kitchen, dining and living spaces. Floor-to-ceiling windows face the namesake greenway, with inviting decks for entertaining or gardening on all levels.

All residences enjoy the convenience of underground parking, as well as Grow Community’s fine appointments and acclaimed energy-efficient construction.

Remember that you can see these features for yourself at our new model home in the Grove neighborhood. Make an appointment today by contacting our sales team: live@growbainbridge.com or 206.452.6755.

Click here for more information, purchase opportunities, and to reserve your new home in the Park neighborhood.

Salal goes solar

Washington’s biggest planned solar community is getting bigger.

With completion of the Salal building in the new Grove neighborhood comes our latest solar array – and it’s a big one.

Installers were on the Salal’s roof last week finishing putting up 157 – 280watt high-output solar panels by itek Energy of Bellingham, a genuine Made In Washington product.

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System output will be 44 kilowatts. For perspective, the individual home arrays in Grow Community’s first neighborhood, the Village, add up to about 150 kilowatts capacity. So we’re boosting our solar output dramatically on a single rooftop, with more to come.

The array is expected to offset at least half of the Salal building’s energy use. Net metering will give residents financial credit for their interest of the array’s production, proof that solar is a great match for multifamily construction.

Remember that the Salal’s model home is now open by appointment. Contact live@growbainbridge.com to visit our newest building and find out more about our outstanding solar program.

The sun always shines on Grow Community!

Pollinator Improvement Plan – a bee-eautiful idea comes to Grow

Bees are the unsung heroes of a healthy ecosystem.

By supporting flowering agricultural crops and orchards, they and their fellow pollinators butterflies and birds are responsible for as much as one-third of the human food supply.

Enjoy tasty local cucumbers, strawberries, apples or even onions? Thank your neighborhood bee.

Grow BEEGrow Community joins the effort to promote our island’s pollinator populations through the Pollinator Improvement Plan (PiP), now under way at Commodore Options School.

The goal: to create a network of pollinator-friendly micro-environments around the island, aiding the industrious apiformes as they seek out nourishment and shelter.

The landscape plan at Grow Community phase 2, the Grove, will include pollinator-friendly native plants with a sequential bloom season to provide food and habitat through the year for pollinators – from hazelnut in late winter/early spring to Oceanspray in late summer. These plants are located throughout the project, not just in the planting beds planted with the “pollinator mix.”

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Grow also features multiple canopy layers in trees, shrubs and perennials, to provide shelter options for pollinators.

Planting under the direction of renowned firm PLACE landscape architects is now underway on the site, even as we round out the first buildings nearby for residency this fall.

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“Bees might not be among our ‘homeowners’ per se, but we want them to be regular visitors,” said Greg Lotakis, Grow Community project manager. “Community gardens have been one of the signature features at Grow from the start, and we want to share those gardens and fruit trees with pollinators who are more reliant on them still.”

PiP is a joint project of Commodore Options program and the City of Bainbridge Island.

During the yearlong program, students will learn about the importance of bees and other pollinators to the natural environment as well as the various threats – overuse of garden chemicals, loss of habitat – their fragile populations presently face.

Grow-village-kids1The multiage curriculum will include mapping of local bee habitats and production of a “Bee’s Eye View” video, to promote bee-friendly planting at homes and neighborhoods throughout the island.

The video will be shown on Earth Day 2016.

Participants will also work with the city to review local landscaping and pesticide policies, to make local public lands pollinator friendly. Students will be part of this community discussion.

“Our COS students are currently conducting the research needed to produce an educational slide show about pollinators. This is a first step to educate themselves about the process, developing a depth of knowledge that will add support throughout the project,” said Carl Lindbloom, project coordinator. “Commodore Options School’s focus is on project based curriculum and community service, so PIP is the perfect fit.”

Watch for more news about Grow Community’s bee-eautiful plantings here in the coming weeks.

HouseSmarts finds smart homes at Grow

Intentionally designed for unintentional connections – that’s Grow Community.

Lou Manfredini (NBC’s Today Show, WGN Radio) and the crew of HouseSmarts visited Grow this past spring, interviewing residents and exploring what is now Washington’s largest solar community just a few steps from Winslow town center.

Manfredini liked what he found at Grow, praising the community for its modern design, neighborhood spirit, and forward-thinking renewable energy features.

“These types of ideas, we can place anywhere in the U.S.,” the host says.
 

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Grow and PHC earn Built Green Hammer award – again!

For the second straight year, Grow Community and PHC Construction have earned the prestigious Built Green Hammer Award.

Sponsored by the Master Builders Association, the awards recognize outstanding, environmentally sustainable residential projects. Grow Community earned top honors in the Builder, Multifamily 1-50 Units category.

The award was presented this week at the annual Built Green Conference at Shoreline Community College.

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“We’re doubly proud to win a Built Green Hammer Award for the second straight year,” said PHC’s Marty Sievertson. “Our goal has always been to show what’s possible in top-quality, environmentally conscious construction. As Grow Community’s second phase, the Grove, sees occupancy this fall, we think buyers will really appreciate the care we’ve put into the project and that the Master Builders have recognized once again.”

Added Greg Lotakis, project manager for developer Asani:

“This award means a great deal to us because the Master Builders organization and Built Green program are local. We compete with the very best builders in our region for Built Green recognition, and all the builders involved provide support and encouragement to each other to help move our industry toward a sustainable future.”

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The Built Green program is designed to help buyers find quality, affordable homes that protect the health of their families and the Northwest environment. Built Green homes are designed to provide homeowners with comfortable, durable, environmentally friendly homes that are cost-effective to own and maintain.

For more information, see builtgreen.net.

August Construction Update: Under every roof, a different story. Sometimes the roof is the story.

Work proceeds apace around the Grow phase 2 worksite this month, with eight buildings underway and in different stages of completion. Framing, drywall and roofing are the story at the Salal, Juniper and Elan buildings, those closest to occupancy projected for this fall.

At the Tsuga, the concrete deck will be completed the first week of September with framing to follow. Three of four single-family homes now have their foundations and floors ready to go, again with framing to begin soon.

In the middle of it all, we’re about to begin grading for the Grove, our newest neighborhood’s signature central greenway. We’re excited to begin planting this beautiful space, the centerpiece of Grow Community phase 2.

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Très bien! French programme Écho-Logis visits Grow Community for television feature

A film crew from the French production house TV Only visited Grow Community last week, shooting a half-hour feature for the magazine show Écho-Logis.

camera2The program features the best examples of sustainable architecture and construction around the globe – so naturally they found their way to Bainbridge Island and Grow.

“We were looking for the greenest places in the U.S.,” says Anthony Da Silva, TV Only journaliste, who admits that while he and the producers had scouted out Grow Community online and were confident it would make a good subject, they were still startled by what they found.

“When we arrived, we were really surprised that it was much more beautiful than the pictures we saw on the web,” Da Silva says, praising Grow for building not just eco-friendly homes but also a whole simpler, low-impact lifestyle.

“It’s not only putting solar panels up and respecting the landscape where you put your house,” he says. “It’s also a feeling. For me, it’s a system, a way to work and to build and to live.”

The four-man production team spent four days on the island after filming an eco-friendly home in Los Angeles the previous week.

interview1Da Silva interviewed Jonathan Davis, architect of Grow Community’s phase one, the Village, along with project manager Greg Lotakis and various residents.

Interviews were conducted inside homes and around the Grow Community grounds and shared P-patch gardens.

A drone-mounted camera buzzed around the neighborhood throughout, zooming down pathways before soaring skyward for dramatic aerial shots of Grow’s solar energy-producing rooftops.

“It was an honor to have the Écho-Logis film crew here,” Lotakis says. “To be able to share a bit of the vision, and have the community’s voice as part of the show, was wonderful. It was a great reminder of how much has been done here that can inspire other communities.”

Écho-Logis presents “beautiful and innovative green projects all around the world by featuring the people who have conceived it, those who live in and interact with it,” producers say, while showing the environmental advantages that come with “an ethical way of building.”

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After returning to France, the team will decamp for Romania and their next feature: a woodland lodge replete with solar power and a system for recycling water.

Now in its fourth season, the Écho-Logis program can be seen on France’s TV5Monde network, available in more than 200 countries.

The Grow Community feature is expected to run late this year as part of the current 40-episode run.

Previous Écho-Logis episodes can be viewed online here.