Grow with us on the Grow Community Blog.

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!

Podcast on pollinators – listen in now!

Not long back we announced Grow Community’s participation in Bainbridge Island’s new Pollinator Improvement Plan.

Landscaping throughout our Grow neighborhoods will be “bee friendly,” with a rich mix of native flowering plants to give our little pollinators plenty of food and habitat.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 12.38.16 AMNow the PIP is featured in a new podcast on Bainbridge Community Broadcasting. In his program Community Cafe Bainbridge, host Barry Peters interviews two local officials about the island-wide effort to promote a healthy ecosystem by looking out for the bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators so key to our food supply as humans.

Heather Beckmann, Bainbridge Island city planner, and Amber Richards, assistant to the city manager, discuss the goal of linking different green spaces across the island so pollinators can navigate the built environment. Grow Community is glad to take its place on this welcoming corridor.

Heather and Amber of Pollinator ProjectYou can hear the podcast right here. Find out not only how Grow is meeting the challenge to protect our pollinators, but how residents across the island can do their part by planting bee-friendly flower beds and gardens.

“We’re hoping all people would ideally get involved, so the island itself can be a sanctuary for pollinators,” Heather tells the Community Cafe Bainbridge.

Thanks to Barry, Heather and Amber for the great podcast and for giving a shout-out to Grow Community as the Pollinator Improvement Plan moves forward. Bee well!

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.

See Grow on HouseSmarts TV

Grow Community will be featured on HouseSmarts, the “reality show for real homeowners,” Aug. 1 on KONG-TV in the Seattle area.

The HouseSmarts crew and contractor/host Lou Manfredini (NBC’s Today Show, WGN Radio) visited Grow for a day this past spring and really liked what they saw.

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The popular 30-minute weekly home improvement program “answers the questions homeowners really want to know,” the producers say. “Nobody adds on a room in one weekend, or lets their neighbors decorate their living room. HouseSmarts follows the progress of real people and lessons learned.”

HouseSmarts’ Grow Community segment airs at 10 a.m. Aug. 1.

For information see www.housesmartstv.com, and you can find the KONG-TV programming guide here.

 

Happy Earth Day from Grow Community

We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, the Native American proverb goes, we borrow it from our children.

The wellbeing of our planet and the quality of life that we’ll leave to future generations is what Grow Community is all about.

Grow-village-kids1Every facet of our design, planning and construction asks a simple question: How can we build a healthier, more sustainable community?

The success of our first neighborhood, the Village, says we’re finding the right answers. Now, as work progresses on our next two phases, the Grove and the Park, word is really getting around.

Over this past year, we were honored to present the community at the Northwest Eco-Building Guild Green Building Slam event.  The Urban Land Institute made Grow a prominent waypoint on its roadmap to healthy neighborhoods, the excellent “Building Healthy Places Toolkit.” And we were featured in the new eco-focused publication Conscious Company.

As we reached 100 percent solar participation among our single-family homes in the Village, Solar Builder magazine named Grow one of the nation’s top residential solar installations, and we were named 2014 Home of the Year by Green Builder Magazine.

Perhaps the best accolade of all came from the National Association of Home Builders, who gave Grow its very highest honors – the prestigious Platinum Award and Best In Green Award in the 2014 Best In American Living contest.

We think we’re really on to something – a new model for healthy, sustainable urban living, one that offers the template for new neighborhoods and multi-generational living around the country and the globe.

We’re thinking ahead, and we’re thinking big. At Grow Community, we know we borrow the earth from our children – and we want to return it to them, with interest.

From all of us at Grow Community, Happy Earth Day!
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Grow now the standard lifestyle of the future

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Grow Community as the new standard for future living? You bet.

Grow’s award-winning, net-zero neighborhood will be showcased at Living Future 2015, the annual conference of the International Living Future Institute.

logoJonathan Davis, architect for Grow’s first phase, the Village, and project manager Greg Lotakis will be featured speakers at the conference, which runs April 1-3 at the Sheraton in Seattle.

Their presentation is titled “A Built Environment Sets the Stage for Creation of Community.”

“Creating a (successful) community is not a certainty — the ultimate success of it depends on the people who choose to live there,” conference organizers say. “How do you create this place where people WANT to live? Learn how the design of the net-zero energy Grow Community on Bainbridge Island creates the basis for a shared sense of purpose, brings residents together toward common lifestyle goals and creates a strong sense of place and connection within a neighborhood.”

Living Future is a forum for leading minds in the green building movement seeking solutions to the most daunting global issues of our time. Out-of-the-ordinary learning and networking formats provide innovative design strategies, cutting-edge technical information and the inspiration needed to achieve significant progress toward a truly Living Future.

The Grow Community presentation runs 3:15-4:45 p.m. April 2.
Click here for more details

ULI finds Grow on its roadmap to healthy neighborhoods

The Urban Land Institute has drawn up its roadmap for healthy development, and Grow Community is a prominent waypoint.

Building-Healthy-Places-Toolkit-Poster

Grow is cited twice in the “Building Health Places Toolkit: Strategies for Enhancing Health in the Built Environment,” an expansive new report on sustainable planning and construction from the ULI. The report looks at developments and communities that have been successful in promoting physical activity, healthy food and clean drinking water, and general social well-being.

Grow’s famous community gardens and “edible landscaping” are cited as a prime amenity in today’s urban and suburban planning.

“Participation in community gardening activities can increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, and when community members come together around the growing of food, the interaction promotes social bonds and connections,” the editors write. “Local produce helps reduce pollution associated with shipping food long distances.”

The ULI notes that gardening has enjoyed a growing popularity across the country, a trend that is expected to continue: “Small farms can take the place of golf courses as community centerpieces, can cost less on an upfront and ongoing basis, and can provide community members with fresh, locally grown food.”

Grow is also touted for earning certification under the One Planet Living program, whose ambitious 10-point goals promote reducing humans’ impact on the earth. You can read all about Grow’s impressive One Planet designation elsewhere on our website.

“Reading a report” might not sound like the most scintillating springtime activity, but the ULI’s new “Building Healthy Places Toolkit” will surprise you – we promise. It’s a very colorful read, and highlights the most forward-thinking work being done in planning and construction today.

View the report here (page 48 online & 40 in print) and find out more about the sustainable vision that earned Grow Community recognition among the very best new neighborhoods anywhere.

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100 percent and a gold star – Grow aces the solar test

Already the largest solar neighborhood in Washington state, Grow Community hit another milestone this week.

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With the completion of two more solar installations, every single-family home and duplex in Grow’s first phase, the Village, is now powered by photovoltaics.

PV systems numbers 22 and 23 are online and producing renewable energy, improving the neighborhood’s already stellar self-sufficiency while promising generous utility savings and financial returns for the homeowners.

“It’s a landmark moment for Grow Community and Washington solar,” says Greg Lotakis, project manager. “With 100 percent participation, our residents are really showing the way forward for neighborhoods that want to choose solar for a sustainable energy future.”

Grow’s next two phases, the Grove and the Park, will also offer the solar option.  Stay tuned for more details.