A new segment of the home buying population that has become increasingly frustrated with maintaining an older home are looking to re-establish themselves within an amenity rich urban neighborhood, wanting, still, to be close to libraries, markets, churches, parks and fee from week-end home repair projects.

Developers and builders are starting to see this trend happening throughout the country, causing many to re-think their approach to building. One developer-builder Martha Rose has figured it out. It’s critical “that I build something that fits into the neighborhood” mentions Rose when asked about her infill strategies.

Her latest infill-collection of homes are a perfect example of adding value to the community by building less, smaller homes that are more environmentally friendly that blend into the existing neighborhood. Their new “lifestyle house” is a product that is targeted to a specific group of buyers looking for a well designed house in a neighborhood centric area. Their overall goal is too eventually build homes that are sustainable, environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a home’s life-cycle.”

Adrian Willanger, founder of Eco-Redux, who has been working on the marketing say’s “this project has had that special feeling from the very start.” Starting with the financing, Rose received financing because, among other things, she happened to be building a green project. The local building department fully embraced Rose’s decision to make the site a low-impact-development choosing to keep the majority of rainwater runoff on site as opposed to directing into storm drains and eventually ending up in the local lakes, streams and nearby Puget Sound.

This was successfully done by minimizing the amount of hard surfaces choosing to install green roofs on all garages, equip each house with 2-1000 gallon rain barrels to help catch roof runoff, and used pervious (porous) concrete for the roadway that sits on top 2-4 feet of railroad ballast (crushed rock) which allows for additional drainage and added support to the roadway.

Rose states “it’s a nice trade-off building in an established neighborhood which has built-in amenities while adding environmentally friendly new homes.”

Martha Rose, president of Martha Rose Construction located in Shoreline Washington, has been building green homes since the start of the Built Green program in 2002. Over the last five years they’ve been building at the challenging 5-Star level of the Built Green certification as well as having all of their homes certified by the partnership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (D.O.E) Energy Star program and DO.E’s Building America programs.


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