KulshanCLT to break ground on super energy-efficient home

The Bellingham Business Journal

Kulshan Community Land Trust, in partnership with The Cascade Joinery, expects to break ground in November on what it hopes will be one of the most energy efficient homes in Whatcom County.

Working together, the two organizations aim to demonstrate that sustainable features can be incorporated into affordably priced homes. They will attempt to make their new project, the Madrona Street home, a model for the community by using U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes and the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County’s Built Green rating systems.

The Cascade Joinery designed the Madrona Street home to be a net-zero energy home, meaning the home aims to produce as much energy as it uses.

“The goal is to achieve an annual balance of energy consumption and on-site energy production resulting in net-zero energy use and cost to the homeowner,” Cascade Joinery CEO John Miller said in a press release. “This will be accomplished through homeowner conservation, passive solar design, energy efficient construction methods and materials, and on-site production of renewable energy.”

KulshanCLT acquired the Madrona Street building site last year when the group’s homebuyers purchased a home on a double lot in the Birchwood Neighborhood.

“Building energy efficient homes our homebuyers can afford is challenging,” said KulshanCLT Executive Director Dean Fearing. “But the success of Matthei Place inspired us to raise the bar and aim for this home to be both high-performance and self-sustaining from an energy standpoint.”

KulshanCLT expects homeowners will recoup their investment in up-front building costs through annual energy cost savings in five years or fewer, assuming homeowners practice conservation measures.

“We can build in energy-efficient features, but in the end success depends on the homeowner’s habits,” Fearing said.

The estimated purchase price for qualified buyers is $150,000. The down payment and mortgage, combined with permanent affordability investments, will cover the full cost of construction.

As 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.

For more information, visit www.kclt.org.

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