Seattle Green Architecture and Design

Rimrock Ranch

Buildings account for nearly 40% of the total energy consumed in the United States, so designing an energy efficient green home is not just good for the environment, it's good for the pocket book.


    When designing a new home, green design starts with choosing the right site and then siting the house to take advantage of solar energy and natural ventilation.

When choosing green materials, look at where they came from. Materials that have to be shipped from far away are not necessarily the greenest choice.

When choosing green materials, also consider installation methods and materials. For example, after choosing a green flooring material, don't install it with a glue that will outgas VOC's.

Radiant heating systems generally produce a more comfortable living environment and are more efficient to operate than air based systems.

Consider a geothermal heating and cooling system which takes energy from the earth. If you cool the house in the summer time, the system can be designed to put excess heat into your domestic hot water tanks instead of sending it back to the earth.

Replace old toilets with new ones that use 1.6 gallons or less for each flush. Better yet, choose units that have a small flush for liquid waste and a larger flush for solid waste.

When remodeling or building new consider using compact fluorescent lights wherever possible. Also LED lights are becoming more widely available and may be incorporated into your project.

Green Design is incredibly important to us and it has been for many years. Even though Green Design has recently been brought to the public's attention through the media, we've been educated on and practicing Green Design principles for well over a decade. We've dedicated this section of our website to Green Design and will be adding information. So check back with us soon. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, give us

a call or send us an email.

Going Green at Motionspace Architecture + Design

Green Design is important but so is Green Living and Working! These are a few of the things our Studio does to help reduce our impact.

  • Our company car is a Toyota Prius. We average about 48 MPG. We combine trips whenever possible.
  • We use Compact Fluorescent light bulbs when we need light, but if we don't we just use daylight and turn off the lights.
  • When available we use recycled paper products (copy paper, etc). We also try to store as much information electronically to reduce paper usage.
  • Our studio is located near where our staff lives which reduces the energy used to get to and from work.

Green Your Home Links

(note: some of these links are specific to the Seattle Region)

A great guide to start learning how to lower utility bills, choose green products, green your yard, and green your transportation

National Geographic Green Guide Website

Current news about environmental issues. Sign up for their free weekly newsletter.

A store located in Seattle, Washington dedicated to selling green products

A lot of information about residential & commercial buildings, construction recycling, and incentives and grants available King County

Coupons and rebates on products that meet strict environmental performance criteria

More Resources

A non-profit Seattle based group that measures sustainability progress in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

USGBC List of green rating programs in the United States (PDF)

A comprehensive list of green rating programs in the United States (helps you find a program in your area).

Office of Sustainable Development

The City of Portland's green building resource.

Similar articles: