• Gig Harbor Living Local

Pacific Northwest Green Home Tour 2022

Updated: May 19

Virtual and in person May 14

By Brett Marlo | Photo Courtesy of Northwest Ecobuilding Guild

What does “being green” really mean these days?


You may have heard some of the following catchphrases for energy, water, waste, nature-inspired design and small design: water conservation, energy efficiency and retrofits, alternative energy, stormwater infiltration, net positive waste, alternative foundations, advanced building envelopes, regenerative design, Biomimicry, the red list, material transparency, regional healthy materials, indoor air quality (IAQ), accessibility, accessory dwelling units (ADUs and DADUs), urban farming, embodied carbon footprints, living buildings, human-powered living, multimodal transportation and more.


If some of these words spark your interest, the easiest way to interpret this jargon will be to go visit green projects. Lucky for us, the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild puts on a tour of green sites every year. The Northwest Green Home Tour provides opportunities for community members to learn about sustainable building techniques and practices from the people walking their sustainable talk; site hosts range from the builders to suppliers to homeowners living it every day.


It’s free and self-guided and includes healthy homes remodeled or newly constructed in your neck of the woods; from single-family homes with small to big remodels, new builds of backyard cottages, DADUs, ADUs, Net Zero and Passive houses, co-housing and condos, each project featuring sustainable ways to live in the Pacific Northwest.

This year’s sites include: a detached accessory dwelling unit designed and constructed using SIPS panels; a rental unit, designed and permitted as a manufactured housing unit, that was set upon an existing garage; a newly constructed community with electric net-zero energy homes; a small home remodel to allow for family aging-in-place; and a student studio rental unit. See how builders are making the most of existing structures to create more usable space with minimal additions.


How does one cope with rising material and build costs? Learn about creative solutions to help fund a remodel like co-buying and co-housing! Hear about ways to lower energy bills and stay comfortable in your own home.


Many sites also include green features outside the building envelope such as electric vehicle charging, urban farming, solar panels and rain gardens. Homeowners find that their green homes are more comfortable to live in, quieter, and without the cold drafts of standard construction. You will see how durable green building materials require less maintenance, and green homes are healthier homes, with fresher air and fewer toxins.

The 2022 NW Green Home Tour is an opportunity to see firsthand the many ways that environmentally conscious design and construction can benefit not only the planet as a whole, but your local community, your family, and you! You’ll have an opportunity to talk with green building architects, designers and builders to determine the green steps, big and small, that work best for your situation.


Virtual and in-person sites Saturday, May 14, 2022. Visit NWGreenHomeTour.org for schedule and more details.

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