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Building Green to Age in Place

Crescent Creek House

A home modeling not only many aspects of energy and food resilience, but co-housing opportunities.

This residential remodel is the dream home and future retirement residence created by a budget-minded green residential architect for her family. Dreaming of the combination of a walkable community and the closeness to nature that a creek provides, the cute, creekside, 1950s rambler in old town Issaquah was the perfect candidate for reinvention.

One of the top goals was a partial upper-level expansion that could be converted into an ADU to help fund retirement years. And on the main level, the current space didn’t flow or furnish very well, so in the end, it was decided to go big — flip the kitchen and dining areas, move the fireplace from an outside wall to an inside wall, and reconfigure both bathrooms and bedrooms.

All this challenged the budget, but, fortunately, a creative solution allowed the big dreams to move forward. A friend was looking to downsize her home, so a co-ownership agreement was forged, allowing her to buy into the property and live in the newly-created ADU.

Crescent Creek House – Board & Vellum
Social Kitchen

With the dining room open to the kitchen, it’s easy to cook and share a meal while enjoying time with friends. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Social Kitchen

With the dining room open to the kitchen, it’s easy to cook and share a meal while enjoying time with friends. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Crescent Creek House – Board & Vellum
Butcher Block Counter

A butcher block countertop is not only an aesthetically pleasing accent, but warmer to the touch, so more comfortable for bar seating. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Butcher Block Counter

A butcher block countertop is not only an aesthetically pleasing accent, but warmer to the touch, so more comfortable for bar seating. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Crescent Creek House – Board & Vellum
Vertical Wine Storage

A built-in wine rack keeps bottles at arm’s reach while being efficient with storage space. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Vertical Wine Storage

A built-in wine rack keeps bottles at arm’s reach while being efficient with storage space. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

While the bones of the home were solid, spot demolition exposed issues with rusted plumbing, rough wiring, and non-existent insulation in some exterior walls.

To explore and resolve the extent of the problem, everything was removed from the interior side of the walls. Beyond providing peace of mind, it allowed for much better air sealing, insulation, and better opportunity for installing new building systems.

New systems include 26 grid-tied solar panels, LED lighting, all new piping for plumbing, heat pumps for space conditioning, through-wall heat recovery ventilation, gas on-demand hot water with on-demand recirculation, and fiberglass windows and exterior doors.

Interior fittings and finishes were chosen for health, sustainability, durability, and ease of maintenance: cork and porcelain tile floors, solid wood doors, and plywood box cabinets with solid surface counters.

Outside, a 600-gallon rain cistern and a raised bed food garden have taken up residence on the former driveway. The 1,180 square foot main level of the home is now bright and accessible for aging in place, and the 580 square foot upper-level ADU feels like a treehouse.

The result is a cozy and efficient mini-co-housing community in the middle of walkable Issaquah, twenty minutes from downtown Seattle and just steps away from nature trails.

Crescent Creek House – Board & Vellum
Access to the Outdoors

Expansive glazing allows for abundant natural light and views of the natural greenery. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Access to the Outdoors

Expansive glazing allows for abundant natural light and views of the natural greenery. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Crescent Creek House – Board & Vellum
Bringing the Outdoors In

With the wide doors open, the interior and exterior blend with seamless access to the outdoors. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Bringing the Outdoors In

With the wide doors open, the interior and exterior blend with seamless access to the outdoors. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Crescent Creek House – Board & Vellum
ADU Kitchen

Upstairs, a second kitchen in the accessory dwelling unit offers plenty of space for cooking. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

ADU Kitchen

Upstairs, a second kitchen in the accessory dwelling unit offers plenty of space for cooking. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Crescent Creek House – Board & Vellum
Solar Energy

With 26 grid-tied solar panels on the upper roof, the home constantly delivers excess energy back to the grid. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Solar Energy

With 26 grid-tied solar panels on the upper roof, the home constantly delivers excess energy back to the grid. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Crescent Creek House – Board & Vellum
An Edible Garden

A former driveway is now replaced by raised beds supporting urban agriculture. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

An Edible Garden

A former driveway is now replaced by raised beds supporting urban agriculture. Crescent Creek House | Photo by Brian Hartman.

Notes & Credits
Photography by Brian Hartman.

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