Community Positive

Lopez Common Ground

Lopez Island, WA

Fulfilling a Need

Set in a rural community with an elevated cost of living driven by tourism, this workforce housing development reflects ambitious goals for economic, environmental and social sustainability. It is the first residential development in Washington State to achieve net zero energy performance.

All-In Approach

The project began with an on-site campout and charrette by Mithun’s integrated design team, specialty consultants and community members. The resulting design incorporates energy-efficient straw bale construction and earthen plaster walls, allowing the design team and future residents to work hand-in-hand on construction. More than sixty interns, seventy volunteers, and eleven future homeowners contributed to the effort.

High Performance

Each home is served by independent solar hot water and energy monitoring, plus district-scale photovoltaics and water catchment systems. Post occupancy evaluations indicate the community is achieving its aggressive energy and water performance goals, with individual use patterns the strongest determinant of results.

Related Projects