Who's Behind It?
zHome is a collaboration effort of organizations and companies that aim to revolutionize the way production homes are developed: a radical acceleration of ultra-sustainable housing. The zHome team believes the environmental impact of market-rate production homes can be dramatically reduced. The planet can't wait — the time for such homes is now. Here's a little bit about each partner and why and how they are involved.
City of Issaquah
The City of Issaquah — a regional leader in sustainability — is spearheading the zHome project. Through its innovative programs and incentives, Issaquah strives to make new development as sustainable as possible. More than five years ago, the City also helped develop the first certified LEED Silver building in the state. The City brought together this current partnership in 2006 to implement an exciting new vision that leaps beyond incremental improvement and dramatically reduces the environmental impacts of our homes. Thus zHome was born.
Ichijo Co., Ltd. is one of the largest homebuilders in Japan, building 8,000 homes in 2009. Ichijo USA is the American subsidiary of Ichijo. Ichijo has pursued highly energy efficient homes from its very beginning, and is providing the most highly efficient production homes in Japan. Ichijo is also a leading innovator in seismically isolated homes (i.e., mechanically isolated from earthquakes).
Because of climate change, Ichijo believes as a corporate value that it is important to offer highly energy-efficient, reasonably priced homes. Thanks to its own manufacturing facility for building components, Ichijo is able to accomplish this. Ichijo is excited to introduce its climate friendly technologies, learn from zHome and the Pacific Northwest, and above all, be inspired by this environmentally-oriented region.
As a steward of our environment, Matt Howland is passionate about leading the industry towards sustainable building. Matt views zHome as an opportunity to transform our market. He believes this first of its kind project will demonstrate the environmental, economical and social benefits of sustainable building and prove these concepts to be attainable on a production level. It is his hope that zHome will educate and inspire builders, architects, designers, subcontractors and the general public to take action towards sustainable building and healthy living.
Built Green is proud to be a partner in making zHome a reality. zHome is the future of mainstream construction, and is a model for how zero energy home are scalable to a wider segment of the population. It will be used as a demonstration of cutting edge systems and and practices used affordably, as well as an educational tool for builders to take their own projects to the next level. Awareness and utilization of green building has grown rapidly in recent years, but it is important to continue raising the bar of what is possible, and continue lowering our collective impact on the environment.
King County is nationally recognized for its innovative and effective environmental programs in areas such as resource conservation, recycling, parks, transportation and green building. King County is proud to support the development of zHome in hopes that it will inspire our region's building community and its residents to look at home building and remodeling in a whole new way. Planning a new home or remodel raises many questions beyond the scope, schedule and budget when it comes to human health and the environment. As more people choose to call King County home, the pressures on our natural resources increase. The zHome project will demonstrate green building techniques and technologies that are accessible and can help offset the impact of population growth and climate change on our beautiful Northwest environment.
Port Blakely Communities
Port Blakely Communities is proud to be a partner with the City of Issaquah, Built Green, King County, Puget Sound Energy, the Washington State University Energy Program and Howland Homes in creating the zHome.
The zHome represents a new milestone in Port Blakely Communities' ten-year commitment to use the real world conditions of the Issaquah Highlands community to demonstrate the practicality and the marketability of environmental stewardship. Issaquah Highlands commitment to Living Green™ starts with resource conservation, saving energy, water and the materials needed to build a home, and extending it to an entire ethos of residents living more lightly on the planet every day.
Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy is proud to be a partner in creating the zHome, an innovative project demonstrating the potential for energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability as a part of everyday living. PSE committed to this project at its inception because we believe in the importance of working directly with architects, builders, contractors and homeowners to raise awareness of how home design, home improvements and changes in behavior can reduce energy use and benefit the environment. For the homeowner, energy efficiency means more ways to manage the family budget. For our region, reducing natural gas and electric consumption helps eliminate the need for new sources of energy and the cost and environmental impact of those resources. For communities and individuals, adopting aspects of zHome means getting involved in something bigger than themselves to have a cumulative positive impact on our world.
Washington State University Energy Program
Washington State University (WSU) Extension Energy Program is proud to provide technical support to the City of Issaquah's zHome project. The Energy Program's mission is to "...supply energy information and services for business, government, and individuals to improve their personal and global environmental quality and economic well-being." The zHome partnership is very much in keeping with this mission, bringing together government, the building trades and consumers to expand the boundaries of energy efficient construction practices, and demonstrating to the community, state and region that highly efficient, sustainable and affordable housing is within our grasp.