Seattle, Washington 98101
We view the making of places as a collaboration of many people, all with talents and experience they bring to the job. We design with the process of construction in mind, with knowledge that only comes from years of on-site observation. Our excellent relationship with contractors creates a more convivial atmosphere than is often found in the industry - resulting in more satisfying projects for our clients. Here are several of our favorite construction firms. We believe these are the most experienced, reliable and knowledgeable contractors in the area. There are others out there we're looking forward to working with, and as soon as we have good experience with them you'll probably see their names up here as well. We do enjoy working with new contractors who are interested in learning more about green building.
Sam Hagerman and Dan Whitmore
After meeting Sam Hagerman, co-founder of Hammer and Hand here in Seattle in 2009 I visited one of their Passive House projects in Portland when I was there for the North American Passive House Conference in October of 2010, and have since visited their renovated office and the Karuna Passive House. Hammer and Hand is a 70-person company of career carpenters, and their commitment to craft is inspiring - something that I really value as an architect. The company is at the cutting edge of building science and high performance homes. Sam serves as President of the national Passive House Alliance, and he and his team are currently (Spring 2012) building the Karuna House in Yamhill County, Oregon, which is designed to achieve Passive House, Minergie-P-ECO, and LEED for Homes Platinum certifications. I fell in love with Portland when I was down there, and look forward to working with Hammer and Hand on projects in the Portland area. Hammer and Hand has recently expanded to the Seattle area, adding my friend Dan Whitmore to their company. Dan and I took the Passive House Consultant Training together in 2009. He designed and built the first Passive House in Seattle, the Courtland Place Passive Project, and as such, has more experience with and knowledge about Passive House than any other contractor in the Seattle area. Dan has also acted as foreman on an Artisans Group Passive House project on Shaw Island. (Collaboration amongst Passive House colleagues is common!)
Randy Foster and Tessa Smith
Based in Olympia, Artisans Group focuses on design/build services for Passive House projects in western Washington. Tessa and I took the Passive House Consultant Training together in 2009, with Randy completing the training in 2010. I think it is safe to say they have jumped into Passive House with both feet, with (as of Spring 2012) three completed Passive House projects, and several others in progress. In conjunction with our friends at Small Planet Workshop, they can also prefabricate Passive House walls at the Structures Direct facility in the old (never commissioned) Satsop Nuclear Power Plant. I am honored to be following Tessa's work closely as her NCARB Intern Development Program mentor.
Odyssey Builders have been constructing and remodeling custom homes for nearly 30 years. In the last several years Odyssey Builders has developed a strong focus on green building. The Popowics Kitchen renovation project was our first experience with them. Our client was ecstatic about having worked with Odyssey for the renovation and was delighted with the outcome, and we found the experience easy and pleasant as well. Subsquently, Odyssey did the 2010 build-out of our new office in the Vance Building.
Sunshine Construction has built a number of our projects over the years, including the widely published Sproull-Radke Green-Roof Garage/Workshop. Jon also did our first project in Seattle, View Ridge Second Story Addition (EcoBuilding Times, Spring '94); the Medina Kitchen Renovation - renovation of a kitchen and two bathrooms for a chemically sensitive client and her family; the Wallingford Victorian Renovation - a top to bottom renovation of a 1910 Victorian house, and the Siegel-Dors Kitchen. Jon and I have known each other since the beginnings of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild in 1991. Jon is reasonably priced, and an expert in job-site recycling. Jon has a wonderful facility for the use of healthier, energy- and resource-conserving materials and techniques. I would say he's the most passionate, experienced and knowledgable green contractor in Seattle. Sunshine Construction is a great choice for 5-star BuiltGreen projects, and similar "deep green" work.
Marty and I have also known each other since the beginnings of the Guild. We have worked together on the Queen Anne Urban Retreat (EcoBuilding Times, Summer '95), the Kuan Yin Garden Apartments (EcoBuilding Times, Fall '96), the Mt. Baker Bungalow - a second-story addition to a Craftsman home in Mt. Baker, the Helmholtz Houseboat on Lake Union, the Yao-Devereaux Addition to a tiny bungalow in Greenwood, and an Ironwood deck and structural reconstruction for a 1960 modern AIA Home of the Month in north Ballard, the Thein Durning Renovation and the Mt. Baker Kitchen Renovation. Marty is an excellent craftsman. He's also a shipwright who has worked on both fine yachts and houseboats.
We first worked with Phoenix Construction on the Wallingford Kitchen Renovation. George built Super Good Sense energy efficient homes in the '70's and early '80's -- so he's been doing this longer than anyone else with whom we work. He's incredibly organized, and tends to hit budgets and schedules dead on. Very professional. He's one of the few green contractors I know who are happy to work on the east side of Lake Washington. In 2005, Phoenix Construction built the Marshall Kitchen, the McMurray Kitchen, and the Harding Home. In 2007, Phoenix built the Nelson-Bartolucci Renovation on Queen Anne.
Roger is located in Leavenworth and we had a great experience working with him building the Chiwawa River Cabin.