Contractors We Recommend
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 convivial atmosphere on the job site – resulting in satisfying, on-budget projects for our clients. I’ve listed our favorite construction firms below. We believe these are the most experienced, reliable and knowledgeable contractors in the area. We do enjoy working with new contractors who are interested in learning more about green building and Passive House.
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, a modern renovation for the drummer of the Supersuckers. 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. He 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 small green contractor in Seattle. Sunshine Construction is a great choice for 5-star BuiltGreen projects, Passive House and similar “deep green” work. He’s taken the Passive House Builder’s course and is currently working on his first Passive House, and so officially becomes one of the few Seattle Metro area builders I’d recommend for a Passive House project.
Hammer and Hand
I have known the folks at Hammer and Hand since 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 in Portland, as well as several of their Passive House projects in Seattle. We worked with Hammer and Hand on our Sunset Hill Second Story Addition and an exacting renovation on Capitol Hill in Seattle. 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.
Bright Street Construction
Marty and I have also known each other since the beginnings of the Guild in the early ’90’s. 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, a 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.
Batt + Lear
Batt and Lear was founded in Seattle in 1999 as a green design/build firm. I’ve known Jason for many years through the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, and though we haven’t worked together on a project yet I’m looking forward to the opportunity. The firm’s work spans new construction and remodel, and every project is a sustainable project with its own set of goals for energy demand and production, water management, materials choices, methods and assemblies. Batt + Lear has received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Built Green Hammer Award and the Built Green Pioneer Award. The firm recently completed a Passive House in Yakima and in 2018 began construction of a new home that hopes to meet the Living Building Challenge Standard, perhaps the most rigorous green building standard out there.
Roger is located in Leavenworth. We had a great experience working with him building the Chiwawa River Cabin. I’d endorse engaging Roger on any project in that neck of the woods.