PHnw6 Conference is Just Around the Corner

Posted by nk on February 27, 2015

On March 26th and 27th, Passive House Northwest is hosting its annual spring conference. This year’s PHnw6 event at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle will feature workshops, a tradeshow and an evening reception. Our resident Passive House expert and a founding member of Passive House Northwest, Joe Giampietro, will present how high performance upgrades for multifamily projects translate to profit, value, lower vacancy rates, and occupant health and comfort. Register for the conference here and plan to attend Joe’s session on March 27th at 10:50 a.m. 

PHnw image grouping

2015 Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day

Posted by nk on February 26, 2015

NK team members joined over 600 attendees during the annual Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day on February 17th in Olympia to support the accessibility of safe, healthy, affordable homes in thriving communities. Attendees met with state legislators to discuss funding tools and programs to support the at-risk community, including the Housing Trust Fund, a state funding source for the construction and maintenance of affordable housing units. NK is committed to supporting affordable housing with its design of projects like H20 and active participation in advocacy through organizations like the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.

Advocacy Day


2014 in Review

Posted by nk on January 30, 2015

Now that the busy holiday season is behind us we are pausing to reflect on the innovative work we completed in 2014. We are continuing to push the green building industry forward with the completion of six beautiful green multifamily apartment projects, spanning from off-campus student housing to luxury apartments. Here’s a look at our highlights:



The 111-unit, LEED Gold Certified Vue maximizes the site’s impressive views of Mt. Rainier and downtown Seattle from nearly every unit and all common areas. Located on a curved, sloping street, the building’s vertical bays give it a strong visual presence while its street-level courtyard and modern landscaping significantly improve the streetscape and pedestrian experience.

Stream Belmont


The LEED-H Gold Certified Stream Belmont is an award winning 6-story, 70-unit apartment building situated on an infill lot in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The project was constructed with a Net Zero Carbon Footprint through participation in as a participant in Forterra’s C3 program.



The recently completed LEED Silver certified Lightbox Apartments is a shining new addition in Seattle’s University District. Designed for the city’s young professionals and students, we incorporated modulation, color blocking, juliet balconies, and an infusion of vibrant color for a youthful punch.



ArtHouse, a Built Green 3-star certified, 139-unit apartment project located in Belltown along Elliott Bay features modern interiors, artfully landscaped rooftop terraces and sweeping west-facing views from nearly every unit and outdoor space.



Pendng LEED Silver certification, the two-building Identity project provides a desirable alternative to the typical student-oriented housing in Seattle’s University District neighborhood. Designed to provide affordable, urban housing for University of Washington students, Identity features a landscaped courtyard, green roof with abundant seating and a high Walk Score.



LEED Gold certified, the newly complete Zephyr, is a 90,649sf mixed-use apartment project designed to embrace its location as the gateway into Capitol Hill while offering street-level retail and restaurant space and a mix of studios, 1-and-2 bedrooms, live/work lofts and luxury penthouses. Zephyr’s exterior incorporates natural and modern materials complementing the neighborhood’s historic residential buildings.

See the projects we have on the boards here.

Identity Student Housing Completed

Posted by nk on January 15, 2015

Designed with accessibility and livability in mind, Identity, our latest off-campus student housing project is located adjacent to the University of Washington in Seattle’s busy University District. Developed by CA Student Living, the seven-story Identity building I and Identity building D are pending LEED Silver certification and offer sustainability-minded features including a green roof, large windows that increase daylight, and LED lighting. Designed to meet the needs of students, each building will offer a stowaway bed, a tile shower, and sustainable quartz countertops in each kitchenette and bathroom. Residents will have access to secure bicycle storage, an expansive rooftop deck with views of the surrounding University of Washington Campus, Lake Union and the Space Needle.


Boasting a high Walk Score, Identity offers easy access to local grocery stores, shopping, transit, the Burke-Gilman Trail and the University District P-Patch Community Garden.

Love Identity? See our other multifamily projects here.


Zephyr Apartments is completed in Capitol Hill

Posted by nk on December 20, 2014

Addressing concerns of local residents and overcoming the loss of the famed B&O Espresso restaurant and coffee shop, our design for the site at 1650 East Olive Way delivers a warm welcome, embracing its location as the gateway into Capitol Hill and preserving the residential neighborhood feeling. The newly completed, Zephyr apartments is a 77-unit mixed-use project developed by B&O Development. Comprised of 4,784sf of street-level retail and restaurant space and a mix of studios,1-and-2 bedrooms, live/work lofts and luxury penthouses, Zephyr’s panoramic views are maximized from most units and the rooftop deck. The project’s exterior incorporates natural and modern materials complementing the neighborhood’s historic residential buildings. Zephyr is nearly 50% leased.


NK wins Green Builder® Home of the Year Award

Posted by nk on December 15, 2014

We are proud to share news that Stream Belmont, our Net Zero constructed multi-family project in Capitol Hill, as received the Green Builder® Home of the Year Award for Best Infill Project. Designed by Jill Burdeen and Lauren McCunney for Stream Real Estate LLC, Stream Belmont is on track to earn LEED-H Gold certification. The project’s sustainable features include a reverse cycle air-to-water chiller that is 75% more efficient than a traditional boiler, and achieved its net zero carbon footprint as a founding partner in Forterra’s C3 program. The Green Builder® Home of the Year Award recognizes the best in green building and design nationally, promoting whole home performance and integration with the natural environment.

*photo courtesy of Aaron Leitz Photography

“It’s an honor to receive this award alongside our longstanding client who shares our emphasis on energy efficient, high performance design,” said Tim Weyand, CEO of NK Architects. “Stream Belmont combines attractive design with sustainable building strategies to conserve resources, resulting in smarter, stronger and healthier communities.”

View the press release, and see the project in detail on its project page.

Windermere Educates Clients on Net-Zero and Passive House Standards

Posted by nk on November 26, 2014

To move the needle toward building higher performing cost-efficient projects, Seattle’s building industry will not only need to follow better energy standards, but implement greater methods of cross-market influence. That’s why we were excited to see that a leading voice in Seattle’s real estate market has taken notice of net-zero and Passive House building standards. Windermere Real Estate, one of the city’s largest real estate companies, recently featured the benefits of building to these standards in a broadly distributed client/broker newsletter.

To achieve better building standards that emphasize energy reduction, the city’s leading industry influencers will need to dedicate themselves to creating market demand through education, collaboration and benefits oriented messages that demonstrate the significant improvements to health, happiness and community these premium energy standards bring.

Windermere’s net-zero and Passive House spotlight is a great example of this type of collaboration and education. This coupled with future code changes and potential financial incentives could lead to a shift in perception and reality, making net-zero ready and Passive House construction the new standard for buildings in Seattle.

Attendees of our Eco Proforma breakfast event held last month discussed the topic. Read about our key takeaways here.

View the city’s first certified Passive House, Park Passive. Follow us on LinkedIn for updates.

NK Projects Recognized at the National Passive House Conference

Posted by nk on November 11, 2014

Joe-Giampietro2_nk_webJoe Giampietro, our resident Passive House expert, recently traveled to the National Passive House Conference (NPHC) in San Francisco. There he attended presentations on the future of the green building industry and previewed inspiring Passive House projects including commercial and institutional buildings and multifamily and single family homes. In particular, Sam Rashkin, chief architect for the US Department of Energy outlined new initiatives to make net zero ready homes the future standard of building quality, citing that homes should “live better, work better, and last better.” 

At the event NK’s Passive House efforts were applauded within Green Building & Design, the NPHC’s official publication. An interview with Founding Principal, Brandon Nicholson on H20 Apartments alongside an impressive feature on Park Passive was included.

Click here to learn more about the presentations at NPHC.


The Eco Proforma: Building Net Zero Projects that Pencil

Posted by nk on October 31, 2014

We recently assembled an intimate group of Seattle’s green building industry leaders – city officials, developers and energy modelers – to spark a conversation on combining environmentally conscious building with a development proforma that pencils. Held at our office, attendees of the breakfast event discussed the opportunities and hurdles of building net zero energy ready and Passive House buildings. The group covered various aspects of these standards including financial feasibility, buyer/tenant demand, marketing, financing and incentives, and immediate savings realization. Led by our CEO, Tim Weyand, the insightful conversation generated a robust dialogue about not only creating future energy standards, but methods of influence to move the industry toward building higher performing cost-efficient buildings today.


Key takeaways from our discussion included the need for:

  • Further industry collaboration to promote methods that make building to net zero the new normal.
  • Code changes that focus on building performance to encourage education and innovation.
  • A strategy to make these methods more financially feasible, including better, more significant incentives.
  • A shift in marketing dialogue to emphasize health, happiness and community to educate the market on why net zero and Passive House buildings are important.


We’re looking forward to our next breakfast event in March of 2015. Sign up for our newsletter to receive information and an invitation.