Celebrating our AIA National Housing Award Win

Posted by nk on April 7, 2014

Today, we are proud to share the news that our Passive House project, Park Passive, has received the prestigious AIA National Housing Award. Park Passive was one of five homes selected from nationwide entries in the one/two family custom housing category, and the only Passive House project to win.

The AIA National Housing Award recognizes the best in housing design and promotes the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource. Designed by Brandon Nicholson, Lauren McCunney and Marie Ljubojevic of NK Architects and built by green builder Cascade Built, Park Passive demonstrates our commitment to innovative building design and talent for designing beautiful, high-performance housing.


“It’s an honor to receive this prestigious national recognition for our team’s design work on Park Passive,” said Tim Weyand, CEO of NK Architects. “Park Passive demonstrates that beautiful design, sustainability and livability can synergistically co-exist, and we’re proud to have successfully achieved this. We’re excited to bring this expertise to future projects and continue to pave the way for high performance, energy efficient, attractive homes and buildings through the addition of an in-house energy modeling and energy performance team.”

Park Passive is Seattle’s first certified Passive House. View the press release, and see the project in detail on its project page.

Concept Diagram with Title

Promoting Passive House Design

Posted by nk on March 31, 2014

Joe Giampietro, NK’s resident Passive House expert, took to the podium last week during the PHnw5 Conference in Portland to share details of our next Passive House concept, a groundbreaking Passive House apartment building in Seattle.  Joe discussed the multi-family low-energy design processes that NK incorporated; he also provided a demonstration of cutting edge designPH 3D modeling software, which NK used to simplify early design phase modeling.


Above: 3d modeling of the proposed Seattle Passive House Apartments using designPH software

Passive House is the world’s leading standard for energy efficient construction. A certified Passive House uses 90% less energy to heat and cool the home than standard built homes.

Learn more about NK’s Passive House expertise – view our first Passive House project, Park Passive here.

NK Architects Welcomes New CEO – Key Executive Position Driven by Company’s Growth Strategy

Posted by nk on March 3, 2014

Tim-Weyand_nk_webNK is excited to welcome Tim Weyand as our new CEO. With over 20 years in the industry, Tim’s experience brings both business management and a deep understanding of energy efficient design and an expertise in urban density.  His diverse background in residential, commercial and institutional projects bolsters our leadership structure to fortify NK’s footprint as the premier designer of beautiful, high-performance multifamily housing projects, and prepares the firm for future growth and diversification into key markets and sectors.

Tim joins NK from HOK where he was responsible for the company’s Pacific NW expansion into the commercial, transportation, science, and justice markets.  Prior to HOK, Tim spent nearly 10 years at NBBJ Seattle.

Read Tim’s bio on our People page to learn more about his background and the role of the CEO.


Posted by nk on February 21, 2014


As Seattle construction activity continues to increase, so do the number of applications associated with the building and energy code changes. In December, the Seattle DPD website first reported delays of up to 4 weeks for Initial Plan Reviews and 2-4 weeks for Corrected Plan Reviews – and we are concerned that the delays could extend even longer.

Our permit expeditor recently informed us to expect up to 8 additional weeks for an initial review, which increases the review cycle to 14 – 16 weeks. This means that the initial review cycle, which used to take 8 weeks, will now take twice as long – about 16 weeks. We understand that this spike and its impacts on review times are expected to subside in June.

Connect with us if you have questions about the DPD’s extended review cycles or latest energy code changes.

NK Selected to Design West Seattle Multifamily Work/Live Project

Posted by nk on February 11, 2014


NK Architects has been selected to design a new multifamily residential work/live project nestled in the heart of the West Seattle Junction. Lofts at the Junction is located at 4535 44th Ave SW – between the intersection of Glenn Way SW and 44th Avenue SW. The five-story building will be comprised of thirty-six apartments and two ground-level work/live units. John Comick, Lofts at the Junction developer, selected NK for our deep understanding of design, cost and energy efficiency and the unique requirements that West Seattle expects from its architecture.

Lofts at the Junction will also feature a rooftop deck with expansive views of the sound, downtown, Elliott Bay and both mountain ranges. Residents will enjoy the property’s close proximity to the West Seattle Farmers Market and rapid community transit.  Green features will include solar panels that will offset energy costs. The project is anticipated to start in June 2014, and expected to be completed in July 2015.

View our other projects here.

Integrating Woonerfs into two new townhome projects

Posted by nk on January 30, 2014

NK’s recently announced multifamily townhome projects in Columbia City, in partnership with Quadrant Homes, incorporate a special community building feature called a Woonerf.  By definition, a Woonerf is a living street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists.

The first Woonerf was developed by the Dutch in the 1960’s when residents were upset with cut-through traffic speeding through their neighborhood. They removed the brick street and replaced it with winding serpentine paths.


 Photo from The New York Times Article “Where Share the Road is Taken Literally”

Our application of the Woonerf concept reprioritizes the drive court space in each of these projects to put a primary emphasis on creating outdoor shared community space for residents and, secondarily, a space for cars to enter garages.



Click here for more information about NK’s Rainer Valley townhome project.


Posted by nk on December 17, 2013


NK Architects has been selected by Mack Urban, the successor organization to Harbor Properties and Harbor Urban, to design its new project at the intersection of 45th and Stone Way. The five-story mixed-use green building in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood will have 150 apartments and three retail spaces with a retail patio. The apartments will be a mix of studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units. The project will offer residents multiple amenity spaces including a roof deck with a green roof with unique plantings such as hop or grape vines. Targeting LEED for Homes certification – preserving energy and water consumption up to 30% – the project is expected to start construction in March 2014, and be completed in July 2015.



Posted by nk on December 9, 2013


Quadrant 35th

NK is excited to be working with Quadrant Homes on three multifamily townhome projects in Rainier Valley and Columbia City, near the Central Link light rail and South Seattle cultural hubs. Quadrant chose to partner with NK for the firm’s focus on energy efficient architecture that maintains the continuity and character of the surrounding neighborhood. Quadrant utilizes the latest technologies in sustainable building practices to create high-performing, cost effective homes. Quadrant 35th Townhomes is a modern, 17-unit community located in the heart of Columbia City. The 42nd Avenue S Townhomes feature 16 three-story residences in Columbia City, with live/work units along Rainier Avenue. Both projects make use of beautifully designed woonerfs that convert a shared drive court into a landscaped common plaza. Charleston Townhomes in Rainier Valley will have 16-units that feature flexible spaces like reading nooks and interest walls along the stairs. Each project will target a Built Green 4-star rating.


Posted by nk on November 26, 2013


Park Passive, Seattle’s first certified Passive House, received top honors in Builder magazine’s first ever Design Awards – a merger of the Builder’s Choice Awards and Custom Home Design Awards. Designed by NK’s Marie Ljubojevic and Lauren McCunney and built by green builder Cascade Built, Park Passive impressed judges with the amount of living space eked out of the small infill lot, and called the home “the epitome of green and also a really cool house.” The awards finalists demonstrated premium high-performance green building, environmental stewardship, smart land strategies and successful indoor-outdoor flow. Park Passive was the only certified Passive House winner.

The home was also selected to be part of Northwest EcoBuilding Guild’s 10x10x10 Green Building Slam event. NK’s Joe Giampietro and Cascade Built’s Sloan Ritchie presented the project, discussing innovations, challenges and solutions.


Posted by nk on October 22, 2013

Joe-Giampietro_nk_webJoe Giampietro, our resident Passive House expert, was selected by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to join the City’s Living Building and Deep Green Technical Advisory Group. The group provides recommendations to the Department of Planning and Development on updating the City’s Living Building and Seattle Deep Green Program. The program allows developers and architects to request code departures through design review for buildings seeking to achieve the most advanced measures of sustainability. These measures include energy reduction by 75%, a strategy employed for our recent Park Passive project, and the capture of at least 50% of onsite storm water.