Visiting the City of Tomorrow: Malmo’s Western Harbor

Posted by nk on May 27, 2015

NK’s CEO, Tim Weyand, visited Malmo, Sweden to see first-hand how a desolate brownfield was transformed into what will be the world’s first carbon-neutral district. Named the Western Harbor, the district will achieve net zero energy (NZE) by 2020 through a mix of Passive House-constructed homes and buildings, projects with high-performance upgrades and the integration of renewable energy sources including solar panels, urban wind farms and an aquafer thermal energy storage system for heating and cooling.

When complete, the district will house 6,500 families in market-rate and affordable housing, and employ nearly 30,000 people in its businesses, schools and commercial services.

Malmo 1

This NZE model can be applied locally by transforming the unused 185-acre Port of Seattle Terminal-5 (T-5) into a carbon-neutral district. Achievable within 5 years, the new T-5 district would help solve Seattle’s affordable housing worries, create the needed comps for financing more NZE projects, serve as an example for energy independent living nationally and benefit the Port and City of Seattle financially.

See photos from Tim’s tour of the Western Harbor below, and check back for more insights from Europe.

Malmo 2Swedish ship Klokums shipyard pre-1998, only part of the 380-acre Western Harbor.


Malmo 3The nearly completed Western Harbor NZE district today.


Malmo 4An interior streetscape in the Western Harbor.


Malmo 5Views from the district’s Baltic Boardwalk.


Malmo 6A woonerf used to safely prioritize pedestrian traffic over cars.

Read more about our perspective on NZE here and follow us on LinkedIn for updates.

Design Starts on New Capitol Hill Studio Project

Posted by nk on May 15, 2015

NK was selected to design JaMar Boylston, a Built Green 4-Star studio apartment project in the heart of Capitol Hill. The 6-story, 8,100 sf project will feature 17 units ranging from 310-590 sf. Upper unit residents will enjoy private rooftop decks and all residents will share common mezzanine and outdoor spaces, and secure bike storage. The project will be constructed using high-performance building practices, including added insulation and energy efficient mechanical systems, and is expected to be completed in late 2016.



Celebrating Seattle’s High-Performance Projects

Posted by nk on April 29, 2015

From Park Passive, Seattle’s first certified Passive House in Madison Park to the award winning net zero-constructed Stream Belmont in Capitol Hill, we’re excited to be a leader in Seattle’s high-performance building community. We developed this map to celebrate the growing number of high-performance projects in and around Seattle. Building to these high standards not only lowers dependency on natural resources, it maximizes energy efficiency and provides a healthy, comfortable environment with clean indoor air and non-toxic finishes.

See all of our projects here.nk_phnw_flyer_map2

NK Attends the International Passive House Conference

Posted by nk on April 15, 2015

NK’s Founding Principal, Brandon Nicholson and CEO, Tim Weyand are headed to Leipzig, Germany to attend the 19th International Passive House conference April 17th and 18th. During the conference attendees will learn about the newest developments in passive house design and construction, experience the latest in cost-effective passive house products and tour passive house-constructed buildings both completed and under construction.

brandon-nicholson_nk_web Tim-Weyand_nk_web

We’re excited to apply their findings from the conference to our high-performance projects. Check back soon for more news from the International Passive House Conference and Tim’s visit to the world’s first carbon-neutral district in Malmo, Sweden.

Learn about NK’s design of Seattle’s first certified passive house, Park Passive.




NK Welcomes a New Team Member

Posted by nk on March 25, 2015

NK is excited to welcome Brittany Porter, Staff Architect, to our team!

Brittany graduated from the University of Oregon with a Master’s degree in architecture and earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is part of a design team whose proposal for a Mexico City contemporary design museum recently placed in an international competition hosted by Arch Triumph. In her spare time, Brittany is active in the AIA Young Architects Forum and Women in Design and enjoys exploring the Northwest’s great outdoors, practicing guitar, painting and photography.


Project Spotlight: ConAm Selects NK for Crown Hill Mixed-Use

Posted by nk on March 19, 2015

NK has been selected to design ConAm’s latest mixed-use project in Seattle’s Crown Hill neighborhood. The 150,000 square foot, 4-story apartment building will include 3,000 square feet of retail space and 131 units, which vary in type from studios to 2-bedrooms. Situated at the connection between the burgeoning Crown Hill Urban Village and the Western boundary of Greenwood on Holman Road, residents will enjoy easy access to downtown, a short walk to transportation, and an array of amenities including onsite below grade parking, a fitness center, interior courtyard and a roof-top deck with impressive views of the Cascade and Olympics Mountains, Puget Sound and Downtown Seattle. The project is expected to be completed next winter.

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.