Seattle welcomes its first Passive House apartments, Pax Futura

Posted by PRISM | Feb 1, 2019 |

Pax Futura, Seattle’s first certified Passive House apartments, is a popular 35-unit building, demonstrating the demand for and scalability of this ultra-high-performance building technique. Designed by NK Architects and developed by a leading sustainable builder, Cascade Built, Pax Futura achieves the rigorous standards of Passive House by consuming up to 80% less energy to heat and cool the units than standard buildings, while using durable materials and construction techniques that will last for future generations.

Passive House is a European standard for energy efficiency, providing a solution to climate change, enabling buildings to significantly reduce energy use and curb carbon dioxide emissions, a key contributor to climate change.

“Building in a way that contributes positively to the community and our environment is our company, and my personal, mission,” said Sloan Ritchie, founder of Cascade Built.  “We are facing the realities of climate change on a daily basis.  We can either address them head on or turn away and hope they don’t affect us. I’m choosing the former because at this stage, we can still do something meaningful to prevent the continued warming of our planet. Now, everyone who chooses to live in Pax Futura gets to face the challenge head on and become a part of the solution.”

Located in the heart of Columbia City’s vibrant retail corridor, the project is named to reflect the developer’s belief that a peaceful future can be achieved through innovative design for energy conservation. Pax meaning “peace” in Latin, and also the name of his son, and Futura for the font created to express modern models, rather than be a revival of previous design.

Pax Futura is mixed-used, with 32 apartments, three live/work units, and 1,100+ square foot corner commercial space. The apartments are designed for community-minded individuals who seek to be part of a solution to climate change, while living near a thriving historic business and restaurant district with easy access to the Link light rail transit system.

Embracing a simple, modern design, Pax Futura’s dynamic façade combines a neutral color palette with accents of metal canopies and signage, as well as sliding wood screen elements. The shared courtyard welcomes residents and activates the east façade with circulation, bench overlooks, and vertical landscape and the sliding screen elements, which shields units from west-facing solar exposure, keeping units cool during warm months.

Residents benefit from healthier living with continuous filtered fresh air, in a draft-free and temperate interior environment utilizing high-performance windows and doors.  Open floor plans allow walls to be removed to create larger units if market demands evolve.

Corner retail and live/work spaces with mezzanines provide additional neighborhood activity. Residents also enjoy common entertainment spaces with an amenity room, courtyard, and a retail patio connecting the pedestrian experience to the project’s live/work and commercial spaces.

In addition to Passive House, the project is certified Built Smart, emphasizing resource conservation, employing pared down mechanical systems, superior insulation, low or no VOC finishes, and natural bio-retention planters to manage stormwater onsite.

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