Bright Green Project

Previous slide
Next slide

Architects: Mike Smith Architecture
Building Performance 
Consultant: [bundle] design studio
Custom Cabinets: New Whatcom Interiors
Location: South Hill Neighborhood, Bellingham
Photographer: Chris DiNottia


Our clients were relocating from the east coast and wanted to build a new home on a view lot in city limits. With these parameters in mind they found a steep infill lot on south hill. After finding the lot, they quickly got to work with local Architect Mike Smith designing their dream home. We came onboard during the design phase, immediately identifying design modifications to make this a high performance home.

The Bright Green project highlights the reality that building a new, high performance home is both a craft and a science. This building is a system and it’s beautiful. Construction started in early 2016 and finished shortly before the holidays. 

Building Performance

  • Insulation: We installed 3” of exterior cork insulation to the entire structure. We did this because exterior insulation helps reduce thermal bridging, provides sound proofing and acts as insulation. We also added insulation to the walls, floor and ceiling that is well beyond code requirements.
  • Windows: Our clients opted to use Cascadia fiberglass windows for this project. These high performance windows are locally manufactured. Fiberglass has been called ‘the lumber of the future’ and ‘the ultimate window frame’  because no other window frame material matches its performance.
  • Air sealing: We completed aggressive air sealing, achieving a final blower door test of 0.8 ACH (air changes per hour.) Passive house standard is a maximum of 0.6 air changes per hour, needless to say 0.8 ACH is  pretty darn good.
  • Weather barrier: Rainscreens and SIGA weather resistive barrier are standard on all of our projects because they protect the wall construction from condensation build-up and liquid moisture, reduce air infiltration, and allow moisture vapor to pass and sheathing to dry.
  • Heating and ventilation: A heat pump is used for both heating and hot water.

Design Details

The interior designer for this project was Michelle Banks who at the time was an employee of Chuckanut Builders. Michelle is now the owner and operator of  Spiral Design StudioThe interiors are green, classic, clean and durable. Details include:

  • Low VOC finishes
  • No carpet
  • Green Guard certified quartz countertops
  • Certified tile, to ensure green production, recyclability, and free of toxins
  • Domestically harvested cherry flooring
  • Locally fabricated, steel clad fireplace surround 
  • Locally built cabinets by New Whatcom Interiors.
  • Very durable and zero maintenance concrete pavers and metal railings 

When we build green, high performance homes we always consider durability. The Bright Green project is a beautiful, healthy and durable home. If you’re dreaming of building a high performance home we’d love to talk!

Building a brand new house on a tricky lot, Chuckanut did a terrific job and we could not be more pleased with the result. It’s beautiful, incredibly energy efficient and they were a joy to work with.” – Bright Green Project Home Owner

Looking for a contractor to help build your high performance home?