Towering Alki Home

Designer: Morgan Ennis, Model Remodel

Architect: Rene Architecture

Location: West Seattle, Seattle, WA

Sustainability: Built Green 4-Star

The homeowner fell in love with this West Seattle location, drawn to the expansive views of the Puget Sound, Alki Point and the Olympic Mountains. He purchased the property a few years ago and later brought in Model Remodel, who worked closely with Rene Architecture, to produce the outstanding home it became.

The first challenge was excavating 1,800 cubic yards of soil from the steep slope in an environmentally critical area. This was during the onslaught of winter, no less! The crew strategized to repurpose the exported soil on local residential projects as much as possible, which helped save the client money. Staff then built a 25-foot-tall, three-sided retaining wall and placed 25 feet of shoring below the ground.

From there, the Model Remodel crew was put in charge of realizing Rene Architecture’s vision. Rene designed the home to fit the lifestyle of the young, professional homeowner. The aim was to create ample space for entertaining and take advantage of the stunning views. In the words of supervisor Jim Frank, “It’s not necessarily the biggest house I’ve ever worked on, but it’s one of the tallest!” It is roughly 50 feet tall, with several outdoor patios for anything from a grill to an entertainment center to a hot tub. The bedroom and bathroom parlor are set up to maximize the views.

Matching Model Remodel’s ethos, the Alki home received a 4 Star Built Green certification. In fact, it was only 50 points shy of a 5 Star rating. Sustainable features include dual-flush toilets; low-flow faucets and shower valves; extensively insulated concrete walls; framing from local Douglas fir lumber; air sealing techniques that resulted in air-changes-per-hour exceeding Washington state energy codes; lots of natural light; and a hydronic floor heating system that also provides indirect hot water for the domestic hot water supply.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography


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