Fox Net Zero House

Fox Net Zero House

Fox Net Zero Home

Started in the winter, building the Fox Home was not without its challenges, but the challenges ended up working in our favor in the end and producing this beautiful and unique home. Right off the bat, after we poured the concrete slab, the weather turned and frosted. As we saved the slab from freezing using plastic sheets and hay, the wind kicked up and caused the hay to come into direct contact with the slab as it was curing. The hay interacted with the concrete and caused what turned out to be really cool color undulations which add to the home’s character. Now we are intentionally adding this option for future clients who want some extra pizzaz in their concrete floors!

We always love when clients add their personal touches to a home as well, and in this case that personal touch was in the form of a repurposed trash receptacle laundry chute!



  • Overview:

    • 1978sf SFR &  876sf garage
    • 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath SFR
    • Net Zero Energy
    • 1st floor aging-in-place
    • Passive solar heating/cooling design
    • Insulation: R-29 walls & R-59 ceiling
    • Air Sealing: 0.18 ACH50
    • HERS Index: -2
    • Annual Energy Cost Savings: $2,800
    • Certifications: DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certified, ENERGY STAR certified, EPA Indoor airPLUS certified, anticipated Built Green 5-star certified


    • Ventiliation: Fantech Hero 250 with built in HEPA filter. Built-in humidity, temperature, and CO2
    • Heating/Cooling: Chilltrix CX-34; hydronic radiant floor heating downstairs and fan coil unit
    • PV: 9kW solar array with Enphase microinverters and battery ready


    • Thermatru exterior doors
    • Certified Cool Roof metal roofing
    • Birch doors and hemlock trim
    • Floor Score certified vinyl flooring & zero-VOC, anti-microbial underlayment
    • Quartz countertops
    • Thrifted plumbing fixtures
    • Europly maple cabinets
    • LED lighting
    • WaterSense plumbing fixtures
    • ENERGY STAR appliances
    • No/Low-VOC finishes
    • Triple pane, Low-E coated, argon-filled vinyl windows


          Cascade Lane

          Cascade was constructed and sold as a spec home, neighboring two other TC Legend Houses from the
          earlier days of Ted’s green construction career. The home is nestled in the steep hillside with the driveway and most of the house standing on stilts. The area is notorious for almost inaccessibly steep driveways, so to create a usable flat driveway at street level and eliminate concrete retaining walls, the 24’ wide driveway bridges to the house with the garage located on stilts, on-grade with the main (second) floor. Cascade projects into space with only a small foundation containing the plumbing. This stilt-house configuration substantially reduces the cost to
          build from a traditional foundation and leaves the onsite flora largely intact.

          From the entry you walk into the open kitchen, living and dining area with views of the green forest all
          around. Behind the kitchen is the utility room and first bathroom. On the lower floor are three
          bedrooms and a bathroom, with the master able to be re-configured as a Jack-and-Jill. Also on the lower
          floor is the laundry which is located under the stairs and a cozy living or work space with a sliding glass
          door out to a small deck that can hold your mini vegetable garden. In total, Cascade is 1400 sf with 3
          bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a 240 sf garage.

          Built and performing just as all our standard homes, Cascade is a Net-Zero home and will receive a Built
          Green 5 star certification along EPA Indoor AirPLUS certification, EPA Energy Star certification and
          Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home rating.


          • 1400 square feet
          • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom
          • 240 sf garage
          • Cook’s kitchen
          • Kitchen bar
          Forest Hill House

          Forest Hill House

          The Forest Hill house was commissioned by a night-shift worker with a love of house plants & the land upon which he was raised. The lot, bequeathed by grandma, faces due south with a big sky view, interrupted only by a distant fir; ideal for passive solar harvest, active photovoltaic (PV) harvest, and vegetable harvest!

          Built over the winter of 2020/ 2021, Jeff tells me the build was all straightforward, except grinding down the interior slab-on-grade after the stick-frame walls were built. The grinder is a frustratingly twitchy machine, time consuming, and no one’s favorite job. The result however is a beautiful concrete floor with the aggregate cut-through, showing patina from the bull-float & the cream in the concrete. This floor will endure through many years of very hard wear.

          Equally durable materials are used to clad the SIP roof & walls; NuDura metal roofing & Hardie fiber-cement lap siding combine to protect the insulating SIPs foam panels. The siding was hung in-house by TC and the fellas did a fabulous job of precisely stacking the board-joints, setting up a very pleasing pattern in the siding.

          To clad the small 6” ICF (Insulated concrete form) upstand, TC uses colored 26 gauge metal to protect the insulating foam from impact & abrasion.

          The highly insulated energy-shell enables this home to be heated with 12Btu/ hour (max) Fujitsu minisplit. This is an all-electric, net zero house, ready for the future. Including the coming storms….

          Battery power is a hot topic these days, with grid managers planning for greater grid efficiency by storing off-peak grid surplus in privately owned battery systems.

          TC Installed the 5Kw LG lithium-ion house battery on the exterior north wall. Integrated with the PV, the battery allows the PV produced electricity to be stored, ensuring this all-electric house works even when the power goes down.

          Neos House

          Neos House

          The Neos house is a 4 bedroom family house. 2614 square feet. Completed in spring 2021.

          Designed as a multi-generational home with one full bathroom & one full bedroom on the 1st floor, if the piano-room & the rec-room were enclosed with walls we’d have a 7-bedroom home. Enough for a substantial family to live together.

          Pointing south, the view looks towards the huge garden.

          The garden spills into the dining area through sliding doors. The folks who commissioned this home are gardeners, with kids, who will be drawn towards the natural world as a way to thrive.

          The weather briefly nips at you as you walk from the front door to the garage under the covered walkway, creating a connection with the day’s weather and the world outside the energy-shell.

          The SIPs installation was subcontracted because this is a Bellevue job & the TC crew have northern families & want to be home at night if possible. Issac taught a Peruvian framing crew how to sling the SIPs and the job ran fast & smoothly using advanced SIPs details required by the Bellevue jurisdiction.

          Despite one design mistake (the mechanicals are in the unheated garage), this house is an exercise in textbook design for cost & energy performance.

          The client did a stellar job of following design advice & the crew lovingly built the house, sealing the envelope to 0.6 air changes per hour, Passivehaus standard. The result is an economical house that has won a Department of Energy Grand Prize, attained 5-star Build Green certification and is certified Net Zero.

          The envelope & mechanical systems are all drawn from the 2020 TC system: 6.5” walls, 10.25” SIP roof, 4” R20 foam under the slab, R24 ICF’s, Chilltrix CX34 heatpump with (1) fancoil upstairs, Zehnder 350 HRV with comfopost heat/ cool delivery. Vinyltek triple pane windows & Thermatru front door.

          All the stormwater from the roof is infiltrated back into the onsite soils via a huge infiltration trench. Additionally, the excavation soils all remained onsite to reduce soils trucking. The clients took responsibility for seeding the exposed construction soils, choosing to plant a complex cover crop in place of the usual grass. The cover crop can be tilled back into the soils to impart nitrogen & other nutrients when a new planting regime is decided upon.

          The house in a garden is a traditional family way of life and TC is proud to have built a modern, dense & flexible version of this ideal, updated to make all its own power to address the demands of the climate-change world.