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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Green Concept Home in Bellevue, WA by Modus V Studio Architects (designed using Autodesk Revit)

June 1st, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Modus V Studio Architects

The “Green Concept Home” is a two-story single-family residence located in Bellevue, WA.  This 2,840 sq.ft house has a contemporary design and is owned, designed and built by husband and wife team David Huang and Millie Leung.  David is an entrepreneur and the principal architect of architectural design firm “Modus V Studio Architects”.  The house broke ground in September 2009 and was completed in September 2010.  It is the first house in Bellevue, WA to be Built Green and LEED certified.

House front (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

  • Architects:Modus V Studio Architects
  • Project: Green Concept Home
  • Location: Bellevue, WA
  • Area: Bellevue, WA
  • Owners: David Huang and Millie Leung
  • Software used: Revit for design and rendering

Baby room (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

  • Construction Start: September 2009
  • Construction End: September 2010
  • General Contractor: David Huang
  • Interior Designer: Millie Leung
  • Green Verifier: O’Brien & Company
  • Mechanical Engineer: Mitchell Engineering, Inc.

Bookshelf (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

  • Landscape Designer: Studio 342 Landscape Architecture
  • Energy Consultant: Bushnell Energy Consulting
  • Photo Credits: Nelson Tang Photography
  • Built Green: 5 Star (highest level – submitted, waiting for final confirmation)
  • LEED for Homes: Gold or Platinum (to be finalized in June 2011)

Dining room (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

The project aims to build an environmentally friendly and sustainable home that moves our society towards more sustainable living.  The house implemented many concepts of green designs – including structural insulated panels (SIPs), rainwater harvesting system, solar hot water heater, tankless hot water heater, heat recovery ventilator, radiant floor heating, solar orientation, Energy Star appliances, Energy Star metal roof, Energy Star windows, low-flow water fixtures, no VOCs paints, renewable and environmentally friendly materials and drought-tolerant landscaping.  Our goal is to minimize energy and water usage, maximize the comfort for the residents and to create a holistic and sustainable way of life.

Exterior details (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

Special care was also taken during construction to minimize waste and to recycle majority of the waste.  The waste was sent to a local recycling facility with a 95%+ diversion rate.

Front door (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

The Green Concept Home, which we also nick-named the “H-House”, has a floor plan that takes a shape of the letter “H”.  The house is separated into Eastern and Western wings of the “H”.  The Western wing consists of the “public” spaces such as living room, kitchen, dining room, and office.  This is a very open and lofty space, with high ceiling (20 ft) above the living room and the office overlooking the living room.  There are no walls built between the different rooms, so it becomes a great space that the day activities are carried out.  The space is filled with lights from Southern and Northern exposure, while shielded from Western suns.  The Eastern wing of the house consists of the “private” spaces such as all the bedrooms, guest room, mechanical room and garage.  Contrary to the other wing, the Eastern wing is very enclosed, protected, and intimate, becoming the space where the family will rest at night.  The design strategy of clearly separating the day-activity spaces with night-resting spaces allow for an easy separation of heating zones.  It also provides an acoustic barrier between the noisier part of the house – the living room/kitchen – and the bedrooms.

Guest bedroom (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

Throughout the project’s preparation, we have done intensive research and cost comparison, striving to make going green as affordable as possible without sacrificing functionality, comfort and style.

Kids bedroom (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

Another goal of this project is about sharing information and lessons we have learned.  Throughout our research, design, preparation and construction, we have documented information collected and lessons learned on our project website  We have also arranged free educational public tours during construction.  By doing so, we hope to increase public awareness on green building.

House back (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

Although many fine green demonstration houses have already been built throughout the country, there needs to be many, many more of them, until there are enough so that virtually everyone has a chance to experience them.  We hope that through media outreach and educational presentations, we can do our part to increase public awareness to encourage more green buildings in the future and a greener environment for generations to come.

Kitchen (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )


Below is a list of green products/materials used for the “Green Concept Home”:

  • Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs): SIPs from “Premier Building Systems” are used for exterior walls and roof structures, these panels enhance the insulation performance and air tightness of the house.  The panels are pre-cut in factories and tilt up on site to reduce wastage.
  • Rainwater harvesting system: A 1,700 gallon underground water cistern from “Ace Roto-Mold” collects the rain water run-off from the roof and foundation drains to be re-used for toilet flushing, car washing and irrigation.

Kitchen details (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

  • Solar hot water heater: Apricus 30-tube solar collector system provides 100% of the domestic hot water use during the summers and help to boost temperature during winters
  • Solar photovoltaic panels pre-wiring: The solar PV panels can clip onto the standing seams of the metal roof.  Since PV panels are still quite expensive and the efficiency is not very high yet, the house is pre-wired for future PV panel installation.

Living Room (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

  • Tankless hot water heater: With on-demand water heater, you only heat water as you need it, thereby reducing energy use (Noritz N-0751M Series).
  • Heat recovery ventilator (HRV): The “Broan” HRV brings in fresh air through a filter and recovers heat through a heat exchange from the outgoing exhaust air to the fresh incoming air from outside, helping to bring down energy costs.

Living Room (looking down from office)

  • Radiant floor heating: Space heating is distributed by a high-efficiency (95%) hydronic radiant floor system (“Triangle Tube”), which is more energy efficient and comfortable than conventional systems.  The floors have high thermal mass to ensure a steady temperature.
  • Solar orientation: The house takes advantage of the southern exposure for maximum daylighting and passive heating.  Western walls have limited windows to minimize excessive heat gains.

Living Space overview (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

  • Energy Star appliances: All appliances in the house are Energy Star rated, helping to reduce electricity by as much as 50-75% as compared to a standard single family home
  • Energy Star metal roof: The metal roof from Custom Bilt Metal has 30% recycled content, 40+ years warranty life span and Energy Star rated reflectance pigment paint.

Master Bedroom (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

  • Energy Star windows and skylights: Double-pane low E argon windows (from “Weathervane”) and skylights (from “Crystalite”) help to reduce energy bills
  • Low-flow water fixtures: Low-flow faucets (Moen 1.5 gpm faucet), showerheads (Toto 1.75gpm rain showerhead and Moen low-flow shower set) and dual flush toilets (Toto Aqua II) reduce the amount of water usage in the house

Stairs (Image Courtesy Nelson Tang )

  • No VOCs Paints: No VOCs paints from Sherwin-Williams (“Harmony”) are used for all interior walls and trims.  The paint is zero VOC, virtually odor-free and Green Guard certified.  The use of no VOCs paints are used for better indoor air quality
  • Renewable and environmentally friendly materials: Renewable and recycled content materials with longer life span, such as bamboo flooring, fly ash concrete mix, recycled content countertops (Eco-Stone) and metal roofing (Custom Bilt Metal) are used.  Products are locally sourced and produced whenever possible.  No carpet is used in the house for better indoor air quality.
  • Drought-tolerant landscaping: Drought tolerant plants and turf (Eco-Lawn) that are self-sustaining in the natural habitat are used in the landscaping to reduce water consumption.
Contact Modus V Studio Architects

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