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The One Planet Living Annual Summary 2014-15 for Grow Community in Seattle outlines how it is on track to meet its One Planet Living targets for 2020.

Endorsed as a One Planet Community in 2012, Grow Community  is a sustainable housing development on Bainbridge Island (a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle). A total of 142 homes are being built in three phases, in line with its One Planet Action Plan. Phase One has been completed with all units sold. Work is now underway on Phase Two, with many of the units already reserved for sale.

Grow is led by developer Asani and is designed to be a compact, neighbourly community with plenty of shared green space located within a short walk or cycle ride from many essential services and facilities. The homes are highly insulated, fitted with solar PV and built using sustainably and locally sourced materials wherever possible.

One Planet Living, a framework by Bioregional, is based on ten easy-to-grasp principles that enable organisations to plan for, deliver and communicate sustainable development. All endorsed partners develop a One Planet Action Plan that details the strategies, actions and targets to achieve One Planet Living. This is reviewed periodically, in order to share progress. Highlights for this pioneering community in 2014-15 include:

  • Tracking of eight homes showed the solar PV met more than 85% of electricity demand with electricity bills as little as $8 amonth
  • An 85% increase in walking and 30% in cycling by residents since moving to Grow
  • 65% of residents participating in the communal gardens
  • 99% of construction waste diverted from landfill

The review also shares how Grow has been globally recognised for its commitment to sustainability with a number of awards, including the NAHB Best in Green Award for 2014, which honours the very finest in sustainable design.

Pooran Desai, Bioregional’s International Director for One Planet Communities, says: “As the first One Planet Community in North America to be occupied, it is very exciting to see how well-recognised and influential a small project can be when the developer embraces the goal of enabling sustainable living.”

He adds: “With nearly three-quarters of households reporting improved physical or mental wellbeing compared to where they lived before, Grow’s successes are clear. While challenges remain this is an impressive start and the learning shared in this review increases the impact of this already influential project.”

Greg Lotakis, Asani CEO, comments: “Grow Community Bainbridge is the culmination of efforts from many remarkable people coming together with a commitment to pursuing something deeper than a Sustainability Action Plan. Financial investment, experience and energy were given with the idea that sustainable development and One Planet Living could be provided so that a community could form and pursue Health and Happiness together.”