Green Features


The Millworks Co-housing community was designed as a model for sustainable development. Below are just a few of the  features found within this Built Green and ENERGY STAR community.

Smart Growth

The Millworks community is dedicated to supporting a vibrant, healthy community. The Millworks location is critical to achieve a truly smart growth project.

  • Building within existing communities. Located on an infill lot in the desirable Happy Valley Neighborhood, Millworks is taking advantage of existing infrastructure and resources, while preserving green fields and open space
  • Compact building design. By utilizing the cohousing ordinance, Millworks was designed with flexible standards, allowing for more density than would have been possible by conventional means.
  • Preserving Critical Areas. The Millworks site was home to a low quality wetland that has been transformed and enhanced to improve water quality and wetland function.
  • Create walkable neighborhoods. Millworks is located within walking distance of several essential services, parks and open space, and Western Washington University.
  • Provide a variety of transportation options. Millworks cohousing has planned a car share program for their community. The site is also located within a short walk to bus lines and the Bellingham trail system.
  • Create a sense of place. This unique group of people have come together with a shared vision for a beautiful, tight knit neighborhood that values community and the natural world. With a central common house and other shared facilities, this community has a central place to gather, bringing a sense of place to the community.


Low Impact Development

The low impact development approach to developing land and managing stormwater is to mimic the natural hydrology of the land. In a natural forest, rainwater disperses on the forest floor and infiltrates into the ground and is cleaned and absorbed by the trees and plants around it. The Millworks Co-housing project was designed to mimic the natural hydrology and infiltrates 100% of stormwater on-site. Some LID strategies include:

  • Raingardens. Raingardens are a biorention, integrated stormwater management practice that uses plants, microbes, and soil to remove pollutants. They are also aesthetic features to a landscape.
  • Pervious pavements. Permeable pavements that are designed to accommodate vehicle traffic while allowing infiltrating, treating and storing of stormwater.
  • Amended soils. One of the best LID approach is to simply have rich native soils that absorb and provide biofiltration for rainwater.
  • Minimized impervious surface. Through the design process, footprints and parking areas were reduced to minimize the amount of hard surfaces that creates stormwater.
  • Dispersion. Dispersion trenches were implemented to maintain hydrolic flows to wetlands on and off site. 


Green Building

Aiki Homes proudly builds all our homes Built Green and ENERGY STAR. In cooperation with the Millworks community, these homes will 4 or 5 star Built Green certified. One owner is also certifying their home LEED-H and is hoping to achieve a Platinum certification! Here are just some of the green building features found in all the Millworks homes.

  • Local supplier and subcontractors
  • Low Flow water fixtures including toilets, shower heads, and lavatory faucets.
  • High Efficiency insulation
  • Advanced framing
  • ENERGY STAR certified windows
  • Hydronic radiant heat
  • 70% construction waste recycling!
  • Low VOC paints, sealant, and adhesives
  • On-demand Hot Water
  • Sustainably harvested, Low VOC cabinetry
  • Whole house ventilation
  • ENERGY STAR lighting in 50%+ of sockets

For more information on these and other green building features check out green building on our website.