This One-Bedroom, Backyard Prefab in West Seattle Runs on Solar Power

07.02.19 | By
This One-Bedroom, Backyard Prefab in West Seattle Runs on Solar Power

We recently shared the growing movement of ADUs, or Accessory Dwelling Units, to help combat the need for affordable housing in Los Angeles. But L.A. isn’t the only city looking to solve the problem. Seattle is facing its own housing crisis, and luckily designers are jumping in with attainable solutions, like the Stone Solar Studio. Designed by architecture firm Wittman Estes with prefab tech company NODE, the one-bedroom studio could be the answer, or at least one of the answers, to this global epidemic.

A Seattle homeowner hired Wittman Estes to design an affordable, eco-friendly unit to live in her backyard as a way to generate rental income. The modern structure is outfitted with a solar roof that provides all of the energy needed to power the unit and the main house. To make it happen, the firm partnered with NODE, known for their design-focused, carbon negative, non-toxic homes, resulting in Seattle’s first DADU (Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit) with the International Living Future Institute’s (IFLI) zero energy certification.

Innovative construction methods were used in order to bring down the building costs, making this prefab a more affordable option for anyone wanting to build one.

From NODE’s co-founder, Don Bunnell:

NODE is developing an assembly system for homes, increasing quality while reducing time and cost, delivering good design and deep sustainability with a guaranteed price and schedule – something you just can’t do with conventional construction.

The exterior is clad in locally sourced cedar blanks that have been charred using shou sugi ban, a traditional Japanese technique that preserves wood and creates a low-maintenance facade.

Lots of windows bring natural light to the indoors and with a light color palette of materials, the space feels open and bright.

Project Credits
Builder: NODE, Don Bunnell
Design: Wittman Estes with NODE
Architect: Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape
Landscape: Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape
Photographer: Andrew Pogue

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.