Design: Knot

Knot, by Gaston Dietz

This design includes some excellent efficiencies, using multiple elements to address the same waste issues. Water conservation is utilized as well as rainwater catchment and greywater reuse. Greywater reuse is not common and still problematic in some ways. It has a tank life of 24 hours and, in the system cited and otherwise commonly, is treated with non-biodegradable sterilizers like chlorine. Soaps and sterilziers also degrade synthetic materials that are commonly used in toilet mechanisms, causing a greater rate of replacement. It is not inherently necessary, however, to use these methods. Ozonation can be used to purify grey water enough to be used in toilets and has a lower toxicity/carbon foot print and, if adequate filtration is used, soaps from the first water use can be sufficiently removed so as to protect the toilet parts.

Passive solar is present, as well as photovoltaics. If these two functions were combined, heat could be harvested from the PV panels, cooling them and optimizing their ability to harvest energy. We are just now seeing the emergence of these sorts of hybrid designs and they are still obscure. Radient heat to circulate warmer air from the ceiling down the walls into the floor of the dining room is an excellent addition. The mini-split AC is also an excellent choice for Seattle's climate.

The menu is strong and conventional, including both low and high carbon elements. Many of the items can be locally sourced and it is flexible to include seasonally available ingredients. Local food sourcing is a great idea but the cost of purchasing from farmers' markets is prohibitive. It would be better to use a distributer who delivers local produce daily.

The space is very well utilized. The arched ceilings with channels that travel down the walls and into the tables and also house the radient heating installation are a creative and attractive solution.