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Bainbridge Island architect earns Earth-friendly accolades

Island architect Jonathan Davis stands in the emerging Grow Community that he was largely awarded the Environmental Innovator Award by the Association of Washington Business. - Photo courtesy of John Davis
Island architect Jonathan Davis stands in the emerging Grow Community that he was largely awarded the Environmental Innovator Award by the Association of Washington Business.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of John Davis

Innovators behind one of Bainbridge’s newest communities has been recognized for its Earth-friendly efforts, helping Winslow become a more sustainable corner of the island.

Island architect Jonathan Davis and his company, Davis Studio Architecture + Design, have been awarded the Environmental Innovator award by the Association of Washington Business.

The honor is part of the association’s 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards. It’s the 21st year the association has bestowed the honor.

Davis’ company has recently been known as the architectural force behind Winslow’s Grow Community, currently emerging onto a stretch of Grow Avenue near Wyatt Way.

“Our award focused around the Grow Community and the work we’ve done to get that endorsed as a One Planet Community,” Davis said. “It’s the first community in the United States to get that endorsement.”

The One Planet Community is a global program that aims to create healthier places to live.

“The purpose of One Planet communities is to create places that are sustainable,” Davis said. “The current U.S. footprint is a five-planet footprint, which is clearly not sustainable.”

In a community like Grow, people can live on a level that the Earth can sustain, according to builders of the new neighborhood.

The community is within walking distance to major public transportation hubs. It also has a bike-share program, as well as a car-share program. Homes have one parking space and have no garages, which Davis notes is more commonly used as storage space.

Instead, the Grow development will have a fleet of community cars for residents to use.

“The first of those cars is a Nissan Leaf, which is charged at a charger that is solar-powered,” Davis said. “So it’s a zero carbon car.”

But creating sustainable transportation habits is just the beginning.

“Our food footprint really encourages local food,” Davis said. “We have a series of community gardens throughout the project that will run as an urban farm, so we will increase our yield so people can grow and get fresh food.”

“That’s extremely local food,” he added.

Davis has become so entrenched in the Grow cause that he will soon move his family into one of the new homes after it’s finished.

He isn’t alone either. Davis said that the homes at Grow have been very well-received and are selling well at market rates.

The award comes as yet another affirmation of Grow’s success, and Davis’ own.

“To me, the work we have done at Grow is an accumulation of all the work we’ve done over the past 25 years,” Davis said. “To have someone recognize that was a great validation.”

“It’s more of a privilege to get an environmental award than to get an architectural award,” he added. “It encompasses a greater purpose.”

Grow served to inspire Davis so much that he is now looking beyond Grow.

“Grow is a great first step, I look forward to finding other projects that have equally broad-minded views on development,” he said. “We certainly didn’t do everything we could at Grow, so I look forward to finding projects with people who want to create the next generation of Grow.”

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