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Realizing the dream of a green home

Birchwood Neighbors: Jeff Aslan and Annie Honrath

It's a work in progress. Moving into their new KulshanCLT home in Birchwood was the shortest move of their lives. KulshanCLT's creative financing was instrumental in the transition.

People often return to a place like Bellingham. Annie served on the Washington Conservation Corps and lived here a few years before heading back east for law school. Jeff had climbed Mt. Baker and knew the area as a place for world-class recreation. After law school and internships in the nonprofit sector­­­, Jeff got a job working as the Energy Project Advisor at Sustainable Connections. Annie just secured a position at the Attorney General's office after a stint as a bike courier. Now they have their opportunity to put down roots.

It set them up to manifest a dream—to own the greenest home in Whatcom County. "During the summer," Jeff explains excitedly, "they are generating 34 kilowatts of energy a day and using only 2 kilowatts." They are striving for net-zero energy use by banking energy proceeds for the winter. Jeff exudes excitement: "We have a heat recovery ventilator and extract exhaust heat to mix with incoming fresh air. We cool the house passively with smart use of windows and use double cell blinds to minimize heat transfer."

As a homeowner, Jeff is developing his carpentry skills by making outdoor furniture with recovered wood from "Treecovery" which sources lumber that otherwise would go to waste. Their homestead came with raised garden beds and resident chickens. The two love the authentic life they've created for themselves here in Whatcom County—a place that has all the amenities and cultural attractions without being too big. "Our house overlooks the new Squalicum Creek Park and we live in a cluster of KulshanCLT and Habitat for Humanity homes. Our neighbors love to congregate after work in our neighborhood."

"Since Annie worked part-time and I had student debt, traditional lenders would have turned us down. Kulshan made the mortgage process work."
Jeff Aslan