Everett-based HopeWorks, an organization launched in January 2011 with the goal of helping families gain skills and training for in-demand jobs in the path to a living wage career, recently installed 532 solar panels on its rooftop as well as a canopy for the parking lot generating 199 kWh as part of its Phase II project which opened October 11, 2019. This is part of HopeWorks' participation in the Living Building Challenge by the International Living Future Institute. HopeWorks is one of a few demonstration projects across the U.S. of affordable housing developments becoming a “Living Building”. HopeWorks aims to achieve 105% net energy for the residential portion of HopeWorks Station, called Station Place, which has 65 units of affordable housing, 57 of which are for homeless individuals and families. This is one of a few requirements of the Living Building Challenge.
HopeWorks creates and operates social enterprise businesses designed to provide paid internships for low-income Snohomish County residents. HopeWorks’ leadership values sustainability and continues to learn and grow in its efforts to live by this value. In fact, the organization's first building located adjacent to the new building was renovated and was fitted with a 50 kWh solar system. HopeWorks has plans to expand it in the future.
When designing the new building, Hopeworks aimed to incorporate sustainable practices and materials with a focus on energy conservation. The new building is also an Ultra High Energy Efficient (UHEE) building and the commercial level below the residential is LEED Gold certified.
The partnership between HopeWorks and Housing Hope engages the residents of Station Place to become sustainability advocates and volunteers within the Station Place community and the broader Snohomish County community. This includes forming committees that focus on energy behavior, bicycling, recycling, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through this resident engagement, HopeWorks and Housing Hope wish to give the residents the opportunity to strengthen their skills and confidence towards self-sufficiency and to become responsible stewards of our community.
Kindred Kitchen, a social enterprise in the new HopeWorks Station building, has all compostable packaging and an energy efficient commercial kitchen. HopeWorks also has installed an electric vehicle charging station with the ability to and interest in expanding the number of stations as demand grows.
The solar project was designed and installed by A&R Solar.
Photos courtesy of Hopeworks.