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A Kirkland solar community is Earth-friendly and super green

The first residents of Lakeview Solar Community already are seeing beautiful benefits.

Originally there was “no place for the computer,” homeowner Chris Voss says, but this space transformed elegantly into a dual-purpose niche that serves as an office and a butler’s pantry, with a mini-fridge and a sliding barn door. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

PLANET EARTH is twirling with gratitude this eco-weekend over one especially encouraging development in Kirkland — and just wait till summertime, when Big Ol’ Mr. Sun ramps up his powerful rays.

The new Lakeview Solar Community — four super-sustainable luxury homes, all prewired for panels, and all by Dwell Development and Medici Architects — is Kirkland’s first 5-Star Built Green net-zero-ready residential community.

That’s a lot of adjectives, all right, but there is a lot of Earth-friendly habitation going on here — especially in Chris and Deborah Voss’ super-green (and super-beautiful) three-level duplex.

The Vosses (Microsoft executive Chris, fitness instructor Deborah, 15-year-old daughter Tallie, 11-year-old son Brennan, and Ragdoll kitty brothers Moto and Dozer) were Lakeview’s first residents, and the first to install their rooftop solar panels — 9kW worth.

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Those powered up in September, and the family’s energy costs started going down lickety-split, even in our sunshine-challenged fall.

“We kept the house at about 67 degrees, and our gas bill was less in November than October, which was lower than September,” Chris says. “We should be able to run our house and an electric car [although they don’t have one yet]. Solar is a big deal for us.”

Actually, all kinds of green colored the decision to move here.

The Vosses had lived in “a typical Seattle Craftsman” right above Magnuson Park, Chris says; across Lake Washington, they literally watched Lakeview take shape. Deborah found the house plans online, and after zeroing in on this duplex’s top-floor bedrooms, they launched into full-interest mode.

“When we found out about Dwell and responsibly built homes, it was very attractive,” Chris says. “We looked at other, similar homes, but they weren’t efficient and didn’t have green features. More and more, it became a deal-breaker: If you had the choice, why wouldn’t you choose the sustainable one?”

Homeowner Chris Voss works while cats Dozer and Moto snooze in harmony with their surroundings. (“Our friends say, ‘You bought a house to match your cats,’ ” Deborah Voss says.) Medici architect Emily Dovey Buchwalter says the great room is a “purist space; there’s nothing extra you don’t need.” A TV over the horizontal fireplace beautifully blocks the neighbors’ deck; otherwise, the room is all about the views, with “pass-through light from the entry to the lake,” Buchwalter says. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle…

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