New South Perry development features smart house technology, sustainable living

Some of the region’s most modern housing options are coming to one of Spokane’s oldest neighborhoods.

The City of Spokane recently approved permits for the Blockhouse development. Co-owners Andy Barrett and Cody Coombs said it will be a cottage-style community located on the lots behind South Perry Pizza.

This is another big development coming to the #Spokane #Perry District. Blockhouse will be composed of various sized rental units. It is right behind South Perry Pizza. ##4NewsNow

— Ariana Lake (@arianaKXLY) August 19, 2019

Barrett said there are several things that make these buildings unique. First, they’re considered passive housing units. Blockhouse has partnered with Avista Utilities in a pilot program using solar energy. A tree canopy will shade the homes, while nearby solar panels provide power.

Cross-laminated timber, created by Vaagen Timbers, will comprise the modular homes. The eco-friendly material reduces the complexity of the building process and makes assembly easier, according to developers.

These homes will also feature innovative technology. Barrett described a SmartWall, manufactured by Vestis Systems. It includes common utilities, like plumbing, mechanical aspects, and electrical components. The units will also have voice-activated technology for tenants to control things like temperature.

Much of that will be pre-produced in a factory, according to Barrett. He likened the process to how cars are made in a factory.

“So, by producing products in the factory, we are actually reducing costs and delivering them that way,” Barrett said.

While this is a modern addition to the neighborhood, Coombs, who grew up in Spokane, said the development team prioritized supporting the community and making sure the project really fits in well.

“I just love this neighborhood and the community. To see where it is is just outstanding and to be able to add to the already great community is something we take very seriously,” Coombs said.

There will be 14 units available, ranging from about 240 square feet to 960 square feet.

Coombs and Barrett said rental prices haven’t been released yet. They expect tenants to be able to start moving in by early next year.