Type: Housing Client: King County Housing Authority (KCHA)
Location: Kent, WA Project Lead: Robert Hale
News / Press:
Birch Creek Apartments
king county housing authority (kcha)
Birch Creek is the largest public housing complex in south King County. Located in Kent, the 26-acre project was originally constructed in 1970. HUD provided funding for the townhouses then owned and renovated by Boeing Aeromechanics Union. KCHA took over the failing complex in 1976. Their vision was to create a community that breaks the “project’s” image and changes the perception of the site for the neighborhood and residents.
The project includes programming and pre-design with cost estimates through construction. The renovation provides 262 townhouse units ranging in size from 1–5 bedrooms; private and common open space, including play areas for children; management offices; and parking & neighborhood access. Site design includes a drainage system, walkways, and pedestrian bridge at Soosette Creek.
The project meets “Build Green Four Star” standards. Several buildings, meant to test energy-efficiency alterations, were designed with solar hot water heaters, photovoltaic roof panels, triple pane windows, additional insulation wrap, and a heat recovery whole house ducted ventilation system. The pea patch garden uses rainwater collected from the roof of an adjacent building, which provides a gravity-forced water supply in four 500-gallon galvanized containers. Restoration of the salmon-bearing Soosette Creek, which runs through the property, includes 60,229 feet of additional native landscape buffering along the stream. Overall site drainage impact was reduced with the addition of rain gardens, drainage swales, Filterra filtered storm water treatment and French drains.
Funding sources for the renovation included the Washington State Housing Trust Fund and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. We provided services from pre-design through construction administration.