Sustainable Building Practices

Topics: Design, Sustainability

Recently, we detailed our energy-efficient design philosophy and our belief that great design leads to better quality of life. Our commitment to sustainability means that we design beautiful spaces in which every detail is thought out according to the needs of those who will live, work and otherwise use those spaces while also being mindful of creating a legacy of energy-efficient, low-impact design that will benefit people and the planet.

That core philosophy is who we are and informs all we do—including how we put those beliefs into practice.

Sustainable Building the Coates Design Way

As a pioneering force in the Pacific Northwest for sustainable design, we know that creating spaces that are energy-efficient, eco-friendly and environmentally sound doesn’t narrow the road, it expands the horizon.

Freed from the traditional way of doing things, we are able to collaborate with other forward-thinking companies and consultants.

We form partnerships with those who are innovating sustainable materials for buildings and are at the forefront of sustainable construction practices. These folks have priorities similar to those of Coates as well as our clients, and their creativity and inventiveness help us to ensure our sustainable building practices are in sync with our overarching philosophy.


It is said that kitchens and bathrooms are what sell homes, and IceStone is at the forefront of marrying sustainable construction materials with the kind of beauty that makes these spaces so appealing. The company began in 2003 with the simple objective of transforming waste glass into something beautiful. Their recycled glass countertops and surfaces are the realization of their goal to create a business that integrates responsible, sustainable building practices from process to end product, and to provide a high-end design solution that prioritizes eco-friendliness without sacrificing beauty.


Some of the most sustainable building materials come straight from nature, and cork has a surfeit of amazing properties that cannot be replicated or emulated by technology. Wicanders has harnessed the mighty power of humble cork to make flooring that not only comes in a wide variety of stunning styles, but also makes the most of cork’s ability to be a natural thermal and acoustic insulator. Elastic, compressible, resistant to high temperatures, and impermeable to liquids and gasses, cork is ideal among eco-friendly building materials. However, one of the greatest advantages of cork flooring is the sheer amount of comfort it provides. The same qualities that make it one of the most energy-efficient building materials also make it highly pleasant to walk or stand on—even for long periods of time and while barefoot—and keep it at an optimal temperature year-round. Wicanders cork floors have been shown to be superior to wood, vinyl or ceramic flooring when it comes to avoiding energy dispersion.


While IceStone and Wicanders are manufacturers of eco-friendly building materials, CaraGreen describes itself as a “one-stop shop for healthy and sustainable building materials.” Their mission is to be the “trusted source” for such sustainable materials for buildings as surfacing materials, acoustic solutions, insulation, exterior cladding and more. CaraGreen’s commitment to transparency in their practices and contributing to the health of the environment without sacrificing the beauty and functionality of great design mirrors our own.

Greenhome Solutions

At a local level, we are also proud to partner with Greenhome Solutions, a Seattle-based supplier of sustainable building products. Family-owned and operated and with 20 years of experience, they are truly experts in eco-friendly building materials and sustainable construction practices. Greenhome’s varied inventory of flooring, cabinets, countertops, carpets, decking and other sustainable construction products, as well as deep knowledge of product features and environmental benefits, make them a valuable collaborator in our drive to create client spaces that are designed beautifully and sustainably.

These are just a few of the forward-thinking companies that help us translate our eco-friendly ethos into real-world sustainable building practices. At Coates, we are always looking to collaborate with innovators and leading-edge thinkers that share our passion for great design that prioritizes the planet.