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About the EnviroHouse

The City of Tacoma EnviroHouse is a permanent model home showcasing green building and natural landscape ideas, materials and techniques to create a healthy home and planet. The EnviroHouse champions the benefits of sustainable living and building practices to homeowners, builders, suppliers, landscapers, real estate agents and the general public, highlighting readily available products for new and existing homes and yards.


While the EnviroHouse is currently closed to visitors, we invite you to join us for an upcoming Virtual EnviroHouse Workshop, or explore the EnviroHouse How-To Videos.


Register for upcoming Virtual Workshops or view recordings of past workshops



Where does waste go when you throw it away or flush it down the drain? Take a look at these short videos to see where waste goes and how resources are reclaimed and put to good use.

Indoor air qualityThe EnviroHouse offers visitors a way to see and touch a wide variety of green building and sustainable living products. Whether you’re planning a full remodel or simply need to replace an old appliance, the EnviroHouse features more than 150 "green" interior, exterior and landscape ideas, including:

  • Recycled-content carpet, countertops, furniture and tile
  • Water-saving showerhead display
  • Recycled-content sidewalk and decking
  • Non-toxic paint and natural bulletin boards
  • Synthetic turf, natural grasses, native plants and recycled-content mulch
  • Cork and bamboo flooring
  • Weather-controlled irrigation system
  • Energy-efficient windows, lighting and appliances
  • Insulation options using recycled or organic products
  • Solar electricity
  • Composting systems for food, yard and pet waste    

What Makes the EnviroHouse Green?

With more than 150 green products and materials in the EnviroHouse, this is just a partial list of its many green features.

Energy-efficient washer and dryerEnergy: Energy Efficient
(See real-time solar production at the EnviroHouse)

  • Appliances: ENERGY STAR appliances that use 10-50% less energy and water than standard models.
  • Lighting: Fluorescent bulbs that consume 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs
  • Lighting: Skylight that increases light output and block UV transmission
  • Windows: Low E, argon windows that reduce heat loss and block UV rays
  • Insulation: Insulation made from soy-based products, recycled wood fiber and other natural products that are free of toxic chemicals and gases
  • Heating: High efficiency heating and cooling systems and water heater
  • Solar panels that generate renewable energy from the sun
Water-efficient faucetWater - Water Efficient           
  • Toilet: High-efficient, pressure assist toilet that reduces water by more than 30%
  • Faucet/Showerheads: Faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads that cut water use in half
  • Appliances: Water efficient dishwasher and clothes washer that use up to 50% less water than standard models    

Air - Healthy Indoor Air    

  • Paint: Zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint that contains no ammonia and almost no odor
  • Flooring: Marmoleum flooring made from natural materials; 100% solvent-free adhesives
  • Insulation: Insulation made from soy-based products, recycled wood fiber and other natural products that are free of toxic chemicals and gases
  • Carpet: Zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) peel and stick carpet tiles
  • Wall covering: Low-VOC, chlorine-free wall covering containing no plasticizers or stabilizers
  • Furniture: Low-emitting wood chairs, formaldehyde-free chair foam and fabric
  • Heating: Electric heaters that produce no fumes or water vapor
  • Cleaners: Use of environmentally-friendly cleaning products

Drip irrigationSite and Landscape - Low-Impact Site Development / Natural Landscape    

  • Irrigation: Water-efficient irrigation system that uses low-evaporation spray heads and drip irrigation that applies water to the root zone, avoiding wasteful runoff
  • Irrigation controller: Irrigation controller applies water according to the local weather
  • Rain barrels: Rain barrels to capture and reuse rain water
  • Plants: Native/adaptable plants that provide cleaner air, prevent erosion and flooding and improve water quality
  • Compost: Compost that helps make landscaping more weed resistant, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides that can make their way into nearby waters
  • Lawn: Synthetic turf made from recycled tires; Drought-tolerant buffalo grass     
EnviroHouse sidingMaterial - Sustainable, Reused       Durable, natural, renewable:
  • Lap siding made of cement, sand and wood fibers; 50-year warranty
  • Euroslate rubber roofing, 50-year warranty
  • Bamboo flooring, a rapidly renewable resource
  • Bulletin boards made of natural materials and backing with no harmful by-products or carcinogens
  • Lumber, window casings, baseboards and sheet material made with FSC-certified wood
  • Table made of Ecowheat, a sustainable alternative to wood
 Recycled-content / salvage:    
  • Decking made from recycled plastic
  • Drywall made from recycled gypsum and paper
  • Countertop made from recycled paper
  • Ceramic and glass tile made from recycled glass
  • Sidewalk made from 100% recycled tires
  • Salvaged, reused sinks from Habitat for Humanity
  • Salvaged landscape pavers

EnviroHouse logo
City of Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center

3510 South Mullen St.

(253) 341-2331

Regular Hours
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EnviroHouse is currently closed to visitors until further notice. Please contact us via phone or email for additional information.