This week’s Seattle’s news; Why invest in Microsoft, buy a house that is Built Green, shop at Country Village and support first student Bus Drivers.

Sherif Seda reporting – Seattle, WA.

Microsoft announces Multi-Billion-Dollar expansion leading to 8,000 jobs in Seattle

Microsoft has announced big plans to expand its headquarters in Redmond, Washington over the next 7 years.

The project  with an over bridge link connecting the new and the current campus will include a $150 million transportation infrastructure with cycling and pedestrian paths.

The project is Microsoft’s biggest redevelopment to date.

Over the next seven years, the company will construct 18 new buildings and renovate several others to give them a vibrant modern look and feel.

“For us, it’s not just about the ability to grow, but about the ability to take our campus into the future,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said.

The tech giant Amazon is expanding in downtown Seattle, while also seeking a second North American location to build a second HQ2. Expedia, which is based in Bellevue, is planning to move to Seattle’s waterfront because the online travel company believes it will help with recruiting.

But Microsoft can create a city vibe, coupled with nature on its own campus, it says.

“(We have the) opportunity to really create a working environment that matches our new culture,” Smith said.

Seattle housing is the least affordable in North American Market.

Seattle housing

Seattle held the record as the most competitive real estate market for 42 weeks consecutively however a firm just released a report confirming a not so much streak any more.

Real estate market research firm Point2 Homes conducted a housing affordability study in 50 North American cities. The study looked at the affordability ratio for each city, which is a figure based on the city’s average home sale price and average family income.

The study concluded that Seattle is the ninth most unaffordable real estate market in America.

The study puts Seattle’s average home price at $699,000 and its average family income at $80,349. While these numbers may not scare the city’s tech workers — and in fact Seattle is actually considered quite “affordable” in for people who work in tech — they represent incomes vs housing prices way above what workers in other industries could only hope to achieve.

Seattle ranks eighth on the list of most unaffordable U.S.-only cities.

Majority of new homes in Seattle are ”Built Green”

Farmhouse cottages Juanita Built Green® is an environmental friendly building program developed in Washington state to set standards of excellence that can make a significant impact on housing, health and the environment.

According to Geek Wire, 52 % of homes built in Seattle in 2016 have built using Built Green certification. More than 31,000 units have been verified in Washington.

Built Green checklist include:

Green Codes
As a builder, you are required to meet energy, air quality, water efficiency, and storm water management standards.

Site and Water
The Built Green program places a high priority on water conservation and quality. The action items include practices to conserve water, protect natural features, prevent erosion, promote and to otherwise improve water quality.

Energy Efficiency
A Built Green home can be designed and constructed to maximize energy savings by reducing heat loss through a combination of design elements and building practices, thereby making the home more economical to operate.

Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality can be improved through a series of practices and features that reduce indoor pollutants such as installing low toxic finishes.

Material Selection
Builders use design and material selections that can result in conserving limited resources. Using recycled content products reduces the use of “virgin” materials. Using current waste minimizing practices can contribute to the overall efficiency of the project. Encouraging builders to use locally manufactured products also reduces the energy used to get them to the job site.

Built Green was created by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties in 1999.

Researchers found that homes with Built Green certification used about 40% less electricity amounting to approximately $500 annual bill savings.

Country Village; a Local shopping experience in historical buildings.

Situated in the north eastern part of Seattle their lie over 45 locally-owned shops, restaurants, galleries and antique stores that are clustered among the extensive plantings of flowers and shrubs.

Several fountains are located in the village, including one that is situated in a stream that meanders down the duck pond. Brick pathways with old fashioned lamp posts and benches connect the various buildings.

All the shops are individually owned, each with their own special flavour.

The shops are built right into these historical buildings:

The Barn built in 1985 using old barn boards Country pickins opened their doors June 1. The windmill and the plow located were brought from a wheat farm in Waterville in Eastern Washington.

The Boardwalk building Completed in 1986. Much of the siding used in this building was purchased from Art Grow, long time North end resident. The frequent use of his vintage materials have helped to shape the Village’s historic theme and rustic charm.

The Boat Works Built in 1980 to house Northshore Marine, a boat building business. The stained glass windows were imported from England and bought on an auction.

Bristol Bay Gillnetter Name after Bristol Bay in Alaska, these gillnet boats were built in early 1900’s. They were designed to withstand high winds and are nearly flat bottomed because of the many sandbars & shallow waters they encountered.

Carriage House Built in 1992, this building was designed as a car museum to house Rod Loveless vintage auto collection and had eight foot wide glass doors all along either side.

Other buildings include The Chicken, Clock Tower, Courtyard, Ericksen House, Great Northern Caboose, Green’s electric building, The Hay Shed, The Hen House, The Huber House, Great Northern Railway Car, The Milk Shed, The Old Mill, The Old Still Building, S.P. & S. Caboose, Switzler House, The Town Hall.

School Bus Drivers Strike; 12,000 students affected in Seattle School District

First Student Bus drivers better known as Yellow School Bus drivers went on strike Wednesday disrupting 12,000 students who rely on the service every day.

Teamsters local 174 who are representing 400 bus drivers protest against what they say as an inferior health care plan being offered by their employer first student.

The strikers objectives were to implement a fair medical benefits and wages for the drivers.

The union advised that the service will resume on Thursday however they warned that a longer strike may take place if their demands are not met.

Families who have their kids take the buses to school had to find a different alternatives as to not miss going to school.

The disruption this incident caused was not severe as many families received the news from schools the night before.

Only a minority were affected due to being late to work as they had to drive their kids to school this morning.

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