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Homes Inspired: Building on the Legacy of Patti Southard

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

Patti Southard, the inspiration for the name of our housing development in Tukwila, The Southard, was a charismatic policy leader who left a legacy of policy and demonstration projects for addressing climate change and other environmental issues through the built environment.

The leader of the King County Green Tools program for 13 years, she was recognized by King County Executive Dow Constantine as an “intensely dedicated public servant and a dynamic force of nature in advancing environmental sustainability.” Patti won numerous awards throughout her career. In 2011 she was named a Cascadia Fellow and in 2012 the GreenTools Program received Harvard Kennedy School’s Bright Ideas Award for her work on the Sustainable Cities Program. She was named Honorary AIA Seattle and a Fellow of the International Living Future Institute.

Homestead began working with Patti on the Tukwila project in 2016. Her prior experience in homeownership included the development of the award-winning Net Zero “zHome” townhome project. zHome was a collaborative effort spearheaded by the City of Issaquah, and developed and built by Seattle-based Howland Homes, in partnership with Built Green, King County Green Tools, Port Blakely Communities, Puget Sound Energy and the Washington State University Energy Program.

Building on lessons learned in that project, Patti advised early-stage design efforts for Homestead’s Tukwila project. Through Green Tools she provided design charrette and Net Zero energy design resources for housing development staff. She participated in outreach and engagement events to the Tukwila community and green building advocates and supporters.

Those same investments informed the design of Homestead’s Willowcrest, Net Zero energy townhomes in Renton, which was fully funded and built before the Tukwila project.

Homestead’s organizational commitment to deep green environmental sustainability in all its developments was supported, encouraged and facilitated by Patti Southard’s contributions to the field. More recent forms of County finance support, which make The Southard possible, are due in no small part to policy foundation Patti established.

“We hope that in years to come both The Southard and Willowcrest will set the standard for sustainable, affordable homeownership that will inspire affordable developers and market-rate builders alike, “ said Eric Pravitz, Homestead’s Director of Real Estate Development.

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