A couple years ago Jordan Palmeri of the Department of Environmental Quality conducted research exploring the effectiveness of various green building strategies. The research was discussed in an Ecotrope article featuring My Summer Garden Cottage as a case study. It will likely come as no surprise to any of you that building small was the single most effective way to conserve energy and resources. But this “finding” has profound implications for our country’s building industry. Our society has committed to the bigger is better mantra. It’s created a mess of our finances, requiring unsustainable resource extraction, and supported sprawling development patterns that make us unhealthy. But reversing this trend is like swimming upstream.
Fortunately here in Portland we’re gaining critical mass. Jordan rallied a group of people to discuss ways to support what he calls space-efficient housing. Through my internship with Orange Splot, LLC I connected with the working group and I’ve been helping out here and there as the working group created the Build Small, Live Large Summit. The summit has been coordinated by Nicholas Hartrich of Cascadia Green Building Council and it will take place on Friday, October 26th at Portland State University. Dee Williams, Derin Williams, and I will be presenting in a session called Biggie Smalls: The Notorious Tiny House. We hope you can join us!