Jordan Palmeri

Build Small was BIG!

The first ever Build Small, Live Large Summit was a big success! Approximately 300 people attended the conference on Friday, October 26th at Portland State University, which was hosted by Cascadia Green Building Council.

As Jordan Palmeri introduced the summit he described the DEQ study that showed building small is our single greatest green building strategy. Jordan explained that the study results inspired the Accessory Dwellings website and formation of the Space Efficient Housing Workgroup, which includes folks like Eli Spevak of Orange Splot and Kol Peterson of PDX ADU. I've been privileged to be part of this group for the past year as we've discussed ways to mainstream small as a sustainability strategy. Coordinating the Build Small, Live Large Summit was a big step in the right direction.

Ross Chapin presented a fantastic keynote address about how pocket neighborhoods have caught on as people seek a balance of community and a little place of their own. The rest of the sessions addressed challenges to building small, financing small spaces, and design tricks for maximizing small spaces.

I was delighted to be among the presenters as I shared the stage with Derin Williams of UrbaNest Northwest and Dee Williams of Portland Alternative Dwelling for the Biggie Smalls: The Notorious Tiny House session, which explored radical smallness. We had a great time sharing our stories and responding to the audiences questions and comments.

You can sign up for meeting notifications of Oregon DEQ’s Space Efficient Housing Workgroup by sending an email indicating your interest to Jordan Palmeri. You can also read Kol's perspective on the Summit in his blog post on the Accessory Dwellings website.

Three cheers for small houses! Hip, hip, hooray!

Build Small, Live Large Summit

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!