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Transitional Micro-Housing at Opportunity Village Eugene
City of Eugene

Transitional Micro-Housing at Opportunity Village Eugene

Opportunity Village is a transitional micro-housing village that serves 30 otherwise unhoused individuals and couples at a time. The homes range from 60 - 80 square feet in size, and utilize common cooking, restroom, and gathering facilities on site. The project is located on city-owned land, operating on short-term leases for a nominal fee. It was permitted as a “homeless shelter” in an industrial zone. The individual homes were permitted as “temporary structures” and “sleeping units,” rather than as permanent dwellings, which relaxed several code requirements.

Compliancy Initiative:  Composting Toilet State Pilot Research Project in Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, AZ

Compliancy Initiative: Composting Toilet State Pilot Research Project in Tucson, Arizona

A Tucson based nonprofit, Watershed Management Group (WMG), initiated a research project with EPA funding to see if site-built composting toilets could meet user expectations and if so work towards granting the successful designs ‘reference design’ status with the state of Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), which would allow others in Arizona to build these composting toilets as an approved alternative to an on-site wastewater system. After collecting two years of successful data on user feedback and pathogen destruction of the finished composted material, WMG is still waiting to hear back from the Arizona DEQ about their request for reference design status

2015 Passive House Tax Credit by Pennsylvania Housing Agency
State of Pennsylvania

2015 Passive House Tax Credit by Pennsylvania Housing Agency

In 2015, Pennsylvania became the US first state to recognize buildings adopting Passive House certification with a scoring advantage, through an annual competitive award program to win low-income housing federal tax credits. In 2015-16, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) awarded the credit to 18 "certifiable" projects totalling 922 housing units, making the state home to the largest concentration of Passive House dwellings in the US.

Brussels Exemplary Buildings Program + Passive House Law of 2011
Brussels Capital Regional Government

Brussels Exemplary Buildings Program + Passive House Law of 2011

As of 2015, Brussels, Belgium became the first region in the world to require the passive house standard for all new construction. By offering incentives to build 243 very low-energy projects, the BatEx or “Exemplary Buildings” program catalyzed the market and showed the standard could be achieved with minimal cost premiums. This resulted in a rapid increase in passive house buildings, thousands of new jobs, and a sharp decline in carbon emissions.

New York OneCity plan for Net-Zero Buildings is Built to Last
City of New York, NY

New York OneCity plan for Net-Zero Buildings is Built to Last

In 2014 New York City officially recognized climate change as an “ an existential threat to New York City and humanity,” adopting a sweeping 10 year plan “One City: Built to Last” to reduce citywide carbon emissions by eighty percent by 2050. This policy includes pursuit of net-zero energy standards and updating all city buildings with efficiency systems and renewable power capacity.

Nickelsville Homeless Encampment approved through Seattle Interim Use Policy
City of Seattle

Nickelsville Homeless Encampment approved through Seattle Interim Use Policy

Ballard Nickelsville is one of the first two transitional homeless encampments to be permitted on City-owned land through Seattle’s innovative ‘Transitional Encampment as an Interim Use’ policy, which also added specific regulations for their approval and operation to the Seattle Land Use Code. The encampment, which consists of five Tiny Homes, 18 tents, and a communal kitchen and donation tent, serves roughly 28 of Seattle’s homeless at any given time.

Positive Impact Development at Clearwater Commons
Snohomish County

Positive Impact Development at Clearwater Commons

A decade before the Washington State Dept. of Ecology made low-impact development (LID) the “preferred and commonly used method” for on-site stormwater management, Clearwater Commons LLC took advantage of a voluntary LID compliance path pioneered by Snohomish County from 2000 - 2005. In 2006, this tight-knit group of families embarked on a 6-year journey to design and permit their intentionally eco-friendly neighborhood, located on an ecologically sensitive site with wetlands and North Creek a salmon-bearing stream, using multiple techniques in combination for a net-positive result.

International Plumbing Code as alternative code in Washington
Washington State

International Plumbing Code as alternative code in Washington

In January 2017, Representative Vincent Buys (R-Lynden-LD42) introduced H.B. 1435, an act which would recognize the International Plumbing Code as an alternative building code, not in addition to the Uniform Plumbing Code which amended comprises Washington State Plumbing Code. This Bill is endorsed by the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild as part of our 2017-2018 "Make it Easier to Build Green" Advocacy campaign.

2016 Housing Design Demonstration Policy, Bainbridge Island, WA
City of Bainbridge Island, WA

2016 Housing Design Demonstration Policy, Bainbridge Island, WA

Inspired by an innovative housing program in Kirkland, WA, in 2009 the City of Bainbridge Island adopted the Housing Design Demonstration Program (HDDP) to encourage affordable housing, a vibrant pedestrian oriented-downtown, and innovative green building design. The program offers a 1.5x density bonus to green-certified affordable housing projects. To-date more than 250 new homes have been green building certified, with about 100 of those being affordable units.

Graywater Reuse in the Apartments at Bud Clark Commons
Portland, OR

Graywater Reuse in the Apartments at Bud Clark Commons

This building provides 130 transitional housing units and support services to people in Portland experiencing homelessness. It was one of the first in Oregon to treat wash water from showers, bathtubs, and residential clothes-washing machines, known as graywater, to flush toilets. It was permitted using a Statewide Alternative Method under Oregon’s Specialty Plumbing Code that allows commercial greywater reuse.

Seattle “C-Box” Backyard Cottage from a Shipping Container
Seattle, WA

Seattle “C-Box” Backyard Cottage from a Shipping Container

Built with a re-purposed blue shipping container by hip Seattle EcoBuilders Sage Saskill and Mike Vacirca, the C-Box was designed as a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU), known in Seattle as a “backyard cottage”. Since it would be used as a commercial kitchen to house the owner’s small culinary business, it was permitted as a “shed” i.e. accessory structure (non-dwelling).

“Off Grid” Net Zero Water at Birch Case Study House
Whatcom County, WA

“Off Grid” Net Zero Water at Birch Case Study House

This groundbreaking project is the vision of innovative Designer Dan Welch of [bundle] design studio in Bellingham, Washington. Welch designed and built his own home as a case study to validate principles of the Living Building Challenge (LBC), and achieve an “off-grid” Net-Zero Water home. He and his family now use purified rainwater for all uses and treat all their wastewater on-site, approved through progressive Local & state green building codes that allowed him to legally decline City water/sewer hookups.

State-approved vs. Site-built Composting Toilet in Birch House
Whatcom County, WA

State-approved vs. Site-built Composting Toilet in Birch House

To design and build his home to meet the Net-Zero Water imperative of the Living Building Challenge, architectural designer Dan Welch installed waterless composting toilets in his family’s home, and recycles their biosolids on-site “for beneficial purposes” in a manner approved by Whatcom County Health Dept. and City of Bellingham under State of Washington rules. Although he argued those rules prefer a two-stage “batch composter” for improved sanitation, the County health official required him to choose a continuous composter from the State approved list, rather than his own site-built design.

Planned Development District: Innovative Land-Use code, Madison WI
City of Madison, WI

Planned Development District: Innovative Land-Use code, Madison WI

Madison’s new Planned Development district provides a rigorous yet flexible pathway for innovative land-use that encourages sustainable development and green-building. Through the PD rezoning process OM Village was able to codify the designations portable shelter and portable shelter community, allowing OM Village to house Madison’s homeless; a project that would not have been possible without the PD district.

Data 1 Building Diverts Toxic Stormwater from State Highway 99
City of Seattle, WA

Data 1 Building Diverts Toxic Stormwater from State Highway 99

To prevent the death of endangered salmon in Lake Washington from toxic stormwater pollution, the Data 1 mixed office and retail building in Fremont Seattle, WA will divert water from the Aurora Bridge on State Route 99 into a series of bioretention cells in their landscaping. This helped win Salmon Safe certification and a Master Use permit in 2016.

Commercial Potable Rainwater System at Brock Environmental Center
Virginia Beach, VA

Commercial Potable Rainwater System at Brock Environmental Center

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center serves as an embodied ethic of environmental stewardship and a prime example of cutting-edge regenerative design in the built environment. While this fully Living Building Challenge (LBC) certified structure has no shortage of innovative features, it met state and federal Waterworks requirements to become the first commercial building permitted to collect, store, and treat harvested rainwater for potable use.

Yobi Micro-Apartments maybe the last Congregate Housing allowed in Seattle
City of Seattle, WA

Yobi Micro-Apartments maybe the last Congregate Housing allowed in Seattle

Yobi offers an alternative kind of apartment living enriched by community, affordability and location. Architect David Neiman created 45 micro units designed around shared common spaces that provide opportunities for chance encounters, which supports social connectedness, site efficiency and sustainability. Unfortunately, since the completion of the project, the city of Seattle changed the requirements making congregate housing significantly more difficult or impossible to build.

Density Bonus for Solar-Powered Grow Community, Bainbridge, WA
City of Bainbridge Island

Density Bonus for Solar-Powered Grow Community, Bainbridge, WA

Grow Community is a new development of 142 residential units on 8 urban acres, all built to the highest level of green building certification. It was permitted under Bainbridge Island's Housing Design Demonstration Program (HDDP) ordinance which offers developers a 1.5 times the base density allowed in the underlying land use zone in exchange for high-performance.

Tacoma Work/Live Code for Historic Redevelopment
City of Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Work/Live Code for Historic Redevelopment

Tacoma Building, Fire and Historic Preservation officials worked with local architect Ben Ferguson to adopt an innovative Live/Work Work/Live code amendment in 2012. Tacoma has a lot of historic buildings with an uncertain future, but the LWWL code makes it easier to adapt existing buildings for modern urban life. By reducing regulatory and financial barriers by not requiring change of use, they have provided a clear path to approval for a new mixed-use building type that caters to today’s market.

C406 Commercial Efficiency Options in 2015 Washington Energy Code
State of Washington

C406 Commercial Efficiency Options in 2015 Washington Energy Code

Already the most rigorous in the US, the 2015 Washington State Energy Code contains section C406 with eight “additional efficiency package options” to provide a flexible way for projects to comply and take energy efficiency to the next level. The code requires new commercial buildings to incorporate two efficiency options, spurring the state towards its mandate to reduce building energy use 70% by 2031.

Historic Homes recycled for Affordable Housing in Friday Harbor
Town of Friday Harbor, WA

Historic Homes recycled for Affordable Housing in Friday Harbor

San Juan Community Home Trust (Trust) recycled twelve homes with historic character for the second phase of the Sunrise permanently affordable housing development. The neighborhood features reclaimed homes from Victoria, Canada moved by barge and track vehicle to their current locations in Friday Harbor, Washington. Homes were inspected by engineers for integrity before transport and permitted as renovations to existing structures.

Green Stormwater Park in Small Beachside Town Manchester, WA
Kitsap County, WA

Green Stormwater Park in Small Beachside Town Manchester, WA

Kitsap County planners developed a vacant lot in the Manchester Neighborhood as a public gathering space with Green Stormwater Solution treatment cells for the 100-acre neighborhood. Also designed to manage a perennial stream, this project demonstrates an opportunity for development areas to treat large quantities of runoff where natural features and space are nonexistent.

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