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Code Innovations Database - 2016 Regional Expansion plan released

Code Innovations Database - 2016 Regional Expansion plan released

The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild earlier this year, adopted and released their 3-year regional expansion plan for the Code Innovations Database (2016-2018). Click Here to see or download the Plan. The vision is to expand from a successful pilot project into a regional resource of national significance. The goal is to Make it Easier to Build Green by putting permitting precedent and green codes information into the hands of every code official in the Pacific Northwest, and within reach of architects and builders nationwide.

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Portland Approval of Heat Pump Water Heater creates "Cascade Effect"

Portland Approval of Heat Pump Water Heater creates "Cascade Effect"

The approval by the City of Portland of the environmentally superior Sanden "Eco-Cute" heatpump water heater was the first in a chain of approvals including Seattle and now Bellingham, despite the equipment not being UL Listed! After each project, the approval was documented in the Code Innovations Database, along with supporting materials that were used to justify subsequent approvals. This "cascade effect" of approvals based on published case study info, shows the power of the Code Innovations Database for making it easier to build green!

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First Permitted Masonry Heater in Thurston County

First Permitted Masonry Heater in Thurston County

Many code innovations are not necessarily new technologies. Many are old, or even ancient methods which have proved their worth around the world, but have been supplanted in the US by manufactured products or standardized designs. Thermal mass heaters take many forms, so as yet there are no prescriptions dictating their safe and effective use, but the Masonry Heater Association (MHA) is working on it! In this case, MHA helped the owner-builder make the case using standards developed through ASTM. The owner hopes her project will be useful to anyone embarking on a similar project, or aid building officials in approving masonry heaters. Lots of supporting info here...

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North Passive House gets Variance on Heating System

North Passive House gets Variance on Heating System

The Pacific Northwest is a hotbed of growth for the super-efficient design standard known as Passive House, bringing us homes and buildings 80% more efficient than comparable structures. While Passive Houses breeze past energy code requirements, they pose some interesting challenges by a Mechanical code that requires heating systems sized for less-efficient homes. What if you could heat the whole house with the equivalent of a hairdryer on the coldest days? This case study explains how this code barrier was overcome...

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So...What is a Code Innovation anyway?

So...What is a Code Innovation anyway?

A Code Innovation is a design strategy, material, or technology that was approved by one or more jurisdictions usually through a non-prescriptive performance-based code or other compliance path, as demonstrated in an individual residential, multi-family, commercial or infrastructure / public works project. When we say it covers “green or high performance” building practices, we mean that a code innovation exhibits a positive value proposition in terms of environmental, social and economic effectiveness and sustainability.

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Triple Win - Emerging Green Builders learn through Code Innovations Research

Triple Win - Emerging Green Builders learn through Code Innovations Research

The Code Innovations Database offers students, interns and other volunteer researchers practical learning opportunities doing case study research on successfully permitted green innovations. We are now seeking academic partnerships with colleges and universities around the Puget Sound region for a new round of research with students, interns and emerging green builders beginning January 2013. If you or someone you know is involved in a program related to sustainability, green design, building science or public administration, please get in touch with us to explore the possibilities!

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Bullitt Center & the Living Building Challenge

Bullitt Center & the Living Building Challenge

The Bullitt Center is a 6-story, 50,000 sq. ft. office building being constructed in downtown Seattle. When complete project owners say it "will be the greenest, most energy efficient commercial building in the world." The two case studies featured here highlight some of the elements which are helping them meet this goal.

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What’s Your Innovation?

What’s Your Innovation?

Did you or someone you know create a new product, or build an innovative residential or commercial project? We want to know how you got a permit to build it.

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Littlerock Affordable Housing Project

Littlerock Affordable Housing Project

This case study grew the Glass Aggregate Summit on November 3, 2011, which brought together 50 city, state, county and state public works staff, with architects, designers and others to discuss crushed glass cullet, which can be used for a wide range of construction, landscaping, utility and other projects as a 100% substitute for natural aggregates such as sand and pea gravel, or as a blend with natural aggregates. Read how the Housing Authority of Thurston County won approval to put glass aggregate to use to save money on this innovative project!

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Announcing the Code Innovations Database

Announcing the Code Innovations Database

The Code Innovations Database is a free public resource we hope will inspire and educate the building industry to adopt more green practices. It will eventually hold hundreds of in-depth case studies rich in supporting information, each one documenting a successful “road-map” to approval for a specific innovation. The growing trove of information will reveal a tapestry of unique approaches and emerging trends, and encourage replication of successful innovations and development of new green codes.

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