Build Small / Live Large Housing Summit

Friday, November 06, 2015 - 8:00am to 7:00pm PST
PSU Smith Center

The 2015 Build Small | Live Large Housing Summit will gather leaders in the small house movement for a one-day summit to share what’s working, what’s new, and what’s next. This unique educational event connects homeowners and home-seekers with pioneering design, construction, and policy professionals who create beautiful, space-efficient homes. Learn about cottage clusters, elegant designs and smart policy initiatives, then find inspiration and connect with peers and potential clients at the Best of Small Design Slam and Hospitality Hour. 

Early bird registration closes Oct 6th.

The 2015 Build Small | LIVE LARGE Summit is coming up on Friday, November 6th - click here to sign up!



Curious to learn about past events? Scroll down for details of the 2012 Summit.




The 2012 Build Small | Live Large Housing Summit gathered over 300 leaders in the development, real estate, building and design sector from across the bioregion for an intensive day of inspiration, project case studies and peer-to-peer learning. On October 26, 2012 from 8am to 5pm at the PSU Smith Center, iIndustry professionals previewed innovative designs and learned about the financial success stories emerging across our area.  

This one-day housing summit challenged architects, developers, builders, remodelers, urban designers, policy makers and real estate professionals to craft strategies for this growing housing market. Participants learned about successfully built projects, financing, space-efficient design, incentives and policy initiatives.  This is a great time to explore the leading edge of the housing movement– where design, cost, and care for the environment intersect with the needs of today’s families.

The next housing trend is quickly arriving – will you be ready?

Sessions covered:
Financing the small house
Emerging trends in urban development
Accessory Dwelling Units
Demographic shifts & market demand
Innovative, space-efficient design          
How to identify your next buyer

Session Summary
Welcome and Opening remarks: Jordan Palmeri, DEQ Green Building Specialist and Nicholas Hartrich, Cascadia Green Building Council.  Presentation
Keynote Address: Ross Chapin, Ross Chapin Architects
Living Large by Building Small: Waking Up to Leading Edge Trends in Housing and Community. Resources | Video

Why Size Matters: Designing small spaces that feel big
Versatile and flexible relies on spaces that can be repurposed for multiple uses that change with daily/seasonal needs more than squeezing use out of every square inch of space. This session will explore the design elements of dynamic spaces that feature both tall and compact volumes, including design compact kitchens, bath rooms, bed rooms and the ʻsuperwallʼ.   Participants will hear from three award winning designers who have worked on some of the most progressive housing models in the bioregion.
Presentation | Video

Financing the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)
While small design is gaining popularity, the real question is: are ADU’s feasible?  This session will cover ADU construction costs, common funding methods, rebates and rates of return. Also, a peek into how to refinance properties with ADUs from the perspective of a homeowner, appraiser, and mortgage lender.
Presentation | Video

Beyond the Boomer Housing Boom: How and Why Demographics are Shifting the Market   
The unprecedented aging of our population is one trend that is shaping our housing stock. The Baby Boom generation has been driving change throughout their lives and is now seeking new housing models to meet their needs.  Meanwhile, a younger generation is seeking out housing forms that aren’t as different as you might expect . From accessible, accessory dwelling units to walkable, urban neighborhoods, Boomers and Generation Y are reshaping the traditional concept of suburban single family living and ready to break from Peter Pan Housing (homes designed for eternally able-bodied). Learn where regional housing trends are heading.  The answers might surprise you. Presentation | Video

Emerging Trends: Opportunities for small-scale urban development
Your glimpse into the current market for small single family homes, including cluster style development of small homes with shared common spaces.  Who are the buyers, where are the looking, and what is their lifestyle?  This panel of housing experts will outline supply vs. demand issues and other housing trends based on direct market experience designing, building and selling smaller homes. Presentation | Video

The Trouble With Small
We want small houses to be efficient, appealing and financially viable.  The opportunity is exciting, but real hurdles exist – ones that we can surmount if we work together on crafting smart solutions.  Join us for an examination of these hurdles and a panel discussion featuring possible solutions in the areas of design, development, construction and energy efficiency. Presentation | Video

Biggie Smalls: The Notorious Tiny House
Micro Houses are structures that are often smaller than 200 square feet and have captured the attention of mainstream media and the hearts of thousands of Americans. They may be portable or fixed-in-place and may stand-alone or may be tethered to a “normal” house for utilities. These wee buildings are used as backyard studios, extra bedrooms, guest suites or full-time residences. Tiny House advocates explain that these small simple structures provide a flexible, affordable, reasonable (albeit small) solution for residential use, urban infill, and pocket communities.  Our panelists will present information from their experience designing, building, and living in micro-houses with a focus on the unique benefits and challenges of taking small to the extreme. Presentation | Video

Closing SLAM - FREE and open to the public [3:00-4:30]
An opportunity for you to see a snapshot of the best projects in the Pacific Northwest.  Our leading designers have assembled images from the most space efficient design projects that will leave you walking away inspired to start your very own.  Featuring the following: Hammer & Hand, Green Hammer, IdeaBox, JRA Green Building, Orange Splot, Rainbow Valley Design and Smallworks Design.  Presentation | Video


Cascadia Green Building Council and Metro Regional Government helped make this important one-day housing summit a success.