2015 Summit Program


This one-day housing summit held on November 6, 2015 at Portland State University brought together hundreds of builders, designers, developers, realtors, and homeowners to discuss the environmental, economic, and social benefits of building small and living large. 

Day 1
Nov 06 2015

Keynote Address – The Power of Small

Alan Durning of the Sightline Institute and Dee Williams of Portland Alternative Dwellings will highlight the power of small spaces to improve individuals' lives and whole cities. These authors and advocates for change will inspire you to join the local and global movement toward creating small and sustainable housing. Durning will offer research-based solutions for housing policy challenges, and Williams will share her compelling personal story of why she down-sized into a house the size of a parking spot and has lived there for ten years. Both Durning and Williams provide insight about how personal choices can inform broader community action, and how positive change really does begin at home. CLICK HERE TO VIEW A VIDEO OF THE 2015 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION

Alan Durning
Dee Williams
Jordan Palmeri.

Net Zero – Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Small Homes

There are many ways to live large on a small footprint. This session discusses ways to live large by flourishing in harmony with nature. Using sun and rain wisely can propel even compact houses to net-zero.  Three experts in the field of net zero energy, water and financing will discuss how to design, build and finance small homes that harvest all of their own energy and water, and process their own nutrients to truly live sustainably and within an equitable share of earth’s carrying capacity.

Moderator: David Burdick, Earth Harmony Habitats

Stephen Aiguier, Green Hammer (Click here to view: Net Zero Energy Buildings)
Pat Lando, Lando and Associates (Click here to view: Net Zero Challenges and Opportunities)
Brad Hippert, Equity Atlas (Click here to view: Small Home Financing)

Brad Hippert
David Burdick
Pat Lando
Stephen Aiguier

What Type of Small is For You?

The small house movement is rapidly gaining popularity for economic, social, and environmental reasons. This session will help attendees navigate small housing options by comparing the pros and cons of the legal, financial, design and building processes of three popular types of small housing: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), tiny houses on wheels, and cluster communities. Expert presenters will offer case studies, share their own experiences of building and living in small spaces, and answer audience questions. 

Moderator: Deb Delman, Caravan Tiny House Hotel

Kol Peterson, Accessory Dwelling Strategies, LLC,
Dee Williams, PAD Tiny Houses,
Eli Spevak, Orange Splot, LLC

Click here to view: What Type of Small is for You - Dee Williams, Kol Peterson, Deb Delman
Click Here to view: Cottage Clusters - Eli Spevak

Dee Williams
Deb Delman
Eli Spevak.

Beyond Peter Pan Housing: Emerging Trends in the Region

The rapid and unprecedented aging of our population (we are all aging!) is one trend that is expected to shape our housing stock. From accessible, accessory dwelling units to walkable, urban neighborhoods, Boomers and Millennials are reshaping the traditional concept of suburban single family living and may be ready to break from Peter Pan Housing (homes designed for eternally able-bodied). Who are these buyers? Where are they looking and what are they looking for? Learn where regional housing trends are heading from this panel of housing and population experts who will outline supply vs. demand issues and other housing trends based on direct market experience.

Moderator: David Todd, Living Room Realty

Alan DeLaTorre, Portland State University Institute on Aging (Click here to view: Emerging Trends for Older Adults)
Charles Rynerson, Portland State University Population Research Center (Click here to view: Household Demographics)
Jenelle Isaascson, Living Room Realty (Click here to view: Beyond Peter Pan Housing)

Alan deLaTorre
Charles Rynerson
David Todd
Jenelle Isaacson

Growing Smaller: Design for the other scale

One challenge of crafting both policies and designs for compact housing is assessing what works at smaller scales, and what doesn’t. How do we downsize or create compact, in-fill housing while maintaining a high quality of life? Going beyond “suggestions for small spaces,” this session shares an organized set of principles and design patterns that are critical for doing more with less space. This panel discussion will draw from research, post-occupancy evaluations, interviews, and lessons learned from three scales of small homes: tiny houses, ADU’s, and cottage clusters.

Ross Chapin
David Posada
Derin Williams
Michael Fifield

Space Efficient Housing Policy Roundtable

Although demand is growing for small homes and creative residential developments, there are sometimes regulatory barriers to innovative, space-efficient housing options. Our panel of experts brings a wide range of experience with the very latest solutions in small housing policy, from affordable housing advocacy to regulations pertaining to tiny houses on wheels. This “fishbowl” style panel will acknowledge regulatory roadblocks to small housing, share how successful projects navigated those challenges, and brainstorm policy changes to help small housing options flourish.

Moderator: Lina Menard, Niche Consulting

Liz Getty, Urban Nest Realty
Rachel Ginis, Lilypad Homes
Jean-Pierre Veillet, Siteworks
Danell Norby, City of Vancouver, Washington
Eli Spevak, Orange Splot

Danell Norby
Eli Spevak.
Jean-Pierre Veillet
Lina Menard
Liz Getty
Rachel F. Ginis

Introduction to ADU Development for Homeowners

Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on your property can be a way for homeowners to gain rental income, or give family members more independent space. This session introduces some of the information that you need to become a “land developer” on a residential property – the ADU zoning, permitting, costs, financing, and other resources. The content is Portland-focused, but will be useful for any attendee who aspires to build an ADU and wants to better understand the process. We'll have ample Q+A to help homeowners contextualize the regulations as they apply to your site, and to lay out individual financing scenarios.

Kol Peterson, Accessory Dwelling Strategies, LLC
Vince Kingston, Eagle Home Mortgage (Click here to view: Financing ADUs)


Vince Kingston

Accessory Dwelling Units as Short-Term Rentals

Travelers are increasingly seeking out peer-to-peer lodging options when visiting different cities to have a more personal and local travel experience, so renting out an accessory dwelling unit on a nightly or weekly basis is a new way to benefit from the growing “sharing economy” while adding flexibility to the unit. Learn about taking a unit online, regulatory considerations, and the challenges and benefits of having a short-term rental unit.

Moderator: Shawn Wood, City of Portland

Bryan Danger, Zenbox Design
Candace Kramer, Windermere Stellar
Julia Bernstein, Airbnb Host
Sandra Wood, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland

Click here to view: ADUs as Short Term Rentals

Bryan Danger
Candace Kramer
Julie Bernstein
Shawn Wood
Sandra Wood

Affordable Tiny House Communities Incubator

Tiny houses provide a balance of affordability, efficiency, and flexibility that is unheard of in traditional affordable housing projects. This session shares two successful tiny house communities for previously homeless residents and how they formed. The two presenters will describe the steps they took to locate a site for their community, and then design and build tiny houses that provide residents with independent and self-governed transitional housing.

Moderator: Bryce Jacobson, Metro

Andrew Heben, Opportunity Village Eugene (Click here to view: SquareOne Villages)
Timothy Ransom, Panza/Quixote Village (Click here to view: Quixote Village

Andrew Heben
Bryce Jacobson
Timothy Ransom

Courtyard Clusters: Living Small, Nestled in Community

Traditional ‘cottage clusters’ and ‘pocket neighborhoods’ are resurfacing as a development type that attracts residents of all ages. The presenters will share lessons learned from over a decade of launching cluster communities of small homes in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Following a quick introduction to community-oriented design strategies, they’ll dive deep into more advanced topics including: land use, legal and financial structures; mixed-income communities; ‘meeting-light’ design; creative development processes; and ways to successfully embed new communities within existing neighborhoods.

Mark Lakeman, Communitecture (Click here to view: Communitecture)
Eli Spevak, Orange Splot, LLC (Click here to view: Nestled in Community)
Ross Chapin, Ross Chapin Architects (Click here to view: Courtyard Clusters)

Ross Chapin
Eli Spevak.
Mark Lakeman

“Best of Small” Design Slam

The “Best of Small” Design Slam will highlight the most space efficient and beautiful designs being built today. The top designers and efficiency experts in the region and beyond will be showing off their best works in this fast-paced hour of inspiration and imagery.  Stick around for the Hospitality Hour and meet the experts. You’ll see what is possible and leave dreaming about building small and living large!

Click here to view: Best of Small Design Slam 2015

Derin Williams, Shelter Wise, LLC
Alec Dakers and Mark Leasor, Rainbow Valley Construction
Mark Lakeman, Communitecture
Dylan Lamar, Green Hammer
Ross Chapin, Ross Chapin Architects




Day 2
Nov 03 2017

Keynote I – Harriet Tregoning: Lessons from Legalizing ADUs in the Nation’s Capital

Legalizing and promoting accessory dwelling unit (ADU) development helps cities to generate substantial new housing, brings affordable units to many neighborhoods, uses urban assets more intensively, responds to changing demographics and household sizes, and helps achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets. Drawing from her experience in Washington, DC – both leading local planning efforts and guiding national policy initiatives – Harriet Tregoning will share the benefits of updating codes to legalize ADUs, along with the hurdles cities sometimes experience along the...
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Harriet Tregoning

Keynote II – Jake Wegmann: Insights to Guide the Future of ADU Development

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are emerging as a potentially significant source of new housing in America’s cities, but there is relatively little research available to inform the decisions that cities, developers and homeowners need to make about how to encourage their development. As a pioneer in academic research on ADUs around the country, Jake Wegmann will share insights on hot-button issues in ADU development from multiple cities. How can federal mortgage policy help or hinder an individual homeowner trying to...
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Jake Wegmann

Innovative Models for Financing and Developing ADUs

The majority of people who successfully build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on their property have a particular set of resources and skills. For homeowners, financing the build and navigating a complicated construction and permitting process can be a part-time job of its own. In order to bring the benefits of ADUs to a greater number of people, we need to create additional tools for financing ADUs and consider new models for ADU development.  The panelists will briefly discuss the...
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Hillary Seiller portland real estate accessory dwelling units
Hillary Seiler
Tim Miller
Adam Zimmerman
Patrick Quinton

Knocking Down Walls: Eliminating Barriers and Increasing Opportunities for ADU Development

While smaller housing represents a solution to both affordability and growth management issues, regulations have impeded the robust development of accessory dwelling units (ADUs). This session will focus on how reducing state and local regulatory barriers to ADUs in zoning and building codes can lead to the restoration of economically and ethnically diverse neighborhoods. Experts will discuss land use regulations, fees, and permitting standards that restrict ADUs from blossoming, and share approaches that both promote ADU development and are politically...
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Margaret Morales
Madeline Kovacs
Harriet Tregoning
Eli Spevak

Tiny Homes for the Houseless

Cities experiencing booming populations and skyrocketing housing prices are also facing the challenge of caring for an increasing number of citizens experiencing houselessness. These cities need new models for affordable housing that can move quickly, integrate into the existing landscape, and provide a safe and stable place for people to get back on their feet. Innovators from around the country are using “tiny houses” grouped into villages as a new way to support houseless individuals. Learn from three organizations using...
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David Bikman Village Coalition
David Bikman
Sergio Palleroni
R. Scott Mitchell

Design Matters: How Small Space Design Leads to Large Outcomes

Design plays a significant role in the creation and development of individual accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and in the development of the entire ADU market. In this session, leading ADU designers will share practical approaches for the unique design challenge of doing more with less. What are the benefits of attached and detached ADU designs? How do you site an ADU with a meaningful relationship to the main house and property master plan? How can design offer the flexibility to...
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Sam Sudy
Schuyler Smith
Lindsay Schack
Lucas Gray
Nicholas Papaefthimiou
Nicholas Papaefthimiou

ADUs as a Sustainability Solution

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can be an important sustainability strategy for cities seeking to protect the environment for their citizens and meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.  Because ADUs are often much smaller than average American homes, they use less land, material and energy to build, and use less energy to heat and cool.  ADUs also increase development density in residential neighborhoods, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions from car trips and increases more efficient public transit use.  This session’s speakers will...
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Jordan Palmeri
Robert Liberty
Tom Bowerman

NOV 07-08 2015

Make a Weekend of it! (Separate Registration Required for these events)

Day 1
Nov 07 2015

PAD’s Tiny House Basics Weekend Workshop

Are you dreaming of building your own tiny house on wheels but don't know where to start? If so, join us for this two-day fun intensive workshop taught by tiny house Pioneer, Dee Williams. You’ll learn how to secure a house to a trailer, utility system design options, and how to cultivate a place to call "home." Let us help you build the life you dream! Space is limited so register today! A great follow up to the Build Small Summit! (Separate Registration is Required for this event)

The 2nd Annual Build Small Live Large Accessory Dwelling Unit Tour

Are you interested in learning more about ADUs and meet the homeowners, builders, and designers who built them? This tour will feature a self-guided tour of ADUs across the City of Portland. A great follow up to the Build Small Summit! (Separate Registration is Required for this event)