Friday’s nights Green Building Slam was a big success. The Guild packed the auditorium in the Central Library and was, dare I say, raucous? Â There was a lot of energy in the room and the enthusiasm was palpable. Â I wanted to highlight a couple of trends that we saw in multiple projects.
1. Â Passive houses–super insulated, airtight buildings that consequently use very little energy to heat (a hair dryer or toaster would do the trick).
Projects ranged from Joe Giampietro’s Mini B house , Jim Burton’s Backyard Box, and Dan Whitmore’s house. Â There are a lot of people working on the details, and trying out innovative strategies for meeting the rigorous standards, like the .6 air changes per hour (Joe’s was .58ACH and Dan’s measured .41 ACH). Â Here is a blog about passive houses–Existing Resources.
2. Â Beyond Passive Houses specifically, there was a drive for measuring building performance using blower door tests, thermal imaging, etc. Â The point was made Â that the real time feedback is a great learning and teaching tool for both the designers and the craftspeople, linking the attention to detail required at all phases of construction to execute a high performance building with regards to energy usage.
3. Â Waste stream minimization:
Two projects highlighted efforts to reduce construction waste: Bastyr University housing, and Walsh Construction’s Salishan redevelopment. Â The Salishan project was especially notable, not only for the context, an affordable housing project with upwards of 100 units, but because they put in place a system of labled dumpsters to sort all the construction waste–down to just one unrecyclable dumpster load over the project’s construction.
I had a great time, first presenting the Sunset Substation Park, and second, learning about what other like minded companies are working on in our region.