Deep Green Influence Expanding Code Innovations to Transform the Built Environment By Chris van Daalen, Principal Investigator
or nearly 25 years, sustainable building innovators and members of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild have been pushing the envelope with new designs, materials, and technology, a virtual research and development department for better buildings. Now our Code Innovations Database is expanding so the Guild can lead a regional partnership with a vision to transform the building regulatory system and make high-performance, deep green building the norm rather than the exception. Given the size of that vision, our current strategy is more practical and immediate: to document successful permitting precedents and policy innovations, and share them with broad range of people who can help move the needle toward our goal. We aim to put actionable information into the hands of Code Officials across the Northwest, and builders nationwide. In the coming year you’ll have the chance to be part of that effort. Contribute your knowledge. Engage city, county, and state decision-makers. Share our information widely to your Seattle Chapter Green Pages
networks. Join with others and advocate for code and policy changes that can make it easier to build deep green buildings.
A call to action There’s never been a better time to make a difference. The current boom in construction is an unprecedented opportunity to innovate in order to transform our built environment from a source of pollution into to a key solution – to make healthier homes and buildings accessible to everyone in our community. Unfortunately, building innovators often face regulatory disconnects that can slow or stop their best ideas from being adopted broadly: we have to make it easier to build green, and a number of local companies and individuals have helped contribute to this goal in recent years. Pin Foundations, Inc. became a “Gem of Innovation” underwriter for the Clearwater Commons case studies, a 16 unit cohousing cluster where their innovative foundations helped create a positive impact development restoring a salmonbearing stream in Snohomish County. Years after Ben Kaufmann of Greenworks Realty published
seminal research documenting increased market value of certified Built Green homes, he continues as a Champion of code innovation and real estate. NK Architects of Seattle, innovative designers of high performance homes, is partnering PassiveHouseNW with the Guild to bring advanced building envelope innovations into building codes. RDH Building Science worked with manufacturers and city inspectors to demonstrate the fire safety and energy performance of continuous insulation wall assemblies, then sponsored a Code Innovations case study to document their breakthrough.
Seattle natural awakenings October 201 6
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