Accessory Dwellings

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The First National ADU Summit on November 3-5 in Portland

The Build Small Live Large Summit is the first ever national gathering of leaders in ADU policymaking, design and development. ADU industry practicioners across the country will convene to share and showcase emerging best practices regarding the development of this rare housing type. If you are an ADU enterprenuer, designer, builder, policy-maker, or advocate, we hope that you will be able to attend. 

Friday’s keynote sessions include:

Lessons from Legalizing ADUs in the Nation’s Capital- Harriet Tregoning

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 way. In her time as the Director of the DC Office of Planning, Tregoning led their first comprehensive zoning revision in more than 50 years, including making changes to allow ADUs in most residential zones. Learn more about this session

Insights to Guide the Future of ADU Development- Jake Wegmann 

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. Learn more about this session

Jumpstarting Local ADU Markets

Learn about successful strategies used to grow local ADU markets in Santa Cruz, CA; Vancouver B.C.; Portland, OR; and at the state level in California through the removal of regulatory barriers, providing incentives for development, and education for professionals and homeowners. Learn more about this session.

Friday’s breakout sessions include:

ADUs: Anti-Displacement Units?

Some local leaders are exploring ways ADUs can assist our cities’ most vulnerable citizens, from low-income renters, to cost-burdened aging homeowners, to families transitioning out of homelessness. Learn about efforts to explicitly link ADUs to anti-displacement and housing stabilization goals in Austin, Monterey Bay and Los AngelesLearn more about this session.

Design Matters: How Small Space Design Leads to Large Outcomes

Design plays a significant role in the creation and development of individual 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. Learn more about this session.

Innovative Models for Financing and Developing ADUs

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.  These panelists will present innovative ideas to make building an ADU a realistic option for more people. Learn more about this session.

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

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 viable. Learn more about this session.

ADUs as a Sustainability Solution

ADUs can be an important sustainability strategy for cities seeking to protect the environment for their citizens and meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. This session’s speakers will share their perspectives on how ADUs can both allow for and encourage sustainable living for individual families and whole cities.

Learn more about this session.

The Market for ADUs

Learn the newest research on ADUs in the housing market and attempt to locate these small backyard homes within the big picture of housing. Will they become a mainstream real estate product with their own financing mechanisms? How do ADU rents compare to apartments and traditional homes?

Learn more about this session.

Weekend ADU Programming

Saturday’s ADU and Small Home Tour will feature finished and under-construction ADUs – a unique tour option for those wanting to experience ADU and missing middle housing types first hand. It will include a range of ADU structural types, selected to help showcase the variety of ADU structural forms.

The tour will wrap up with a social event at a local pub in inner NE Portland. Kol Peterson will present some discoveries from his new book, Backdoor Revolution- The Definitive Guide to ADU Development, due for release in Jaunary, 2018.

Sunday’s ADU Workshops will provide a deeper dive into fundamentals of ADU development. A one-hour course called The Basics of ADU Financing is being offered. And Kol Peterson’s four-hour Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit workshop will cover the essential elements of how to develop ADUs from start to finish. He has taught this in-depth workshop to more than 1,500 people, 2/3rds of whom go on to build ADUs.

Early bird registration available until 10/6  

 Register here 

About Kol Peterson

Kol is an ADU consultant, advocate and author of Backdoor Revolution: The Definitive Guide to ADU Development. Read more here: and learn about building your own at Email at


This entry was posted on September 26, 2017 by in Events.
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