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ADU Academy

***ADU Academy and ADU Open Doors have been cancelled due to Coronavirus. Given the current federal guidance and Oregon’s state executive order on gatherings, we are still unable to select a date to safely reschedule the event. We are eager to reschedule as soon as we know it will be safe to do so. 8/14/2020***


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About ADU Academy


ADU Academy is an educational event about ADUs for industry professionals. Specifically, it’s for designers, builders, entrepreneurs, developers, realtors, real estate investors, lenders and appraisers.


ADUs are a recently re-emerging housing phenomena with many distinctive development elements. The Academy provides detailed and expert insights about ADU development from industry practitioners who have first-hand experience in this growing market in the leading US market for ADUs. It will also provide a chance to network with a cohort of practitioners from across the country. 

ADU Open Doors

***Please note that ADU Open Doors is being rescheduled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. ***

This April, ADU Academy is being held in conjunction with ADU Open Doors. ADU Open Doors is a new 2-day free event where people will open up their ADUs to visitors around different Portland neighborhoods for a self-guided tour between 4pm-8pm on April 23rd and April 24th. As of March 1st, there are more than 20 ADUs being featured as a part of this event! It is free to attend this event.

Academy attendees coming from out of town are encouraged to arrive in Portland by the afternoon of Thursday, April 23rd to take full advantage of the open houses that are open beginning at 4pm. The ADUs being shown on April 23rd are a different set of ADUs that will be shown on April 24th. Learn more here.

***ADU Open Doors is being rescheduled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.***


Professional training

The ADU Academy is an event designed for industry practitioners (designers, builders, entrepreneurs, developers, realtors, real estate investors, lenders and appraisers, and advocates), though anyone is welcome to register.

7 continuing education credits available for CCB, OREA, ACLB, AIA

Earn the ADU Specialist designation. Display your expertise and credentials.




Testimonials from Academy participants

If you want a comprehensive overview of all things ADU – this is the place. There are not many places in the US that combine ADU theory and practice with a track record. ADU Academy does that and more. An additional bonus is the group of people who sit with you in class. Overall, it has been a most positive and educational experience. 

Olesia Chikunova, Home WiP, Los Altos, California

Really appreciated the exposure and education through presentations backed with so much expertise and experience. Practical examples and knowledgeable leaders in the ADU movement. Thank you.

-Janice Lundy, Berkshire Hathaway Northwest Real Estate, Pleasant Hill, CA

ADUs are one of the most promising residential building types to ever emerge in the US market. They serve a huge need for housing, equity building, community based real estate and aging in place. I highly recommend the ADU Academy for all professionals looking to better their ability to serve this dynamic and growing market.

-Todd Jersey, Todd Jersey Architecture, Inc., Berkeley, CA

I have been doing a number of presentations for homeowners and local business partners since last June, and as a result, leads have been coming in daily–primarily since the beginning of 2020. I am already seeking talent to help me with ADU consultations, as my own schedule is almost at capacity. I anticipate that within the next 3 months my design and construction teams will be maxed out, so I am on the search for more skilled talent. I am barely off the ground (and haven’t even gotten underway with planned education marketing yet) and am needing to prepare for rapid expansion.

– Florentine Christian, Sidekick Homes, Los Angeles, CA

You are learning from the very people who have helped to foster a movement in housing!

-Rachel Ginis, Lilypad Homes, Marin Country, CA

I am a residential designer who traveled from Seattle to go to the ADU Academy and it was so worth it! A great group of presenters who were very knowledgeable in their specialties. I know design and was there to learn about everything else. Which was a lot!

-Val Sporleder, 1AD Studio LLC, Seattle, WA

I left excited and armed with fresh ideas to implement in my Twin Cities market. 

Juley Speed, Edina Realty, Minneapolis, MN

As a business owner building a new business finding quality information and network connections were key to my business growth strategy in my new ADU business. Attending the ADU Academy provided what I was looking for to educate myself and to connect with leaders in the ADU Industry, In one day I feel I have moved my business ahead 6 months from where I would be without this resource.

Brooks Gibbs, I Live In A Bank, Salt Lake City, Utah

The ADU Academy went much deeper than any other ADU course I have taken in the last 5 years, since I earned the ADU Specialist designation. It provided so many resources and an opportunity to network with other professionals within the industry. I am excited to share this valuable information with my peers, clients and my business partners.

Michele Shea-han, ELEETE Real Estate, Portland, Oregon

This ADU Academy was terrific- even considering myself a top tier expert I learned even more. The unfolding of Oregon Senate Bill 2001 and laws similar to it around the country make it essential for anyone wanting to build or work in this housing sector to get to this event! I loved it hands down- one of the best!

Dirk Knudsen, Evermore Abundant, Hillsboro, Oregon

If you are need to learn about ADU development on the West Coast, this is the venue to find the information. It would take months of searching on an individual basis to find the experts collected in this one place. The information is comprehensive, and presented clearly by professionals who know their topics, and have proven experience in the field.

Jeff Andre – SecondLook Design, Happy Valley, Oregon

This program was filled to the brim with valuable information and networking opportunities. Efficiently run, not a moment wasted. Fun and informative. I was especially impressed that it attracted professionals from various fields and from the far reaches of the country. I highly recommend it whether you are a Real Estate Professional, an Appraiser, a Lender, an Architect/Designer/Builder, or an interested Investor. Equal appeal to all tracks.

Pam Zielinski, CRS, Principal Broker, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services NW Real Estate, Netarts Bay, OR

This is the second event run by Kol that I have traveled to Portland to attend. Both were more than worth the trip. I will be back!

-Heather Peters, San Mateo County, CA

In addition to the very useful course material, the Academy offered a wonderful chance to network with ADU experts from other parts of the county and to hear about their challenges, solutions, programs, and more.

-Ellen Nicosia, Lilypad Homes, Belvedere Tiburon, CA

If you’re interested in incorporating the ADU market into your business, this Academy is an absolute must! Packed with great information and very well organized. In addition, you’ll meet lots of bright people from all over the country that have a passion for the ADU market – just like you! I went through the Academy last week and I’ve already had fellow attendees from Toronto and Washington DC stop by to collaborate here in Seattle!

-Gary Olmeim, Hybrid Prefab, Seattle, WA

REGISTration page FOR THE ADU ACADEMY (for reference only)  

An outline of the core Academy topics that attendees will learn:




  • Site Design
  • ADU Design
  • ADU Structural Types
  • Utilities
  • Client Services






  • Working on site with homeowners
  • Design/build process
  • Setting expectations
  • Specializations: Garage conversions, basement conversions, internal ADUs
  • Potential Shared assets
  • Utilities


Real Estate

  • ADU consultation
  • Development models
  • Market Forces
  • Investment Scenarios
  • Integrating ADUs into your business


  • ADU Costs
  • Financing Options
  • Outside funds
  • Equity you have
  • Equity you create
  • Lending Concepts & Challenges
  • How lenders view a house with ADU vs. Duplex
  • Key Underwriting Guidelines
  • Impact of Differing Motivations of Lenders vs. Homeowners
  • Innovations in ADU Financing & Development


  • Overview
  • Appraisal Theory
  • What makes ADU appraisals different and challenging
  • Techniques to valuing homes with ADUs

About the Instructors

Kol Peterson



Kol Peterson is Founder and Director of ADU Academy. He is the author of Backdoor Revolution-The Definitive Guide to ADU Development, owner of Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel, the first tiny house hotel in the world, and is the organizer of Portland’s popular ADU Tour.  He consults with homeowners about ADUs on their property, and teaches ADU classes for homeowners and for real estate agents. He edits and manages and Kol developed and lived in a detached new construction ADU in 2011, and developed a basement/garage conversion ADU in 2018. He has a masters degree in environmental planning from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.



Stewart Hulick

Stewart is a licenced Real Estate Broker with Urban Nest Realty and a local ADU developer. After building his first ADU in 2015 and his second in 2018, he saw the merits of ADUs to create passive income for homeowners and affordable housing for the residents of Portland. Growing up in the suburbs of Washington D.C., Stewart knows urban sprawl well and sees the potential of ADUs to help handle Portland’s growing population. Stewart helps his clients identify properties most ideal to build ADUs and plans to continue developing and advocating for the ADU movement. When not engaged in Real Estate, Stewart enjoys running, yoga, snowboarding, bicycling and spending time with his wife and dog.


Abdur Abdul-Malik

Abdur Abdul-Malik is a certified residential, FHA-approved appraiser at A Quality Appraisal. He takes progressive appraisal education seriously to stay abreast of the latest valuation methodologies. Abdur is a Candidate for Designation with the Appraisal Institute and a board member of the local ASA Portland, Oregon chapter. He also runs the Portland Appraisal Blog website. Abdur is currently engaged in an ongoing analysis of the resale value of Portland area properties that have legal ADUs. The project is in conjunction with Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions.



Dave Spitzer

Dave founded DMS Architects in 1995.  His firm has varied over the years from a solo practice at home, to 6+ employees in an office, back to working comfortably at home again. In 2008, the recession inspired Dave to start ADUPDX.  He had built one ADU for himself, his brother, and then on rental properties. Since 2008, Dave has designed and permitted about 130 ADUs. Dave enjoys supporting dense and vibrant close-in Portland neighborhoods and working with great clients.




Julee Felsman

For 26 years, Julee has been helping clients find just the right loan and successfully navigate the mortgage process. With a focus on education, she has a knack for breaking down complex lending concepts into simple terms. Julee’s career has spanned Portland’s ADU revolution. Financing an ADU can take persistence and a willingness to think outside the box – a perfect match for Julee’s love of creative problem-solving. Julee is a licensed Mortgage Loan Originator in 19 states, is an ADU Specialist, Renovation Loan Expert, and was voted Portland’s Best Mortgage Broker of 2019 (Willamette Week). When Julee’s not at her desk, she spends her time cooking the occasional batch of homebrew and traveling the Northwest with her partner.

Hope Beraka

Hope Beraka moved to Oregon in 1995 and has spent over twenty years living in the heart of Portland. She is a licensed Principal Broker at Think Real Estate with an extensive background in real estate investment and small business ownership. Hope has comprehensive experience as an investor in residential and commercial income property. She serves buyers and sellers in the urban core with an emphasis on redevelopment land, new construction, modern architecture, and investment property including owner/user commercial, multi-family, retail and office properties in Portland’s core. Hope’s first interaction with ADUs was in 2001 when she renovated the basement of her personal residence, an 1883 home, into an ADU. She believes in the power and flexibility of accessory dwelling units to improve people’s lives. Hope is involved with housing advocacy at the local and state level and is currently serving on the Rules Advisory Committee for the Department of Land Conservation Division to help implement HB 2001.


Holloway Huntley

In 2009, Holloway started her general contracting company, environs LLC after a decade of construction, real estate and lending experience. In 2015, they built their first ADU and since then environs has completed 22 ADUs, including detached new construction, internal conversions, and garage conversions. All of their ADUs are 3rd party tested and verified for high performance. Many of their ADUs have focused on accessibility/visitability priorities.

Holloway has presented on ADUs for homeowners, contractors, city officials, real estate professionals and the lending community.  Currently, Holloway is on a citizen advisory board for Portland’s Bureau of Development Services, to promote development review processes that lead to a more timely, predictable and accountable outcome.

Holloway finds that there continue to be countless lessons to be learned to make the ADU construction experience smoother for clients. She brings a wealth of personal and professional insight to ADU development from all sides; not only is Holloway an owner a small, ADU-focused design-build company, she has lived in a couple ADUs that she has built, and she owns ADU rentals as well.    



Development Models Speaker- Eli Spevak






After moving to Portland in 1994 as a construction supervisor with Habitat for Humanity, Eli Spevak managed the finance and construction of over 250 units of affordable housing through work in the non-profit sector.  He served on the board of Portland’s community land trust for its first 5 years and worked with residents of Dignity Village, a self-built homeless camp, during its first two.  After taking a year off to work as a backcountry ranger, Eli launched a development and general contractor company, Orange Splot LLC, to pioneer new models of community-oriented housing, ideally within an easy bike ride of his house.  Completed projects have been featured in the New York Times and Sunset Magazine – and his most recent community, Cully Grove, just received a 2016 AIA Housing Award.  He’s led tiny house bike tours, advocated for regulatory changes to support accessory dwellings, and co-founded the website. Eli was awarded a Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in the 2013-2014 school year.  Since then, he’s participated in Portland’s Residential Infill Project to reform zoning in single dwelling areas, co-founded an advocacy organization (Portland for Everyone) to support diverse, abundant and affordable housing, and now serves on Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission.  He continues to launch new communities and hopes they go well enough to fund his policy habit.

ends April 2nd, 2020: $319

ADU Academy organizers
















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