Accessory Dwellings

A one-stop source about accessory dwelling units, multigenerational homes, laneway houses, ADUs, granny flats, in-law units…

ADU Academy

November 8th, 2019


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 will provide detailed 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. 

This second Academy is being held the day after the Build Small Live Large summit, which will be held at Portland State University on November 7th. 

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 and WA Appraisers

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


Testimonials from Academy participants

I am a residential designer who traveled from Seattle to go to the Accessory Dwelling 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

If you want a comprehensive overview of all things ADU – this is the place. There are not many places in 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

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

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

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

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


  • Exterior Design
  • Interior Design
  • Client Services
  • Typical costs
  • Small Space Psychology
  • Case Studies


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

Real Estate

  • ADU Overview
  • Market for ADUs
  • Understanding ADU potential
  • Consulting
  • Zoning entitlements
  • Consulting with Prospective Clients
  • Investors/Homeowner as developer
  • Lot line partitions
  • Development models
  • Condoization


  • ADU Costs
  • How we finance ADUs
  • Alternative Financing Options
  • Loan Options
  • Finding the right ADU funding Option for your Client


  • 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.


Schuyler Smith

Schuyler Smith is a licensed architect in Oregon and Washington with a bachelors of architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2013 he co-founded Polyphon Architecture and Design, which specializes in residential architecture with a focus on ADUs and missing-middle housing. Since 2010 Schuyler has been deeply involved in the ADU and small housing scene, building personal projects, leading tours, giving talks and designing numerous ADUs at Polyphon. Schuyler grew up in the Pacific Northwest and cares about lots of things, including his family, biking, building things and being outside.  



 Joshua Salinger


Joshua Salinger is Founder and CEO of Birdsmouth Construction, a residential Design-Build company located in Portland OR. Josh graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in Zoology and Conservation. In 2007 he started Birdsmouth Construction with the goal of designing and building beautiful, high performing homes and ADUs that transform and improve the built environment. He has received certifications from Earth Advantage’s Sustainable Homes Professional course, sits on the board of Passive House Northwest, and is a PHIUS certified builder. He lives in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood of Portland with his wife and 2 children. He enjoys playing guitar, yoga, cooking, bemoaning the inefficiency of his house, and making the world’s best cup of coffee.

Hillary Seiler


Hillary absolutely loves helping her clients make their dream of homeownership a reality. For more than seven years, she has specialized in residential mortgage lending with an emphasis on custom construction financing including homes and ADUs. Recognized in 2016, 2017, & 2018 as a Construction Elite lender, Hillary credits communication as her customer service superpower. Hillary is a fourth-generation Oregonian whose family came across the Oregon Trail. She cherishes her deep Pacific Northwest roots and is passionate about the social and natural opportunities of living on the West Coast. A huge hockey fan, Hillary travels with friends to see live games in arenas across the U.S. and Canada. She treasures time with her immediate family and her Shiba Inu, Dragon.

Carson Mead


Carson spends a lot of time thinking about ADUs, and loves talking about them. After traveling abroad for several years, he settled back into Portland and took up a career in real estate. After initially falling in love with the tiny house movement, that organically grew into an appreciation for the uniqueness and nuances of ADUs. After participating in one of the Portland’s ADU tours, he knew that he wanted to try and join the movement to make one happen for himself. Over the last two years building a detached ADU, he immersed himself in all phases from beginning to completion. He brings that knowledge to work, helping clients identify and purchase properties that are ideal for their specific goals. He understands the importance and necessity of having a strong professional team to tackle the complex intricacies of taking on a development project, and helping clients set their expectations appropriately.

Abdur Abdul-Malik


Abdur Abdul-Malik is a certified residential, FHA-approved appraiser. He takes progressive appraisal education seriously to stay abreast of the latest valuation methodologies. Abdur is a Candidate for Designation with the Appraisal Institute, is an associate member of the REAA, and a board member of the local ASA Portland, Oregon chapter. He also runs the Portland Appraisal Blog website. Abdur is currently leading an appraisal research team 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.

Dulcinea Myers-Newcomb

Earth Advantage Broker + ADU Certified Specialist

Dulcinea is an Earth Advantage broker and ADU Specialist with a design and an award-winning professional background, Dulcinea is steadfast when it comes to serving her clients and wants the very best for each and every person she works for. In 2014, Dulcinea began studying the relationship between ADUs and their owners–she has been an ADU advocate ever since. In her free time she stays busy with her family, travel, cooking, curating art shows, and dreaming big!



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.


ADU Academy organizers





ea-logo-140904-300x388Earth Advantage



%d bloggers like this: