Sustainable home design the focus of upcoming conference

By Stefanie Donahue

Builders of all backgrounds are encouraged to learn about sustainable home design and development at a conference on Thursday, November 9 at Bellingham Technical College.

Hosted by Bellingham-based nonprofit Sustainable Connections, the annual Sustainable Design and Development Conference is one of the top occasions to learn about green building in the northwest. The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is followed by an evening reception at the BTC Settlemyer Hall, located at 3028 Lindbergh Avenue in Bellingham.

“This year we are really excited to not only be looking at deep green building through a social equity lens, but also to be able to apply what we’re learning in a real world context during the shoulder session that will look at the Birchwood housing project,” said Rose Lathrop, green building and smart growth manager for Sustainable Connections.

Guests will have the chance to learn how climate change impacts development across the globe through lessons about net-zero carbon building, social equity and grassroots engagement. After the conference, participants will be eligible to receive 12 credits through the American Institute of Architects continuing education program, according to Sustainable Connections.

“Every year this conference grows in its ability to offer meaningful and impactful speakers and sessions and this year is no exception,” Lathrop said.

A special session focused on the Living Building Challenge, framework design and sustainably constructing properties will take place on Wednesday, November 8, just a day before the main event. All guests who purchase tickets for the conference on Thursday, November 9 are permitted to attend.

Participants in the session will partner with the International Living Future Institute, Kulshan Community Land Trust and Sustainable Connections to learn how Living Building Challenge design standards are being applied to an affordable housing development in Bellingham.

The event is sponsored by Belling-Wood Depot, Sazan Group, the Bullitt Foundation, AIA Northwest Washington, Small Planet Supply and Greenhome Solutions.

Registration is required. General admission costs $135. Early bird registration, which ends on Sunday, October 15, costs $105. Sustainable Connections, Northwest Washington Architects and Cascadia Green Building Council members are asked to pay $105 and students are asked to pay $65.

To purchase tickets online, visit

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