Sustainable Northwest Wood Reflects on the First Ever SBW!

By | Blog, News, Press

Sustainable Building Week – Wow what a week!  It’s been a week and a half since the first annual Sustainable Building Week (SBW) ended and I think I am finally rested up.  The three goals of Sustainable Building Week were to empower design and building professionals to learn, connect and collaborate.  I can say from first hand experience that all three of these goals were met for me.  The week of 21 events was the result of a collaboration between eleven non-profit professional organizations and three local universities.  Events during the week covered the gamut from A Walk in the Woods to an Innovation Bazaar to AIA’s Green Champions to a set of presentations from small firms called “Small but Mighty.” Continue reading here… 
By Terry Campbell


Forest Bathing in Forest Park….
One of my favorite events of this first annual Sustainable Building Week was the Happy Hour Hike with The Build Local Alliance. Led by Forest Conservationist Michael Ahr and BLA co-founder and forest owner Peter Hayes of Hyla Woods,  this educational stroll through Forest Park, got us out out of the office and into nature on a rare sunny October day in Portland…  Continue reading
By Lynn Morgan

Hot Off the Presses! Check Out Our New Press Release

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Download the press release

October 8, 2018 — Kicks off the first annual Sustainable Building Week (SBW) an event-filled week from a cross section of Portland’s design professional organizations. The week will bring the best and brightest building professional organizations together to educate, connect and foster opportunities for future collaboration to Keep Portland Green.

With 14 planned educational events plus partner open houses and happy hours, SBW will increase the profile of sustainable building issues through outreach, advocacy and education. A collaborative group of volunteer professional organizations and academic institutions has come together to provide a truly compelling program.

Attendees have the flexibility to choose which activities fit their interests and schedule then sign up for each organizations’ event – there’s no commitment to attend all events. For more information on the upcoming events please visit:

Why does this event exist?
We aim to Keep Portland Green. Over the years we’ve watched our beautiful city fall from a leadership position in the green building industry. We plan to change that and remind the local industry that we must reclaim the throne and show the world what sustainability really is

Thank you to our top partners, it is with their generous support we are able to bring you this event.

Contact us!
If you’re interested in learning more, sign-up for our mailing list. To contact us please email


October 8, 2018
Green Champion’s Summit
American Institute of Architects Portland Committee on the Environment
The GCS will highlight ways to reduce the environmental footprint of a building through lifecycle analysis from design, construction, and operations.

Open Houses
Open houses from Portland’s design and construction firms.

October 9, 2018
Passive Buildings Tour
Passive House NW
Come tour three new passive buildings to see the latest in low-energy load assemblies and systems.

Portland’s New Ecoroof Requirement: New Design and Maintenance Strategies
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Oregon Chapter
Presenters will discuss ecoroofs in detail beginning with a look at some of Portland’s first ecoroofs and concluding with a discussion on innovative ecoroof strategies.

Open Houses
Open houses from Portland’s design and construction firms.

October 10, 2018
2018 GoGreen Portland Conference
The largest regional conference for business and government decision-makers to come together for one day to learn from recognized community leaders to advance sustainability best practices in their own organizations.

Inefficiency is Old School: Understanding the Process of Achieving Sustainable Schools
Portland Green Schools Committee
A Brunch and Learn panel where experts from the field of sustainable school design will discuss the no cost and low-cost options for improving the school built environment.

Beyond the Building: Advocacy & Sustainability
International Living Future Institute (ILFI) Portland Collaborative
Learn specific tools to make sure you stay connected, know how and when to speak up and empower you to be active in our open democratic society.

Happy Hour Hike
Build Local Alliance
You’ve hiked our local dense forests plenty, and want to know more about the trees around you – how these trees grow and interact in the forest. Join the BLA for a guided walk in Forest Park followed by happy hour drinks.

Design for the Unseen: Educating Designers to Consider the Micro and Macro for Sustainability
University of Oregon’s Institute for Health in the Built Environment, Portland State University, and Art Institute of Portland
The University of Oregon, College of Design, Department of Architecture and Institute for Health in the Built Environment will present innovative student and faculty research advancing sustainability with an ensuing panel discussion on academia’s role in advancing sustainability.

Open Houses
Open houses from Portland’s design and construction firms.

October 11, 2018
Materials Matter
Portland Materials Transparency Collaborative
A dive into the science behind materials and human health to understand how material substances reach people and lead to health consequences.

Zoo Education Center Tour and Biomimicry Exploration
Portland Green Schools Committee, AIA COTE, and Biomimicry Oregon
Tour the complex of buildings that were designed for net-zero annual energy use, with passive ventilation cooling strategies, ample daylighting, and aggressive energy efficiency targets.

Street Seats UNITE Panel Discussion: Reimagine the Urban Experience
Design Museum of Portland
Industry experts discuss what it means to activate the visibility and livability of an urban area while being socially and environmentally conscious.

Open Houses
Open houses from Portland’s design and construction firms.

October 12, 2018
Oregon’s Women in Green
US Green Building Council – Oregon
Women in Green celebrates female leaders in sustainability who are at the top of their field, fueling ambitious young women and catalyzing change.

Green Building Slam
Northwest EcoBuilding Guild
This final, wrap-up celebration for Portland’s Sustainable Building Week features ten innovative and remarkable projects in ten slides, ten minutes each.

Open Houses
Open houses from Portland’s design and construction firms.

October 13, 2018
Potential building tours from Portland’s sustainable businesses.

Street Seats: Urban Benches for Vibrant Cities Self-Guided Tour (on-going)
Design Museum of Portland
Street Seats is an outdoor public exhibition that celebrates local and international design, urban innovation, and sustainability. Designers from 6 continents, 24 countries, and 22 U.S.

Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Announces 2018 Green Building Slam Presenters!

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The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild and Passive House NW are pleased to announce the slate of presenters for the Portland Green Building Slam, Friday, October 12, 2018, 6:30 – 10 pm, at the Ecotrust Conference Center. The Portland Slam will be a fun, educational event, featuring fast-paced, mind-blowing talks about remarkable and innovative green building projects. Get ready to be inspired by high performance, sustainable building projects, as green builders present innovative, high performance presentations in 10-minute segments. Confirmed speakers include:

Dylan Lamar, Cultivate. “Zen Tiny House Barn-Raising”

Eric Corey Freed, organicARCHITECT. “Prostruction: using biology to grow buildings”

Alex Boetzel, Green Hammer. “Tillamook Row”

Mark Lakeman, Communitecture. “The City Repair Project”

David Shirley, New Energy Works. “Lundy Residence”

Jeff Frost, Brightworks Sustainability. “BrightSide Score”

Join us for great appetizers, drinks and good company at this final, wrap-up celebration for Portland’s Sustainable Building Week, October 8-14, 2018.

Tickets to this event are on sale now. Space is limited so plan to get your tickets early.

The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is a 501(c)3 community of builders, designers, suppliers, homeowners, and partners concerned with ecological building in the Pacific Northwest. Join the Guild to empower people through education to transform the built environment for long term sustainability.

Planning Under Way for First Sustainable Building Week

By | Blog, News, Press

Published in the Oregon Daily Journal of CommercePlanning under way for first Sustainable Building Week

Prior to the Great Recession, Portland was the “shining hill that everyone wanted to be” when it comes to sustainability and green building, according to New Buildings Institute project manager and architect Webly Bowles. But that has changed, she said.

“People were coming here to see how we were doing things,” she said. “And now we’re just falling back into the status quo. So we want to inspire our design community to get back to that.”

The inaugural Sustainable Building Week, planned for this fall, was born out of organizers’ desire to restore Portland’s reputation as a green industry leader. And with construction booming here and the rest of the country, Bowles said, the need to further emphasize sustainability became even clearer. So she and like-minded Portland design professionals put their heads together and came up with a series of educational events.

Starting Oct. 8, panel discussions, lectures, building tours, design slams (challenges), open houses and more will take place in Portland – all in the name of promoting green building practices in the local market. These events will be hosted by a wide range of design professionals and professional organizations, including the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), the U.S. Green Building Council, the AIA (American Institute of Architects) Portland Committee on the Environment, the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, Portland State University and many others.

Read more at:

Don’t Be a Chicken – Keep Portland Green!

By | Blog

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) – Portland Collaborative is excited about the coming together of so many professional groups in Portland around the issues of sustainable building and high-performance projects that we had to get involved. By our very name our focus is on collaborating to ensure a living future is available to all.

For years, I have facilitated the PDX Collaborative and I never really knew the members of other professional organizations as we worked independently, attempted to not double schedule events, and generally maintained our distance. One of Sustainable Building Week’s goals and legacies will be to break that model and create a new model of collaboration and connectivity. Addressing the diverse set of challenges that face our city, nation and planet will require all of us to develop a new level of collaboration.

By rolling up our sleeves to bring together a fun filled week of tours, educational events, parties, open houses and more we take the first step in building a coalition that is connected. My hope is that in the future when important issues come to a vote at a City Council Meeting or State Legislature we will be able to activate this coalition to write-in or vote for policies and laws that ensure a living future for all.

by Terry Campbell, ILFI Portland Collaborative Facilitator, Portland Sustainable Building Week Executive Committee Officer Note: Portland Sustainable Building week is run by three Executive Committee Officers with support from the 14 collaborating organizations.

NW EcoBuilding Guild Green Slam Comes to Portland!

By | Blog

Each week we will be featuring blog posts from each of our collaborators to highlight the exciting events we have planned and professional talent engaged in this week.

After a six year hiatus, it is time to bring back the 10x10x10 Green Building Slam to Portland! The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is excited to be a collaborating entity of the Sustainable Building Week (SBW). SBW is fully in line with the Guild’s mission to empower people through education to transform the built environment for long term sustainability.

For more than 24 years, the NW EcoBuilding Guild has consistently and steadily driven forward the principles and practice of deep green building through the grassroots advocacy of our active chapters in Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia. We support the innovative and progressive work of our members in the Pacific Northwest to improve the relationship between our communities and our built environment. We consider the needs of the seventh generation in all that we do. As a community of builders, designers, suppliers, homeowners, and partners concerned with ecological building across the nation. The Guild empowers people through education to transform the built environment for long term sustainability.

The Ecobuilding Guild Portland Chapter is committed to serving as an education resource for professionals, officials, and the public. Our members demonstrate how we address change in our environment with innovative building practices. We adopt new technologies, safer and more efficient materials, and share our experiences with one another. Join today as a business member and champion the new era of building as a member of the Guild.

The Northwest Green Building Slam event is produced by the Portland Chapter of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild in partnership with Passive House NW, and our presenting sponsor, Pioneer Millworks/New Energy Works.

The Green Building Slam showcases ten innovative, sustainable projects, ideas or technologies aimed at bringing about foundational change in our regional building practices. The Slam presents ten fast-paced, mind-blowing talks about high performance building projects in 10-minute segments. Featuring great appetizers, drinks and good company at this celebration for Portland’s Sustainable Building Week. Join the fun and celebrate with us, at the 2018 Portland Green Building Slam on Friday, October 12th, 6:30-10 pm at the Ecotrust Conference Center.

Check out NW EcoBuilding Guild on Social Media!



by Gayle Palmer, Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Portland Coordinator.


The Sun Shines Again on Portland Sustainability!

By | Blog, Default

At the turn of the century, Portland was the envy of burgeoning sustainable cities. We were paving bike lanes, recycling, constructing LEED-certified buildings, and planning for the greenest future possible. Then, in 2008, the recession hit. Half of my fellow Architect friends lost their jobs! Those of us who could hold our passion for sustainable design persevered by volunteering for professional organizations such as the American Institute of Architects Portland chapter of the Committee on the Environment (AIA Portland’s COTE), International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Portland Collaborative, and Portland Materials Transparency Collective. We turned towards new careers that were still associated with architecture such as green building consulting, photography, construction, interior design, and teaching. As the market fell, we maintained our vision of Portland as the leading city in sustainable design.

Early into the recession, we were still making ambitious plans for projects such as the Oregon Sustainability Center (OSC) and the city’s first EcoDistrict. The OSC united us as we envisioned the world’s largest Living Building Challenge (LBC) building, an urban high-rise prepared to house the best of Portland’s green designers and thinkers. But when the OSC project deflated two years later, so did our green hearts. Without any visible signs of the building’s construction or other projects that matched our sustainable design values, many in the industry began to take any available design work just to make enough money to put food on their tables. Sustainability be damned.

Portland’s recent construction boom demanded local design and construction firms to add more jobs than the city had architects, engineers, and contractors. New-to-Portland designers with other value systems  started to flood our firms and our green heart has been slow to re-inflate to support innovative sustainable design. Was it because Portland’s green designers were still in famine mode? Was our brush with sustainable design just a fad? Did the out-of-town designers not pick up our environmental ethos?

Regardless, Portland’s pre-recession sustainable designers are still here and we are resilient. We’re working on out-of-state projects and we are heading up great professional organizations. With a concentrated effort, we can keep Portland green.

The idea of Sustainable Building Week (SBW) came about from frustration – as chair of American Institute of Architects Portland chapter of Committee on the Environment (AIA Portland’s COTE), I found it difficult to organize a green building to tour amid all the cranes dotting the skyline. Sure, there were LEED buildings and there was the lone 50% energy reduction building, but this was all I could find.  Shouldn’t designers be pushing the envelope beyond LEED and explore designing a zero energy building? Shouldn’t we have more than one LBC project building? Shouldn’t we be able to get the June Key Delta building to full LBC certification by now?!

Last year a meeting with five professional organizations all which provide similar opportunities to Portland’s design community (building tours, green bag educational sessions, “green drink” happy hours, and other networking and educational events) discussed how we could work together toward a common goal of promoting sustainable building with the aim of cross promoting each other’s events instead of competing with them. The idea grew into a focused week on sustainability. It continued to expand to include additional organizations that are supporting design and construction professionals.

SBW’s aim is to put sustainability back into the forefront of Portland’s design conversations. Environmental values must be fully integrated into the design process and not tacked onto a building as an afterthought. Our city’s professional organizations must collaborate to illustrate the importance and the feasibility of sustainable design to Portland’s design and construction community and one week of discussions, tours, and education is not enough. It’s the start of more to come.

If we can show that true sustainability is an integration of ideas, best practices, and ideas we can reclaim the throne as the greenest city in the world!


by Webly Bowles, Portland Sustainable Building Week Executive Committee Officer

Note: Portland Sustainable Building week is run by three Executive Committee Officers with support from the 14 collaborating organizations.