HousingForward Virginia: xChats
In May of 2023, Larch Lab was invited to co-present at HousingForward Virginia’s xChats panel: The Single-Stair Case: Rethinking Building Codes to Legalize Affordability. Michael’s presentation, ‘Unlocking family-friendly, livable, and climate-adaptive housing with Point Access Blocks’ was on how regulations preventing taller point access blocks restrict the kinds of homes we need to meet housing and climate goals. The panel also included Eduardo Mendoza of the Livable Communities Initiative, and moderator Katherine Williams.
Car-lite eco districts: building a vision for thriving urban life
In March of 2023, Larch Lab’s Michael Eliason was invited to present at at a webinar hosted by MRCagney, a New Zealand-based urban planning firm. Michael’s presentation, ‘Car-light Ecodistricts: Building a Vision for Thriving Urban Life‘ was on how development patterns and urban morphology in the U.S. are causing us to hit our climate goals or develop places that can adapt to a changing climate. Car-light ecodistricts could provide a path forward that allows for the creation of affordable neighborhoods with a good economic and social mix of residents paired with open space, a mix of uses, and amenities for daily needs.
Living Together: Connecting housing, social well-being and resilience
Larch Lab was invited to present at the symposium ‘Living Together: Connecting housing, social well-being and resilience’ – hosted by SFU, Happy Cities, and Hey Neighbor Collective in June 2022. Michael’s presentation was on how building layout and unit access can hinder or foster social cohesion, livability, and climate adaptation.
Passive House Network Presents
Michael was invited by the Passive House Network in March 2022, to present ‘Optimizing Form & Function: Meet Point Access Blocks, an old-new tool in sustainable placemaking.’ Michael discussed Point Access Blocks (single stair buildings) and how they contribute to passivhaus buildings that are more compact and efficient, more livable, and more climate adaptive than double loaded corridor buildings. These are issues that Larch Lab is heavily focused on, and believe architects and planners should rapidly be addressing.
Michael was featured in Bloomberg’s Quicktake Documentary, ‘Vienna’s Radical Idea? Affordable Housing For All’ – an extended piece on social housing in Vienna that aired September 2021. While many cities struggle with adding enough social housing, Vienna offers a template on how to add dense, sustainable housing in an extremely livable environment.
AIA Seattle: Housing Density in the 15-Minute City: Policy and Purpose
Michael was an invited panelist at AIA Seattle’s June 2021 Housing Innovation in the 15-Minute City, focusing on housing policy from a macro and micro perspective. Topics discussed included: recommendations for action today, including opportunities that Seattle should consider as part of its Comprehensive Plan update; recommendations for financing nuts and bolts, like a public bank, lease to own, and down payment help; how to mix job density and housing density to reduce vehicle miles traveled; pairing growth with tenant rights and work to prevent displacement of existing residents; and more.
Mass Timber March Madness
In March 2021, Michael was invited to participate in the Mass Timber City March Madness online conference. Michael presented a rapid overview of Mass Timber 2.0, a brief introduction to Passivhaus – and discussed how the differences in procurement, planning, and construction between Europe and the U.S. produce incredibly different outcomes.
Koka Dienas 2021
Michael was invited to speak at the annual Koka Dienas (Wood Days) conference in Latvia, to discuss mass timber collective housing, and participate in a workshop on Baugruppen. Due to the pandemic, the conference was delayed, and then moved online. In March of 2021. Michael presented on mass timber baugruppen in Germany, and how they could be adopted in cities with housing shortages.
Seattle City Council Lunch & Learn: Cross Laminated Timber
In October 2020, City of Seattle Councilmember Andrew Lewis hosted a Council Lunch and Learn on mass timber and other sustainable construction practices. Michael was invited to discuss Passivhaus + Mass Timber, as well as pitching the idea that policy is critical for adoption.
Ignite Seattle #33
Ignite Seattle is an amazing event, where participants have 5 minutes, to prevent 20 slides, and share a story or passion. Michael was invited to speak at Ignite Seattle #33, in May of 2017. The topic of the talk was Baugruppen, a form of family friendly urban cohousing, found in Germany and Vienna.