Green Building & Smart Growth
We help create vibrant and healthy built environments for both people and the planet. The Green Building & Smart Growth Program supports local businesses in this sector, advances the most cutting edge sustainability practices, and contributes to an improved quality of life for our region.
What is Smart Growth?
Smart Growth America defines smart growth as an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. The 10 principles listed here are considered the foundation of a smart growth approach.
Green Building Events
Northwest Green Home Tour
Every year, do it yourselfers and those looking for great contractors for an upcoming project delight in a day of exploring beautiful, innovative and eco-friendly homes during the annual Northwest Green Home Tour.
Green Building Nerds
Green Building Nerds, an informal meeting held the third Monday of every other month where peers in the green building industry discuss, troubleshoot, share, and have fun nerding out over a beer. Topics, locations and attendance vary, but nerding out is always encouraged.
Green Building Slam
10 speakers, 10 slides, 10 minutes. Learn about 10 innovative and sustainable, green buildings, ideas, or advances that push the envelope in our built environment. From green building professionals to the public, all are welcome!
Smart Growth Projects
Working to build upon community leadership, we collaborate with partners to create new spaces that help revitalize neighborhoods. Previous projects include Kapow!, Commercial St. Night Market, Birchwood International Market, Bellingham Soapbox, Synchro Tree City, Shadow Geometry, the Untzbrella, and more!
Developing an ADU can seem daunting, but you are not alone. Many ADU permit applications are submitted by homeowners who are first-time applicants! We developed a handbook to help homeowners determine if creating an ADU on their property is feasible, and provide step-by-step guidance for how to proceed with developing one.
Sustainable Connections is proud to be the backbone agency for the Whatcom Housing Alliance, a group of local organizations working to increase opportunities for people of all income levels to have the opportunity to live in walkable neighborhoods that foster healthy lifestyles. Whatcom Housing Week and Bellingham For Everyone are projects of the Whatcom Housing Alliance.
Toward Zero Waste
Over 450 businesses have engaged in our (FREE) Toward Zero Waste program and are reducing waste. Participating businesses are also saving money and making a positive change for our community and the environment. Contractors in the residential or commercial sector can take advantage of our Toward Zero Waste program to receive help navigating the wide world of construction debris.