Newsletter November 2019

Blower door testing done by Evergreen Certified. We are thrilled to announce that this DADU surpassed WA state energy code (2015) by 43.9% when modeled against small units (units up to 1500 SF.)  This is a BuiltGreen 5 Star Verified project!
Here’s the six month update and what’s inside:

  • City of Tacoma Urban Infill Pilot Program DADU complete and awarded BuiltGreen 5 Star
  • Barndominium (oh my!)- designed by us and built by the hands of our clients over the past 4 years
  • City of Gig Harbor Welcome Plaza SW AIA Honors Award
  • City of Tacoma Urban Infill Pilot Program Cottage Housing

Free events this week- shown below at bottom of newsletter
A Thank You note from Brett:

Thank you to Kathleen O’Brien who invited Brett to co-lead an Emerge Leadership Workshop at the Living Future Conference 2019. Brett is truly a groupie of the Emerge Leadership Project and hopes to inspire others by sharing experiences.

Also at LFC 2019, Brett was joined by another inspiring mentor and pioneer, Dee Williams who presented at not-so-SMALL-talks to Living Future Conference attendees, joined by Billy Ulmer, author and expert on ADU policy, who shared his knowledge.. (Brett and Erik attended Dee’s tiny house workshop years ago before attempting to design and build THOWs. She is amazing!)

And major thanks to our clients, we couldn’t do this work without you. We feel we are making a difference with building tiny/small on foundations, creating ADUs, DADUs and small footprint communities that will allow for accessible affordable housing solutions. Thank you for seeking us out for your small solutions!

Here’s a sneak peek about the project you are seeing above-
Central Tacoma DADU made possible by amazing clients willing to innovate and showcase sustainable building practices in their backyard!

513 SF of interior space including 121 SF storage loft with 108 SF of covered porch
– Building design, roof lines and materials, resembles main house design
- Foundation Frame by Pin Foundations, Inc. This alternative foundation system leaves project soils, water flows and vegetation intact, allowing for an undisturbed project site for better stewardship of soils and groundwater; meeting the latest stormwater regulations and sustainability criteria.
– Framing and Sheathing FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified; Advanced Wall framing
- Self-adhered house wrap meets GreenScreen Benchmark and is a Declare product
- 50 year roofing made from polymers from repurposed materials. The roof shinges contain smogreducing granules, harness sunlight to photocatalytically convert smog into water-soluble ions actively reducing air pollution.
- Composite windows as a smart alternative to vinyl; made up of reclaimed pre-consumer wood fibers and thermoplastic polymers. Durable, sustainable and energy efficient, these windows resist decay and rot and are twice as strong as vinyl.
- Western Juniper decking on porch and ramp; from Eastern Oregon, supporting the removal of invasive species that are hurting the landscape, wildlife habitat and livelihoods of farmers.
- Permanent walk-off grate at entry to help with indoor air quality with zero threshold front door

OK, there’s the exterior features. Want to learn more about this project: We will update our website later this month with more details and pictures of this project.

Major thanks to Cybil Triebee with Evergreen Certified who was a BuiltGreen verifier ROCKSTAR! We could not  have achieved BuiltGreen 5 Star without her! We highly recommended Cybil and her team at Evergreen Certified.

The Nelsons approached us in 2015 with an idea to design a barndominium.

They explained that it’s basically a metal shell with living quarters. They wanted a place to retire that was fully accessible aging-in-place and would take up less than half of the overall building footprint. They are outdoor enthusiasts and wanted to house their boats, campers and gear in most of the space, and then be able to lock up the house and go travel when they had a hankering. Of course we said YES!

We designed, they built it themselves…it took time…about 4 years, and WOW! We have some seriously talented cllients.

Here’s the small update:

We are blazing forward, together with our supportive clients, a progressive city pilot program and green product partners, we are going for our second pilot program project, a cottage housing pilot project in the City of Tacoma. Alder Meadows is coming to a south Tacoma neighborhood. Thank you to our clients, a brother and sister combo, who are investing in the future of our communities. More to share on this small community, next newsletter!

Aligning ourselves and our projects with our values allows us to advocate through our practices: to consult where we are able, to educate from experience, to design with the future in mind, and to build with care and craft. We are all in! Tiny/small footprint healthy homes are possible and a fantastic way to live.

Please continue to bring us your small space design challenges as we love small projects, they inspire creative solutions and are the backbone of this movement!

We are also seeking small footprint multifamily projects, including but not limited to micro units, work/live units and row housing.

City of Gig Harbor Welcome Plaza

Proud to share that our design for the City of Gig Harbor Welcome Plaza won another award!! Love it when that happens. In September, the American Institute of Architects, Southwest WA chapter, awarded this project with its 2019 Honors Award.

EVENTS-Affordable Tacoma 10 x 10
This Thursday, November 7th
Free to all, no RSVP required
6pm at RAIN Incubator
2304 Jefferson Ave
Tacoma WA 98405

Topics include:
the missing middle
resident’s perspectives
city perspective
academia + students

City of Tacoma and Brett Marlo Design Build
This Friday, November 8th at 9:30am
Free, rsvp REQUIRED

Here’s your opportunity to see our latest design build! Thanks to Beth Jarot, Green Building Specialist at City of Tacoma. YES, they have one and she’s great!

Thank you for reading, supporting, attending local events, buying from regional businesses and living by example with us. Attempting to truly live our values and walk our talk (sometimes successfully, yet not always) as individuals, families, communities is definitely being the change.

Affordable Tacoma 10 x 10
November 7th 2019
6pm @ RAIN Incubator
Hope to see you there!
Our puppies grew up in the past six months! Poppy and Jax have become the best buddies.
AAAH is a team committed to community building, affordable housing and improved quality-of-life through design and sustainability. Our work is focused on solving social and ecological challenges with creativity and local community values. AAAH is a social purpose enterprise with a mission of ecological health, social equity and economic fairness. AAAH’s team balances a variety of skills and abilities: design, construction, community development, entrepreneurship. The team’s experience, skillset and values create a firm foundation for success as the goal toward affordable, adaptable, alternative housing is realized.
This Newsletter is one of our vehicles for conversation and education. It’s a way to share what we’re up to, what we dream about and present some interesting models for change. Whether you’re into sustainable design, tiny homes, healthy materials or making your community a better place, this list is for you. So welcome to the list. We hope you enjoy it!

Find us at:
Brett Marlo Design Build
4121 Harborview Drive
Gig Harbor, WA 98332LICENSE #BRETTMD892QP