Staff Biography

Mike Eliason

Syndicated Columnist

Mike is the founder of Larch Lab, an architecture and urbanism think and do tank focusing on prefabricated, decarbonized, climate-adaptive, low-energy urban buildings; sustainable mobility; livable ecodistricts. He is also a dad, writer, and researcher with a passion for passivhaus buildings, baugruppen, social housing, livable cities, and car-free streets. After living in Freiburg, Mike spent 15 years raising his family - nearly car-free, in Fremont. After a brief sojourn to study mass timber buildings in Bayern, he has returned to jumpstart a baugruppe movement and help build a more sustainable, equitable, and livable Seattle. Ohne autos.

Recent Articles

A photo looking down a multi-level staircase

Seattle’s Lead on Single Stair Buildings

Seattle doesn’t lead on a lot of things when it comes to building codes, land use codes, or even energy codes -- though given that our housing deficit is in the hundreds of thousands...
A modern tram runs along grass in Nice with midrise building and trees flanking.

Envisioning a Car-Free Aurora Avenue

Livability would flourish in surrounding neighborhoods if cars were removed from one of Seattle's deadliest and most polluted streets. Today's Aurora Avenue in Seattle is a wall, a loud, dangerous, polluted wall that divides communities....

Are Historic Districts a New Variation to Restrictive Covenants?

If Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program set a citywide precedent, then a push by wealthy Wallingford homeowners to turn single-family zoned areas into federally-designated historic districts could be a new variation on restrictive...

U.S. City Governments, Seattle Included, Not as Left as Reputation

For the last few years, and in the run up to the November election, American cities led by Democratic councils and mayors have seen an increase in claims they are "too far left"--as if...
A large lime green seven-story apartment building in Vienna. (Photo by Mike Eliason)

Seattle Must Require Public Buildings Meet Passivhaus Standards to Lead on Climate

The City of Seattle owns a deep portfolio of buildings, while also overseeing a steady progression of new construction—schools, libraries, fire stations, office buildings—it is a long list. Many of these buildings were constructed...