Mike Eliason

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Mike is a dad, writer, and mass timber architect with a passion for passivhaus buildings, baugruppen, social housing, livable cities, and safe 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.
Editor’s Note: This is Part 6 of a series on Baugruppen, private owners collaboratively building affordable multifamily projects. Read Part 1 or check out the series. So, how is it that baugruppen seemingly excel on the community cohesiveness and livability front over turn-key projects? I think there a few moving parts to this. As noted,...
Editor’s Note: This is Part 5 of a series on Baugruppen, private owners collaboratively building affordable multifamily projects. Read Part 1 or check out the series. While I may have a slight affinity for homogenous, Soviet-bloc housing (panelák!)--it’s only because they’re ripe for Passivhaus retrofits! However, diversity in the built environment is a positive thing....
Editor’s Note: This is Part 4 of a series on Baugruppen, private owners collaboratively building affordable multifamily projects. Read Part 1 or check out the series. Baugruppen provide a vehicle for experimental modes of constructing versus traditional models of housing, where experimentation and innovation can prove difficult. Due to the nature of designing and building...
Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 of a series on Baugruppen, private owners collaboratively building affordable multifamily projects. Read Part 1 or check out the series. The collective economic might of baugruppen offers owner-builders an opportunity for significant savings over traditional developer-driven models, as well as single family houses. As mentioned...
Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of a series on Baugruppen, private owners collaboratively building affordable multifamily projects. Read Part 1 or check out the series. For this installment of the Baugruppen: Badaβ Concepts series, I’ll be highlighting a few policies cities have enacted to allow this 'self-organized collaborative building' thing...
Editor's Note: This is part 1 of a series on Baugruppen, private owners collaboratively building affordable multifamily projects. You can see part 2 here. Pictured about is Vauban, Freiburg, a district of baugruppen; photo courtesy of Payton Chung. 'Where no satisfactory, affordable property is available, independent citizens are taking matters into...
It should be painfully obvious by now that a ‘free market solution’ to low-income housing (and at this rate—even quality, affordable housing) in Seattle is getting further and further from reach. Seattle’s Office of Housing is doing what it can, spending roughly $34 million in 2012, with much of...