Minneapolis Connects the Dots and Establishes Leadership in Building Climate Action

With the help of TE Studio/ Intep, the city of Minneapolis has instituted a new pilot incentive program to promote the construction of affordable housing to the Passive House Standard, to help meet the city’s climate emergency obligations. We are excited to have had a part in the process and look forward to collaborating with the City and its stakeholders on the implementation of affordable Passive House homes.

Read More.

NAPHN Live! Getting Political: Lessons From Building Performance Policy Battles in Minneapolis

Happening Online December 15th, 2021, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CST

The Minneapolis City Council appeared on the path to institute policies to encourage Passive House buildings this autumn, but an abrupt turn left Passive House advocates scrambling. Passive House Minnesota sounded the call, then local, regional and national voices helped galvanize support. Learn about the rough-and-tumble intersection of local politics and global policy objectives. While not necessarily inclined to be political activists, Passive House supporters baptism by fire can empower us all for the next round of the fight.

Presented by: Tim Eian, Principal at TE Studio

Good Energy Haus is now a certified Passive House Plus!

With the addition of a 12kWp solar photovoltaic array, the Good Energy Haus is now a certified Passive House Plus. It was already climate-neutral with its extremely low energy consumption and 100% wind-power electricity supply. The on-roof PV system delivers lower electricity cost than the grid-tied supply. It is therefore a testament to the fact that doing the right thing also saves money.

Good Energy Haus: Passive House Plus Certificate

Our News is now Social

Follow us on your favorite social media platform!

Over the years, we started to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to share our experience, expertise and mantra with the World. Follow us on these platforms at the following addresses and user handles. See you out there and thanks.

Twitter: @testudioarch

Facebook: @testudioarch


Instagram: @testudioarch

Find us on Instagram

You can now follow us on Instagram:

2019 Duluth Energy Design Conference

We are already gearing up for next year’s Duluth Energy Design Conference. In 2019, we will focus our Passive House lecture on advanced practitioners with examples from the field on what makes a Passive House in climate zones 6 and 7.

In addition, we are scheduled for the closing plenum on what really makes sustainable buildings. We will share the stage with Bill McAnally and Doug Manthey.

Save the date. 2019 Duluth Energy Design Conference.

This Journey started in 2007

A personal note about the Good Energy Haus by Tim Eian

In 2006, I was working for a very creative design/build firm in Minneapolis. We officed out of a warehouse loft (read: the polar opposite of a Passive House), and practicing “cowboy green” architecture. What I mean by that is the approach of essentially shooting from the hip at energy efficiency and comfort measures.

In 2007, I heard about the first North American Passive House conference that happened a place called the Waldsee Biohaus the prior year. I also knew the guy who designed the building as he had been a client of my firm a couple of years prior. I remembered the Passive House concept from my University studies in the Nineties.  So I dug in and started to research Passive House, and how I may be able to apply its metrics and targeted measures in the US and my adopted home state of Minnesota. Much to my surprise, the building professionals surrounding me at the time did not find as much excitement in this scientific approach as I did—perhaps a function of the perceived stakes being higher than the status quo, and creativity and “surface-greening” being easier than modeled energy performance, extreme comfort and high durability. I have come to know this attitude well in the years since, as it is still seemingly pervasive in our industry. After a bit of research, I found a person who was looking to organize the Passive House effort in the US, and we had a call. During that call I realized that we were at the very beginning, or perhaps even before the real beginning of Passive House in the US.

At this point, I remembered all of my building science and ecological construction classes back at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern—my alma mater. Those were the early days of Passive House in its home of Germany. The concept was mentioned a few times during those days, but the predominantly design-driven professors were not (yet) too keen on this measurable stuff, that snake-oil that offered salvation by cutting the pesky Carbon out of the built environment; also, the early years of high-performance architecture were littered with failures and huge learning curves—something that I was ready to take on all these years later.

So in early 2008, I signed up for the first ever Passive House training in the US and found myself with 30, or 40 other building geeks in a room, trying to get on top of things, on top of energy modeling with Excel, on top of building science, on top of formulas and calculations. I went back—2 more times (more than most who attended the first session), and I graduated that class with a certificate (that was not even the organizer’s plan). I became one of the US’ first Certified Passive House Consultants. Now what?

Well, once I “got it”, perhaps much like Al Gore, I figured, this is it! We solved it! Passive House was my calling and I felt, and still do, that it is the way that we can rejigger the built environment to make our way of life sustainable. So I did the next logical thing and quit my job! I started TE Studio to focus on Passive House. I started giving lectures and talking to all sorts of people, decision makers, home owners, politicians, business owners and colleagues. I still do.

In late 2008, I got my first Passive House commission for a project that went on to become Wisconsin’s first certified Passive House, also known as the Passive House in the Woods. I was also fighting cancer at the same time but was fortunate enough to live to tell about both experiences. My life was completely transformed.

Since then, I designed many Passive Houses. The years came and went with Passive House still being exotic, weird, cool, amazing, too-good-to-be-true, a no-brainer, the best thing ever, snake-oil, salvation and everything it always had been. And the story is much the same today, over 10 years later, as the construction industry moves like a sloth when it comes to the adoption of new ideas. Now, in 2018, I am finally embarking to build my own Passive House: The Good Energy Haus. It will serve as a beacon of what can and should be done in my community. I am being joined by a roster of wonderful partners and thrilled to “walk another talk” with them. The Good Energy Haus is also a modern building—influenced by my studies of Bauhaus and my fascination with clean, modern, and earthy architecture. It will be very functional, beautiful and sustainable, and I am sharing the experience with you via social media #GoodEnergyHaus.

Join the building revolution. Build, or retrofit with Passive House. It’s Good Energy!

NAPHN18 Conference

We will be lecturing at this year’s North American Passive House Network 18 Conference in Pittsburgh. We are talking about leveraging Passive House and the 2000-Watt Society to accelerate public housing.

We are also partaking in the closing plenum with our friends Andrew Michler, Bronwyn Barry, Jonah Stanford, Tessa Smith, Graham Irwin and Floris Buisman to have an active back and forth on Passive House: the last dozen years, and the next.

Check the conference program for details.

Low-Carbon Living at Nordeast Nest

The Nordeast Nest was just covered in the Spring 2018 issue of Passive House Buildings Magazine!

Passive House Lecture at 2018 MN ASHRAE Spring Seminar

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 @ 9:30am

Radisson Hotel
2540 Cleveland Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55113, United States

2018 International Passive House Conference – Munich

We attended the 2018 Passive House conference in Munich this year; followed by a visit and lecture at the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt Germany. More international cross-fertilization for a better practice in the future.

Check out the conference pages.

Visiting with Herz & Lang

Today, we visited with Dieter Herz of Herz & Lang. His firm is an industry leader for Passive House consulting and certification. Together with Florian Lang and his team, they have and continue to lead the industry towards high-performance and carbon-neutral buildings. I am humbled to be their guest and look forward to collaboration in the near future.

House of Energy

We visited the House of Energy in Kaufbeuren, Bavaria, Germany today. This is a magical place for all things Passive House and inspiring to see. The building is also the very first certified Passive House Premium according to the Passivhaus Institut. Congrats to Markus Meyer and his team. We hope to visit again in the future.

2018 Duluth Energy Design Conference

We are lecturing once again at this year’s Duluth Energy Design Conference & ExpoFebruary 19–21, 2018 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). Click the link for a detailed agenda and session outline. 


  1. The American Dream Renewed—Passive House for Everyone
  2. Ultra-Efficient Housing—The Solution for a Sustainable Future
  3. EnerPHit—Retrofitting with Passive House Tools

2017 International Passive House Days

TE Studio and its Clients are once more participating in the international Passive House Days. The MinnePHit House will be open to the public on November 12, 2017, from Noon until 5pm. There will be a lecture showcasing the project at 2pm. Find details at the Passive House database.

The American Dream Renewed

Lecture at NAPHN17 conference in Oakland, CA. Tim Eian uses the opportunity to stress the potential to significantly reduce carbon in buildings with the help of the Passive House building energy standard. View the slideshow at Slideshare.

TE Studio Statement about the Paris Climate Accord

At TE Studio we are disappointed and saddened by the decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. At the same time, we are encouraged to witness the subsequent outpouring of commitment from individuals, local governments,  states, countries and corporations on climate action.

We founded our firm on the core value that caring for a livable environment is a key duty and challenge for our generation. Since the mid 2000s we have committed all of our work to this goal against all odds and much push back, not just in politics but also within our own industry. We have delivered real-world climate action in the built environment and will continue to do so going forward. We also support broader climate action such as the 2000-Watt Society, which will help humankind create a common framework to measure and deliver a low carbon, sustainable lifestyle. We believe that sustainability will make us strong, secure and competitive.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Clients—past and present—for their courage and for putting their money where their mouth is. We are humbled by your commitment and resolve. Without your patronage, we could not pursue the work we love and that we feel is needed to make the planet a wonderful place, which will sustain life for many generations to come.

Passive House and the Low Carbon Lifestyle

Tim Eian will be lecturing at Norway House this evening on subjects that are near and dear to my heart. I hope to see you there.

Come learn all about sustainable building and design practices! Architect Tim Eian from TE Studio will talk about his work in Passive House Design. He will be joined by ASID Designer, Christine Frisk of InUnison Interior Design for a conversation about sustainability in new, and preexisting homes. 🏡🌎

Passive House @ Duluth Energy Design Conference

Tim Eian of TE Studio is lecturing on various Passive House topics at the 2017 Duluth Energy Design Conference on Wednesday, February 22: Read more →

2016 Passive House Days


Join us for a day of exchange, learning and experience at the amazing Nordeast Nest low energy home with Passive House components. This year, we are providing an exciting series of workshops to get you up to speed on what it takes to make a high-performance custom home: Read more →

2016 Passive House Days: Save the Date


When: Saturday, November 12, 2016 from 10 am until 5 pm

Where: Nordeast Nest, 2335 McKinley St. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

What: This year we are offering a series of workshops in addition to the open house. Workshops will include: Read more →

Nordeast Nest in Midwest Home Magazine


The Nordeast Nest project is being featured in this month’s edition of Midwest Home Magazine in a nicely written article by Tad Simons.

10 Years of Passive House & NAPHN16


2016 marks the twenty-fifth year of Passive House internationally, and the tenth anniversary of the first certified Passive House building in North America. Designed in 2005 by TE Studio/ Intep partner Stephan Tanner, the Waldsee BioHaus was completed and certified in 2006, and has since become on of the beacons for sustainable architecture on the continent.

Stephan will be recognized at this year’s 2016 NAPHN Conference in New York City on June 13th and 14th for this achievement.


Energy Efficiency Award Challenge (updated)

Energy Efficiency Award Challenge

We are participating in the first Energy Efficiency Award Challenge on April 7 in Chicago. Join Stephan Tanner at the event.

Please click to register and keep your fingers crossed for our entry, the Waldsee BioHaus, wich is the US’ first certified Passive House building and which marks this year’s tenth anniversary of Passive House in North America.

Read more →

2016 MSP HomeTour

The Nordeast Nest  is part of the 2016 Minneapolis/ St. Paul Home Tour on April 30 and May 1. Visit this beautiful, high-performance home and experience Passive House design first hand. We are staffing the entire event, so bring your questions.

Studio Open House (updated)

GACC Open House

We are hosting an open house with the German American Chamber of Commerce to celebrate 10 years of Passive House Architecture and Consulting in the US. Join us on April 13 at 5:30pm.

Please use this link to register.

Come see the studio, stay for German brats, potato salad and drinks to discover what Passive House is all about.

Read more →

Passive House Lecture at BBBB2016 in Wisconsin Dells

Tim Delhey Eian of TE Studio will be lecturing about Passive House at this year’s 2016 Better Buildings: Better Business Wisconsin Conference in Wisconsin Dells.

Read more →

Lecture at EDC in Duluth

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Tim Delhey Eian of TE Studio will be lecturing about residential Passive House retrofitting, as well as commercial Passive House at this year’s 2016 Energy Design Conference in Duluth.

Read more →

And We are Live

It’s 2016 and TE Studio has a new website. We hope that you will enjoy easier navigation, more succinct information and lots and lots of nice photography.

Southwest Journal discovers a Passive Home

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October 2015: The Southwest Journal writes up our fabulous Nordeast Nest project in its current edition.

2015 International Passive House Days


November is near. Since 2010, we have joined forces with our clients to participate in the International Passive House Days. This year is no different and we are excited to share two homes with you. Oh, and don’t worry about the heavy sweater. You WILL be comfortable. Read more →

Save the Date: 2015 International Passive House Days


Fall is coming, and with it, the 2015 International Passive House Days. These are our sixth Days and we will offer tours of two urban projects this year. Please save the date on November 14 and 15. More details will be coming, soon.

MinnePHit House in NAPHN Passive House Flip Book

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The MinnePHit House is being featured in NAPH Network’s latest Passive House Flip Book. Check it out here. It’s free.

24th St. Passive House Published in New Flip-Book

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The 24th St. Passive House in LaCrosse, WI is now published in NAPH Network’s new Passive House Flip Book. Take a look.

Building Envelope Performance Is Climate Action

Recently I was asked by a reporter to talk about my number one wish list item that I wish was better understood by homeowners in light of climate action and sustainable concepts that support the big picture of carbon reduction. Here is my reply: Read more →

2015 Art-A-Whirl Open House

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Join us for the 2015 Art-A-Whirl Open House. Experience a Passive House retrofit and beautiful artwork from gifted Minnesota artists at the same time!

We are opening our doors for all three days of this year’s Art-A-Whirl, THE art crawl in Minneapolis. View great art in a Passive House environment in the heart of the NE arts district:

Friday, May 15, from 5 pm to 10 pm
Saturday, May 16, from Noon to 8 pm
Sunday, May 17, from Noon to 5 pm

TE Studio & Intep
901 23rd Avenue Northeast
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Find us on the official Art-A-Whirl 2015 map

Read our latest newsletter for details.

Tour the Nordeast Nest


Tour of the Nordeast Nest Home

4/18/2015: 1:00 – 2:00 PM
Purchase tickets here.