Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program

The Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program could be the government’s cash for clunkers for homes equivalent. Read more about the offering that is in the works at this link.

In this writer’s humble opinion, the incentives offered may be low compared to the real cost of any significant and holistic energy efficiency upgrade in a home—especially in a cold climate. However, it’s a starting point.

TE Studio at the Living Green Expo

We’ll be at this year’s Living Green Expo on May 1 & 2 as an exhibitor. Find us to talk about Passive House and Deep Energy Reduction Retrofitting. More details to follow.

Minnesota State Fair Grounds Grandstand

Current Passive House Articles

Treehugger just posted a short article about Passive House in the U.S. See it here. Meanwhile, offers an article on whether or not Passive House can revolutionize the way we build here.

Passive House in the Woods Update

Passive House in the Woods, south east perspective

Josh Crenshaw of Morr Construction wrote a very nice little blog post on his impressions of the project as a site supervisor. You can find it at

Over the course of the last month, we posted a number of updates that illustrate progress on site, as well as some of the design solutions for this high-performance home. Make sure to visit often, or follow Passive House in the Woods on Twitter at

The building shell is almost complete at this point. It’s still wearing a skirt of tarps to protect the excavation around it. We look forward to exterior insulation and windows within the next two months. These items will help complete the shape of the building. We are looking to offer tours of the construction site—potentially in May or June. We’ll make an announcement once we have a firm date. Stay tuned.

Passive House in the Woods in MSP Magazine

The Passive House in the Woods project is currently featured in the spring edition of Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine in the “Buzz” section: “Zero Footprint”.

A Day in Montevideo

Impression at the Moonstone Farm

We’ve been invited to spend a day with community leaders in Montevideo, MN to introduce Passive House, and discuss its potential for affordable housing and other projects in this Minnesota community. Thanks to Pat Moore of CURE and Kevin Hein for the invitation.

Passive House Construction Videos

My colleagues at Morr Construction put together an array of videos documenting the construction of the Passive House in the Woods. You can find them at this link.

I reposted the most current one for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Today: Lecture at Duluth EDC

Duluth Energy and Design Conference

I am lecturing twice today at the 20th annual Duluth Energy Design Conference and Expo.

Wednesday, 2/24/2010
Passive House: 10.30 am to 12 pm – French River room
DERR: 1.00 pm to 2.30 pm – Ballroom LM

Duluth Energy Design Conference & Expo

Juggling High Performance Projects

Credit for this post should go to Stephan Tanner, my business parter for commercial projects. This is something that comes up in many discussions with clients. I thought it’d be worth posting:
Given that a building is essentially a system of components, it is important to review the entire system when making ROI calculations or level of performance decisions. A review of individual components may not accurately reflect the whole.
A quick metaphor to illustrate what we bring to your retrofit or new construction project:
Think of individual components or decisions as a serious of balls that you are juggling. The success of the project will be measured by the lowest flying ball you throw. If you throw one or more substantially higher than all the others, you may overspend in these categories. TE Studio’s job is to help you throw all balls to the same height to make sure we meet a common baseline of performance, and do it in a cost effective way.

Passive House in the Woods Update

Passive House in the Woods

The Passive House in the Woods is steadily growing, and it’s wearing a skirt these days 😉 The photo shows the Southwest corner. The ICF walls are complete up to the top of the second floor. The roof is scheduled for next week. In the meanwhile, the garage is also coming out of the ground—just to the North of the house.

We are tracking the progress more closely on the house’s own website. This page also holds information on the team members that assisted with the design and construction. So head on over if you like and follow this unique project. It’s also on Twitter at:

Passive House Lecture at the U of M

I’ll be lecturing on Passive House at the U of M again this year. Jim Lutz was kind enough to invite me back to the architecture and ecology class. The lecture will be held on Tuesday, April 6 – 11.15 to 12.30, in Rapson 100 at the School of Architecture.

U of M logo
University of Minnesota – Rapson Hall
89 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Lecture at Duluth Energy Design Conference

I’ll be talking about Passive House and Deep Energy Reduction Retrofit at the Duluth Energy Design Conference on Wednesday, 2/24/2010

The Passive House talk starts at 10.30, the Deep Energy Reduction Retrofit talk at 1.00 pm.

Duluth Energy Design Conference & Expo

Duluth Energy and Design Conference

Duluth Entertainment &  Convention Center
Click on this link to contact the organizers about attending the event.

Lecture at next BEC MN Meeting

I’ll be speaking about and taking questions regarding Passive House and Deep Energy Reduction Retrofit at this month’s Building Enclosure Council meeting.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, 2/9/2010 from 4-6 pm.

For more info on the BEC, please visit their page: Building Enclosure Council – Minnesota Meeting

This is the venue:

AIA Minnesota
Board Room
International Market Square, Suite 54
275 Market Street
Minneapolis, MNMN 55405
Phone 612.338.6763

Passive House Minnesota

Passive House Minnesota now has a website. Albeit with minimal content, but it’s there. We hope to expand on it in the near future with content from our first meeting this month. Going forward, this will be the place for information regarding Passive House in our region.

Passive House Minnesota, a strong lobby for a strong concept

Passive House in the Woods Blog

The Passive House in the Woods blog is now online. We’ll still tweak it a bit and naturally add content as we move forward. In the future, however, there is now one place where you can check on updates regarding the project.