News

Corcoran Park Neighborhood Event

I will be giving a talk about Passive House and Deep Energy Retrofits at the upcoming Corcoran Park Neighborhood Sustainability Event

February 12, 2011. 11 am – 12.30 pm
Corcoran Park
3334 20th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN  55407

This event is open to the public.

Lecture at PHMN Meeting

I will be lecturing at a Passive House Minnesota event on February 3, 2011. Please find the specifics at phmn.org. I’ll be talking about the Passive House building energy standard, as well as the Passive House in the Woods. I’ll be joined by PHMN board members, as well as Josh Crenshaw, who built the Passive House in the Woods. I also expect vendors to showcase their PH-specific products at the event.

PHitW featured in Architecture Week article

Architecture Week logo

Architecture Week posted a brief article on the cold climate session at the 2010 North American Passive House Conference in Portland, OR.  Tim D. Eian presented the Passive House in the Woods as part of this session.

Daily Reporter Article posted

The Daily Reporter logo

The Daily Reporter posted a brief article about the Passive House in the Woods project. Read it here.

PHitW in Star Observer Article

Hudson Star Observer logo

The Hudson Star Observer followed up with Gary Konkol this week to see how he’s doing in the house without furnace. Read the entire article here.

sPassive House in the Woods

I’d like to add that $25.25 of Dr. Konkol’s electricity bill goes to the service fees, which means the actual cost of electricity consumed in November was only about $35. It will be interesting to track this over a year and report back an average, since these winter months are going to be more energy intensive than the swing seasons and the summer. In addition, November was incredibly cloudy in the Town of Hudson, leading to very little energy production. And before I forget to mention it—the electricity bill is the only utility bill at the house, so the $35 included the entire energy purchase for heating, ventilation, hot water, and household electricity.

Energy Independence with Passive House

One of the frequently asked questions I get about Passive House is its potential for going off the grid. I summarized different levels of energy independence in a Google knol.

PV tracker at the Passive House in the Woods

PV tracker at the Passive House in the Woods

Passive House buildings use very little energy to begin with. Therefore, it is a lot easier to utilize renewable energy sources such as solar or wind to offset a Passive House’s energy use. Renewable systems are much smaller than they would have to be for standard construction buildings, which saves investment cost.

Many different energy sources are a viable option for Passive House because of tis inherently small energy footprint. This make Passive House buildings very flexible and future proof.

One of the key goals of Passive House is to insulate the owner from an uncertain energy future. The buildings we build now will likely be around for 50, 100, or more years. Therefore, they will have to function in an era where the fuels we commonly use now may no longer be viable. That point may be reached long before the actual resource is consumed, as pointed out by former Saudi Oil Minister Sheikh Yamani in 1973: “The stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.”

PHitW article in today’s Star Tribune

Star Tribune Logo

The Star Tribune printed an article today about the Passive House in the Woods project: “Solar Powerhouse“.

PhitW in Remodeling Today Magazine

2010-12 Remodeling Today cover

The Passive House in the Woods project is featured in the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of Remodeling Today Magazine: “An Extreme Eco-Friendly Home”.

Passive House ≠ Passive Solar

Street sign by Tim Delhey Eian

Anytime I speak to people about Passive House there seems to be some confusion with the Passive Solar Design ideas from the late 70s. I created a quick outline to compare the two and show which is what: Passive House vs. Passive Solar Design at Google knol.