News

Passive House in the Woods Impressions

Passive House in the Woods

I just posted some photos of the Passive House in the Woods. Please use this link to view the gallery.

Passive House in the Woods Open House tomorrow!

Please join the design team and Midwest Home for a public open house at the Passive House in the Woods tomorrow from 1 – 4 pm. We look forward to showing the home and explaining how it can stay warm without a furnace or boiler, and how it makes more energy than it consumes.

Passive House in the Woods, rear stairwell

Rear stairwell

Blower door test at the Passive House in the Woods

Today we had the final blower door test at the Passive House in the Woods project done. The result is a wonderful 0.26 ACH50, or 70 CFM of leakage at 50 Pascal pressure. Find more details in my article on the Passive House in the Woods website.

Passive House in the Woods: Save the Dates!

Passive House in the Woods, Front Elevation

  • Blower Door Test with Gary Nelson from the Energy Conservatory: 9/4/2010, 10 AM
    Please RSVP: 612-203-1629 (Tim Eian)
  • Midwest Home Magazine Open House: 9/18/2010, 1 – 4 pm
    Open to the public
  • Morr Construction & TE Studio Event: 9/24/2010, 4 – 7 pm
    Please RSVP to amanda@morrconstruction.com
  • American Standard Event featuring fixtures by American Standard, Jado and Porcher: 9/30/2010, 4 – 7 pm
    Details to be announced
  • MRES Solar Tour: Saturday, 10/2/2010, 10 am – 5 pm
    Open to the public
  • Caring for Creation / Alliance for Sustainability Event: 10/10/2010, afternoon
    Details to be announced
  • Energy Event with Enhanced Home Systems, Energy Concepts and Carol Chaffee: 10/14/2010, 5.30 pm
    Details to be announced
  • Interiors Event with InUnsion Design and Room & Board: 10/16/2010, 1 – 4 pm
    Details to be announced

Events are subject to change. Please check back.

Channel 5 coverage of the PHitW project now online

Click here to view the Channel 5 TV coverage of the Passive House in the Woods.

Just to be accurate, the waste-water heat recovery unit in the basement does not heat or cool the home, it pre-warms cold water going into the hot water system to reduce the need for water heating.

Passive House in the Woods on MPR

MPR News Q

MPR picked up on the Passive House in the Woods and conducted an interview with Gary Konkol, the owner.

You can also find the interview on MPR’s website.

Passive House in the Woods Construction Tour date added

Enjoy the Tour

Due to popular demand we added another opportunity to see this amazing project on Thursday, July 1st at 2 pm.

Please RSVP to Amanda at Morr Construction: amanda@morrconstruction.com

PHitW on Metro Hippie

Metro Hippie Logo

Metro Hippie aka Josh Foss put up a blog post about his recent visit to the Passive House in the Woods project. You can find it at this link.

Passive House in the Woods Article in Pioneer Press

TwinCitiesDotComPioneerPress

The Pioneer Press published an article about the Passive House in the Woods: “Hudson, Wis. / House’s energy use puts it nearly off the grid”

Event Reminder: PHitW Construction Tour today

Passive House in the Woods - one amazing homeEnjoy the Tour

Thanks for signing up for the construction tour today. We look forward to having you and to show you around this amazing home. We’ll see you at the site at Noon.

Directions and Parking Instructions

The property is located at 908 Kirkwood Way North, Town of Hudson, WI 54016 (directions, see below). We encourage people to car-pool, seek parking on 10th Avenue, and walk 1/2 block to the property from there.

  • From the West (metro area)
  • I-94 East to Exit 1 in Wisconsin for Hudson and WI 35 North (just past the St. Croix River)
  • Take Exit 1 North towards Hudson, State Rd 35 (2nd St. S)
  • Take State Rd 35 (2nd St. S) for about 3 miles North
  • Take a right on Krattley Ln/Krattley Ln N, head uphill (East)
  • Take a left on Tenth St. N
  • SEEK PARKING NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF Tenth St. N and Kirkwood Way N!
  • Walk left on Kirkwood Way N (note: road sign only on the right) 1/2 block
  • The property is located at 908 Kirkwood Way North, immediately to the left once the road turns from asphalt to gravel
  • Meet at the construction trailer

Passive House in the Woods Construction Tour date added!

Due to popular demand, we added an additional tour of the Passive House in the Woods (PhitW) project this Thursday, 5/27 at Noon. For RSVPs please contact Amanda at Morr Construction.

Mini Series: What makes the PHitW project so sustainable

This week we embarked on a little mini-series, highlighting 5 reasons why the Passive House in the Woods project is a sustainable project.

The leapfrog design of the Passive House in the Woods is based on integrated design and the holistic idea of building and living. Gary approached us with a vision of carbon-neutral, low impact building. That in itself does not sound like much. But we quickly realized how serious he is about it, and embraced the idea by assembling and leading a team of experts to deliver on all fronts of sustainability.

Follow the entire series at www.passivehouseinthewoods.com

Passive House in the Woods front entry perspective

Passive House in the Woods front entry perspective

PHitW Construction Tour Announcement

The Passive House in the Woods will be open for a Construction Tour on 5/21/2010. We’ll have two tours that day. The first one is scheduled for 1.30 pm, the second one for 3.30 pm. If you are interested to see this high-performance building in person, please RSVP by 5/18 to Amanda at Morr Construction: amanda@morrconstruction.com

PHitW in Hudson Star Observer

The Passive House in the Woods project was just written up by the local Hudson Star Observer: “North Hudson man takes building ‘green’ to a new level”.

Deep Energy Retrofit Discussion

Martin Holladay at GreenBuildingAdvisor.com kicked off another fabulous subject on their blog entitled: Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Insulation or Solar Power?

As a certified Passive House Consultant, I am partial to the insulation. However, Martin makes a good point when comparing the two approaches. As the discussion goes, many points about this subject are being addressed. This is my reply:

Other selling points
by Tim Eian, TE Studio

Our firm has been working to get a viable DER business off the ground for the last two years. We practice in an extremely cold climate (MN). After the first year, we found that there were not enough selling points to overcome the first-day cost—and even calculations favoring a DER approach in the long run may not entice owners enough to go into debt—let alone their banks who cannot begin to understand what DER actually is and why it would create value and equity.

Year two has been more successful for us, as we have been focusing on more immediately tangible advantages of indoor environmental quality and health, as well as comfort (a big thing in a cold climate) and survivability. In addition, we are trying to single out the DER measures as Read more →

"Passive Aggressive": PHitW featured in Green Builder Magazine

Green Builder Magazine featured the Passive House in the Woods project in its March issue in the Green Scene section. Thanks for the tip Josh.

Thanks for talking with us at the Living Green Expo

TE Studio, Passive House Design Experts

We greatly appreciate all the wonderful conversations you brought to us at the Living Green Expo. We talked about Passive House for residential and commercial applications, proper site placement of buildings, sustainable building design in general, ventilation systems and indoor air-quality, lifecycle cost, quality construction, insulation, and so much more. We appreciate all your positive feedback about what we do and look forward to another year of extremely energy efficient building design until next year’s Expo.

Come and visit us at Living Green

TE Studio booth at Living Green Expo 2010We are in booth U21E on the upper floor of the Living Green Expo this weekend. We’ve had lots of enjoyable conversations about Passive House and energy-efficient building design. Come join us—it’s free!

Grandstand, MN State Fairgrounds

Tomorrow Sunday, we’ll be there from 10 until 5pm.

Passive House in the Woods on Jetson Green

Jetson Green on Passive House in the Woods

Jetson Green posted this wonderful article about the Passive House in the Woods today.

Visit us at Living Green Expo this Weekend!

Join us and over 2oo exhibitors at this year’s free Living Green Expo on Saturday, May 1, from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sunday, May 2,  from 10 am to 5 pm.

We are in booth U21 on the second floor across from the Main Workshop Stage (and next to French Meadow Bakery). Find us to talk about Passive House and Deep Energy Reduction Retrofitting, as well as the Passive House in the Woods project.

We’ll also be giving a Passive House workshop at 3 pm on Saturday, May 1. See you at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds Grandstand.

www.livinggreenexpo.mn

It's Earth Day at TE Studio

We can help ready your home for a sustainable future.

We provide expert design for extremely…

  • earth-friendly
  • people-friendly
  • beautiful
  • durable
  • low-maintenance
  • high-performance
  • energy efficient
  • comfortable
  • healthy
  • high-quality

…and intelligent homes.

Talk to us about Passive House—the leading certified energy standard in the world—or deep energy reduction retrofitting—a dramatic reduction of energy for existing buildings.

TE Studio, 612-246-4670

The Magic Box

Martin Holladay at Greenbuildingadvisor.com posted an interesting article about “magic boxes”—integrated heating, cooling, ventilation (and sometimes hot water) devices for Passivhaus construction. A great read: Magic-box your Passive House

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
www.livinggreenexpo.mn

Current Passive House Articles

Treehugger just posted a short article about Passive House in the U.S. See it here. Meanwhile, BuildingGreen.com 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 http://www.passivehouseinthewoods.com/

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 http://twitter.com/phitw

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: http://twitter.com/phitw

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
Directions

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.

www.passivehouseinthewoods.com

We are on Sprout!

Sprout was kind enough to list us on their website. Their offer: “Connect to cool local places where you can buy and play in a sustainable way—and save while you’re at it.” Check them out at sprout.mn