News

Net-Energy Positive Passive House

This just in: The Passive House in the Woods in Hudson Wisconsin officially clocked a net-energy positive meter reading in 2011.

What does that mean?

In short, it made more energy than it consumed. While we predicted this with our energy models, we found and learned through monitoring that some equipment and appliances use more energy than assumed. On the flip side, user behavior plays a major role as well and can effectively lower energy consumption over the predicted model.

Starting the journey towards energy neutrality and beyond with a Passive House works really well, as the building is designed to provide a comfortable environment with very little energy input. The addition of carefully sized renewable sources, such as photovoltaic and solar thermal can then balance the remaining energy flow, or reverse it.

Passive House in the Woods by Corey Gaffer 

 

Job Posting

We are looking for an Architect, designer and drafts person for a residential high-performance design firm. No minimum years of experience are required as long as our list of essential skills is met, and preferred skills are available to some extent. You will wear many hats, as this is a small but growing company. We have a huge passion for performance-based design and a holistic approach to sustainability. We are looking for partners in our mission to design better homes for the 21st century.

 

Essential Skills

You have:

  • proven yourself as an architectural designer and have a portfolio to illustrate your (built) body of work.
  • significant experience with the production of working drawings and specifications.
  • significant experience with highly detailed residential (and commercial) designs.
  • significant experience with Graphisoft ArchiCAD and teamwork workflows. (We use the ArchiCAD BIM server and stay current with ArchiCAD versions.)

 

 

Preferred Skills

You:

  • have great passion for advanced design and engineering in the building industry and you want to advance practices and standards.
  • have a passion for and experience with high-performance building envelopes.
  • understand “holistic approach” and “sustainability”.
  • bring a good understanding of basic building science (e.g. moisture transfer, insulation values, airtightness, etc.).
  • have basic experience on the jobsite or in construction observation and a great understanding of how stuff gets built.
  • have some experience with green building standards and certifications, e.g. LEED, Passive House, Minergie, MN GreenStar, Energy Star, HERS, etc.
  • have some experience with energy modeling.
  • can identify the tasks needed to complete a project.
  • can lead and shape workflows.
  • are organized and can plug into an existing office infrastructure.
  • see and find work.
  • can work independently but also follow instructions.
  • are at home with Mac OS X, Microsoft Excel and Word, and you may know Apple Keynote and Pages, as well as Graphisoft EcoDesigner.

 

 

Work Environment

  • We strongly believe in a holistic design approach for sustainable homes.
  • Our work environment is highly collaborative.
  • You may have the opportunity to do work with our commercial partner firm Intep in our shared office.
  • You will encounter German-speaking co-workers; no worries, all are fluent in English.

 

 

Starting Date

  • February 2012

 

Terms and Salary

  • 3-month contractor arrangement to test the waters.
  • Option for extended contract, part-, or full-time employment.
  • We are a small and nimble firm. We can individually negotiate your pay and our working conditions.

 

Interested. Please contact us via the contact link on this page and reference this job posting.

TE Studio is Moving

Main St. Minneapolis

Dear Clients, Friends, and Followers,

We have finally outgrown our old space and will be moving to our new office at St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis on February 1, 2012. We hope to welcome you soon in our new space and offer you leading-edge design and consulting services to bring your home project into the 21st century of performance.

Please make this change in your address book:

TE Studio, Ltd.
212 2nd St. SE, Suite 222
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Any other means of communication will remain the same. Happy New Year!

 

MinnePHit House update

 

MinnePHit House front elevation

The MinnePHit House is inching closer to completion as the year draws to a close. We are very excited to be part of the project and wish the owners well on their journey toward move-in day.

Tim Eian Passivhaus certified

Tim Delhey Eian, principal and owner of TE Studio was recently certified by the Passiv Haus Institut in Darmstadt as Certified Passive House Designer PHI.

TE Studio offers project certification through the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS), the Passiv Haus Institut in Germany (PHI), or any other available authorized certifiers world-wide.

Full House at the MinnePHit Project

Thanks for those of you who came out yesterday to see the MinnePHit House in South Minneapolis. We literally had a full house and shared many great conversations after the initial presentation. Thanks for your interest. I suppose it did help that the StarTribune published an article about the project the same morning.

Friday Night Social Lots of Fun

We thank those who came out to the Passive House in the Woods last night for the annual Passive House Days. It was a full house and we managed to raise the temperature inside by at least 5 degrees ;). Thanks for celebrating this first year of occupancy with us, the owner, Christine Frisk of InUnison Interior Design, and Josh Crenshaw of Morr Construction. We greatly enjoyed having you and look forward to Sunday’s public tour at 10.45 AM. There are still a few free tickets available. You can find them here: http://phitw8phdsun.eventbrite.com/

Star Tribune Article about the MinnePHit House

Start Tribune Home & Garden

11/12/2011: The Star Tribune published an article today about the MinnePHit project: “A house with no furnace? You bet”

MinnePHit House passes rough-in blower door test

MinnePHit House blower door rough-in test

Today, we ran the first blower door test at the MinnePHit House in Minneapolis. The EnerPHit building standard prescribes maximum air-leakage for a retrofit Passive House of 1,0 ACH50 (air changes per hour at 50 Pascal pressure). Converted to CFM50 (cubic feet per minute at 50 Pascals), we were shooting for a magic number of 300 or less. Immediately, the house outperformed this with a reading of 285 CFM. We spent the rest of the morning with help from the Energy Conservatory, Ryan Stegora (builder) and Paul Brazelton (owner) identifying leaks. Some were patched right away—others marked for later improvements. At the end, we measured a steady 267 CFM50, which corresponds to 0.88 ACH50.

MinnePHit House smoke test

We are excited to see that even a 76 year old home can be made virtually airtight, and we are confident that the builder can improve on the performance of this rough-in result for the final test. The Passive House recommendation for retrofits is at 0.6 ACH50 (about 183 CFM50). This means that the home is currently one “Passive House in the Woods total air leakage” from achieving this reach goal. MinnePHit House, airtight ceiling

To put things into perspective, this home started with a blower door result of 8.5 ACH50 and a corresponding 2,100 CFM50 of air leakage. Since then, it grew by almost 40%. Many existing homes we tested over the years in the TwinCities range from 7 to 15 ACH50. According to the Energy Conservatory, average new construction is in the range of 3 – 7 ACH50, with exceptional builders getting down to 1.5 ACH50 on occasion.

MinnePHit House progress photo

We are very pleased with the performance, which also reflects positively on our detailing and specifications.

 

 

Minnesota Lake Home

Minnesota Lake Home, East perspective

We just posted one of our current designs for a Minnesota Lake Home. The project is currently entering the construction document phase and slated for 2012 construction.