Passive House

PH Article on

A number of people recommended John Straube’s article on to me. I appreciate that PH is being discussed on and John’s in-depth assessment of PH in cold climate settings.

I thought I’d offer some perspective from my corner of the world (Minneapolis, MN = cold climate). Read more →

Passive House at the 2009 AIA-MN Convention

Passive House at the 2009 AIA-MN Convention
November 11, 2009;  Time: 8.30AM
2009 AIA-MN Convention


Minneapolis Convention Center, exact location t.b.a.

List of Certified Passive House (TM) Consultants in the US now online

PHIUS published a list of all Certified Passive House (TM) Consultants in the U.S. through Google. Please find the list at this link.

You may also find a link to it on PHIUS’ links page at:

Thanks for attending my GbD lecture/slideshow

Thanks for attending my lecture at the Green by Design conference. It was a fabulous event and many great ideas were shared. In the spirit of the conference I am offering my slideshow for review at slideshare:

Since most of my slideshows don’t have a lot of text or bullet points, you may want to look at the Living Green Expo slideshow, which was designed to run without my presentation and offers lots of frequently asked questions and answers.

Case Study, Urban Passive House

urban Passive House birdseye 1In my spare time 😉 I’ve been working on a design for an urban Passive House. The design is meant to fit a standard size east-west facing lot. The floorplan offers a first-floor bedroom and bath, as well as an open kitchen, living, and dining area. The second floor offers a flexible layout that can be configured to hold up to 3 bed rooms, 1 bath, and a common room. This urban Passive House works either with or without a basement. Depending on the configuration, it offers between 1,675 and 2,475 usable square feet.

The roof is designed to hold solar-thermal panels that face due south at a 55 degree angle. It also offers plenty of south-facing real estate for PV panels. Ultimately, this Passive House is designed to become a net-energy positive building, e.g. it makes more energy than it consumes and pays its inhabitants by selling excess energy to the grid.urban Passive House birdseye 2

The garage building mimics the main building’s roofline. The main body of the house would be stucco, the gable-ends lap-siding. The roofing is standing-seam metal. The trellis on the south-facade shades the windows below in the summer months. It offers the potential to grow vines on it. Additional solar panels could be located on top of the trellis if so desired.

urban Passive House entry elevationIt’s a work in progress fresh off of the virtual drafting table.

Tim on Youtube

I think this has been up for a while as it was recorded almost a year ago. I was just alerted to it by a potential client.
Thanks to Bill Karges for inviting me into his house and to talk about Passive House building energy standard.

Save the date: 4th PH Conference

PHIUS LogoThe 4th Annual North American Passive House Conference will be held on October 16-18 in Urbana, IL.

For more information, please visit PHIUS’ news and events page.

Thanks for visiting the TE Studio booth

Thanks to all that visited the TE Studio booth at the Living Green Expo! We had a great time and enjoyed talking with all of you about Passive House and Deep Energy Reduction Retrofit. We look forward to working with some of you to  maximize your investment and minimize its impact on the environment.
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Free Event Reminder: Living Green Expo this weekend

TE Studio at the Living Green Expo
May 2-3, 2009: Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. / Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Living Green Expo Logo

Minnesota State Fair Grounds (Saint Paul)
Booth J-6

We’ll be showcasing Passive House building energy standard and the Deep Energy Reduction Retrofit concept. We look forward to meeting with you.

Tim Eian confirmed as speaker at Green by Design Conference

Passive House Certified Building Energy Standard
Thursday, June 11, 2009: Time t.b.a.
Minnesota Green Communities
Green by Design 2009 banner
The Depot – Minneapolis
225 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Call 612.375.1700

First Twin Cities Passive House Interest Group Meeting

The first Twin Cities Passive House Interest Group Meeting will be held on Saturday, February 21, 2009  from 10 AM to Noon at the Red Stag Supperclub at 509 1st Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413. Please RSVP by 2/14/2009 to

Directions to the Red Stag Supperclub

Pioneer Press publishes Editorial on Passive House

In the latest weekend edition of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, it published an editorial on Passive House. Please click to read the complete article titled “A case for active government on passive houses”

My Comments: I agree that some light-handed legislation can help get standards like Passive House under way. Ultimately, I believe that Passive House produces enough return on investment to be attractive to building owners. One of the key aspects of Passive House is its future-proof design. I believe that it is not a matter of if we will see another energy crisis or price hike, but rather when it will happen. Passive House is the best standard available today to help insulate building owners from the impact of such developments. In cold climates, survivability is another important factor. I encourage anyone to shut off their heat for a brief period of time on a cold winter day and watch the rate at which the interior temperature drops. Ultimately, I think most people will agree that in freezing temperature, the building will freeze too. Passive Houses are built to retain energy. The rely on the sun for part of their heating load. As a result, they typically do not freeze, even when unoccupied and unheated—creating a highly survivable structure for its inhabitants.

I would also like to stress some other advantages of Passive House design

  • Health—due to improved interior environmental quality
  • Comfort—due to continuous air-exchange, reduced noise pollution, as well as warm interior surfaces, which reduce radiant heat-loss potential (make you comfortably warm in your building)
  • Durability—due to quality construction and quality control, as well as third party testing
  • Reduced Carbon Footprint—due to its low energy consumption, which makes the use of renewable energy sources very attainable

Passive House’s energy savings potential is somewhat underestimated at 60% in the article. For existing buildings, and those built to code, savings can be in excess of 90%. Passive House is estimated to use about 60% less energy than today’s Energy Star (and therefore LEED) standards, which are not yet commonly applied to new construction.

The article does not talk in depth about retrofit projects. The energy savings potential for older structures is incredible. And while it may not be feasible or doable to convert any existing buildig into a Passive House, a Deep Energy Reduction Retrofit can be applied to any structure, utilizing Passive House principles and materials, to achieve energy reductions of up to 70% or more.

Please contact TE Studio for more information on Passive House and Deep Energy Reduction Retrofits.