Designing and building this house has provided a great education. At the outset we understood little more than the basics about building, but believed in sustainable living and knew we wanted a house fueled by on-site, renewable energy. It had to be affordable. We needed space to do what we like to do. And we wanted it to be welcoming.
We learned from a lot of people. Minnesota friends Pam and Jeff Stocco built an energy-efficient home and we saw their great results. Twin Cities Architect Tim Eian introduced us to Passive House during a presentation at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center near Lanesboro, and Eagle Bluff followed up with a deep-energy retrofit of a campus house; we were amazed at the transformation. Other professionals shared ideas and direction; Sonya Newenhouse showed us her Passive House in Viroqua, Wisc. and became an eventual mentor. And we learned much from choosing an architect, and finally from creating plans with architects at Design Coalition.
We’ve also read a lot. Here are a few resources that helped.
Cold Climate Housing Research Center
Upper Midwest Organizations
Minnesota Renewable Energy Society
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency | Finding Green Building Products
Building Materials Reuse Association
The Passive House | Green Without Gizmos, Fine Homebuilding | April/May 2010
No Fossil Fuels Here, Northeast Sun | Fall 2009
Passive House For a Changing Climate, Katrin Klingenberg & Mike Kernagis