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.

National/International Organizations

Cold Climate Housing Research Center

Passive House Institute

Passive House Alliance

Upper Midwest Organizations

Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency | Finding Green Building Products

Building Materials Reuse Association

Online Magazines

EcoBuilding Pulse


ZeroEnergy Design

The Not So Big House

Hudson Passive House Project

Almost Passive House VT


The Passive House | Green Without Gizmos, Fine Homebuilding | April/May 2010

No Fossil Fuels Here, Northeast Sun | Fall 2009


Passive House For a Changing ClimateKatrin Klingenberg & Mike Kernagis


Lanesboro, Minnesota
Climate Zone 6 (cold/moist)
Latitude: 43° 44' 18'' N
Longitude: 91° 54' 48'' W

House Size

Net Treated Floor Area: 1,514 SF
Gross Square Footage (House only): 2,210 SF

Building Envelope

Roof: R-99
Wall: R-61
Ground: R-53

Windows & Doors

Glazing: U-0.10 BTU / hour / sq. ft.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): 0.48”
Frame: U-0.19 BTU / hour / sq. ft.

Modeled Performance

Specific Primary Energy Demand (Source Energy Demand): 12.1 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Specific Space Heat Demand: 7.0 kBTU/sq. ft. / year

Peak Heating Load: 7,047 BTU / hour

Space Cooling Demand: 0.44 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Peak Cooling Load: 3,625 BTU / hour

Pressure Test Goal: Whole House Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) = 0.4 ACH 50


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