Passive House Certification

Now that the rough carpentry is nearing completion, it was a perfect moment to bring out our Passive House Rater, Andy Corral of Elysian Energy, to see things in the flesh.  I spent a good part of yesterday morning compiling a set of plans and documents for Andy to review, including a revised Passive House Planning read more


Progress on Passive House

As winter closes in, work continues on this Passive House project.  The Intus triple glazed doors and tilt-turn windows are due to be delivered next week.  When they are installed, we can perform a preliminary blower door test, to see how close we are to the mythic air tightness requirement  of 0.6 ACH. In the read more


Historic Preservation in Montgomery County, MD: Past, Present, and Future: PART ONE

“…it is right to build houses as people wish them…to subordinate tradition…” Gustav Stickley, from More Craftsman Homes, 1912 After more than 33 years of designing and building in the historic districts and vintage neighborhoods of Montgomery County, MD, it seems fitting to reflect on this experience. What does the historic preservation process already do read more


Passive House in Derwood, MD takes form

It was a gorgeous day to bike out and visit this Passive House project, located in Derwood, MD.  The site is surrounded by forest, and abuts Lake Bernard Frank.   The bike trail passes over the earthen dam, where I saw great blue herons sunning on the berm, and a banded kingfisher perched in a read more


Sandy Wiggins: Going Ever Deeper Into Sustainability

  Last night, I had the honor and deep pleasure to host a “Beer Talk” (a monthly soiree dedicated to sustainability and green building, created by architect Bill Hutchins), where Sandy Wiggins gave a presentation featuring the redevelopment of the Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center.  Hard Bargain had committed to using the Living Building Challenge read more


New Passive House Rises Up

Here’s a snapshot of progress on the new Passive House.  The DC region has sustained unprecedented rainfall over the past four days.  By the luck of the draw, Janet and I were on vacation, at a beach in South Carolina–where the weather was sublime.  While there, we went kayaking on a backwater that flows into read more


More on Passive House from The Green Building Advisor

Guest Blogger Monte Paulsen has written a stimulating entry for The Green Building Advisor, called Ten Misconceptions about The Passive House Standard. As always on this site, the dialogue in the comments section is informative and thought provoking.  It addresses many issues I struggled with in the design of our current Passive House project–most notably, read more


a Passive House and Cosmic Consciousness

An uncanny resemblance to a new Passive House Walking down Carteret Street in Beaufort, South Carolina, this house–by its looks over 100 years old–caught my eye.  It bears an uncanny resemblance to my Passive House design, presently under construction in Derwood, Maryland.  It calls into question what forces of cosmic consciousness are in play here. read more