Category Archives: Uncategorized

Passive House – Behind the scenes…

It’s been quiet here on the Exsting Resources blog, but that doesn’t mean that Passive House has had nothing going on!  I attended the North American Passive House Conference in Portland, OR earlier this month and was both energized and exhausted at the end of it.  It was truly great to meet others in the Passive House community and hear what they are doing.

I attended some great sessions and came away with so many ideas it’s hard to figure out which way to go next.  One of the sessions was on Passive House schools in Europe and the speaker, Ludwig Rongen, was particularly inspiring.  I took notes on his talk as fast as I could and plan to provide information on some of the projects he mentioned on the Passive House Commercial site of the http://PassiveHouseCentral.US community in the near future.

I need to get back over to the Seattle Passive House for another update and let you know how that is wrapping up.  I also want to give you a heads up for what is coming up after the first of the year for this blog.  I am living in a 1968 rambler and the homeowner has asked me to work up a plan to convert it to Passive House.  I don’t know if if will go all the way through to construction, but it will be a good exercise AND and excellent opportunity to blog about how you start with an Existing Resource like a 1968 Rambler, figure out how it was put together, and then figure out how to convert it to Passive House.  I think it should be a lot of fun.

When I do start the Rambler Retrofit blog project I want to explore a variety of ways and materials to use to test out in the PHPP and THERM.  What I am looking for are ways to save time and money while still providing a plan that will make this house a Passive House.  I have a very unusual idea I’ll toss out for discussion, but I also want your ideas.   This is where Passive House shines – you can model your ideas prior to building them.   We can examine the cost difference and the performance difference of different materials and methods and see just what goes into making the decisions for the final plans.  I think it will be a great experience and your involvement will make it all the more satisfying.

If you want to start now with your “what if’s” I’ll make a list.  It can be a material, method, or software modeling question.  The more you want to know the more useful this blog will be, so ask away!




Veteran’s Day, 2010

Seattle Passive House – Rockin’ & Rollin’

The sheetrock is on the walls and soon the painters will roll on a fresh coat of paint.  Dan will be clearing the lot and a skip loader will be coming to layout the landscaping details.  The project is really shaping up.

The first pic shows the tilt and turn windows in tilt mode – good for ventilation but watch out for Fluffy – cats have been known to try to climb out them and end up getting stuck!

These next pics show the GWB in the workshop and the main house.  It is really looking sharp!

Dan wanted me to mention that he and 2 other Passive House consultants will be presenting at the NW Eco Building Guilds 10x10x10 program next week in Seattle.  10 projects will have 10 minutes to show 10 slides showing how their projects are sustainable and eco-friendly.  Dan will be talking about his Seattle Passive House, Joe Giampietro will present on his Mini-B Passive House project, and Jim Burton will present a series of Passive House concept projects that he has designed.   There will be other great projects discussed there too.   Get all the details here!

Existing Resources – Happy 234th Birthday USA!

I love the concept of Existing Resources. Take what you have and preserve it or adapt it. Given enough thought a new life for an old something can create an even newer concept. In communications we have gone from word of mouth and town criers to the internet and bloggers. It’s still passing on ideas and news, just differently. In the world of building we have gone from building with new materials to restoring old places, to dismantling them to become something else. Now we are looking carefully at the cost that building has to the world at large and trying to make a sustainable change for the better and one way we share those ideas is visually through the internet.

For 234 years this country has been adapting and changing, examining what is important and searching to make a better way that benefits its citizens while considering its position in the world at large. It’s not always been easy since we declared our independence, but the one thing that we have relied on as a country is that our Constitution and its’ Bill of Rights has granted us rights that we hold dear.  The world can watch us debate and disagree and stand up for each others’ right to do so.  What an enduring resource our founding fathers left for us.  Happy Birthday USA!

The “Stars and Stripes Forever” march, written in 1896 by John Phillip Sousa is an Existing Resource that has been adapted to create a new visual concept to be presented on the internet.  The different instruments are represented by different colored lines and the length of the notes is represented by the length of the bars.  Enjoy!

Hello world!

I laughed when I read that “Hello World” was the default first post on WordPress when you start a blog.  Writing a program that printed “Hello World” to the computer screen was the first task that many programmers learned when they began programming.  How fitting to start learning to blog by performing a task the programmers of WordPress first learned and then made simpler for us bloggers.

Hello World!