Paul Eldrenkamp on setting goals, at the Better Buildings By Design Conference in Burlington, Vermont

Better Buildings By Design - All About Windows - February 4, 2016, 3:30 PM

Windows could well be the most important architectural element in a home, affecting the appearance, comfort, energy use, ventilation, cost, maintenance, and overall enjoyment of our homes in a number of ways—some not so obvious. Window “language,” design, construction, energy balance, and performance specification will be discussed, along with ways of evaluating the solar resource. Data from five homes will be used to explore the energy, comfort, durability, HVAC impact, and passive survivability impact of window performance. High-performance window prices are dropping, and some new products have impressive price/performance points. Attendee questions and discussion are encouraged in this interactive session.  Registration


NESEA Building Energy 2016 - What should be done with this house ?  Workshop - March 8, 2016

What will your existing house look like in the year 2050, if it’s to be part of the solution to the energy and environmental issues we face rather than a continuing part of the problem? What’s the pathway to get it there over time – how might a “phased retrofit” break down into logical, cost-effective steps? In this workshop, two long-time practitioners (and homeowners) will lead the group through a series of case studies to develop master plans for a range of houses. We’ll be looking not just at the homes and their existing internal systems, but also the various external systems and networks the homes participate in – social, transportation, legal and zoning, energy, natural, etc. Participants will be encouraged to submit their own or clients’ homes to the workshop leaders in advance to be prepared as case studies for group discussion. This workshop is open to homeowners and professionals both.  Registration


NESEA Building Energy 2016 - Widening the Circle in High Performance Residential Design - March 9, 2016

Every project is a learning experience. On some projects, we set out deliberately to learn new tricks. Mark Doughty, a luxury home builder near Boston, sought out Zero Energy Design to help him design his own home. With ZED's Jordan Goldman, he got first hand experience in high performance home design, and will discuss how what he learned may influence what he builds for others. Architect Hank Keating sought out Mike Duclos, of DEAP Energy Group, to help him through his first Passive House project. From concept, construction and certification, Mike and Hank worked together to develop passive house strategies for a working farm, and to walk xxtk through the sometimes steep learning curve that is Passive design. Registration



NESEA Building Energy 2016 - High-Performance Buildings are Not Enough: An Introduction to High-Performance Cities and the Next Step - March 9, 2016

In the United States we have historically thought in terms of high-performance buildings: we set our boundary conditions at the lot line. But buildings only work in a context of networks and grids—transportation, energy, water, social, legal. An individual building represents only one small dial to turn to affect our impact on the environment, whereas a city represents a collection of many and much larger dials. In this session, three planners will look at how three forward-looking municipalities—Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Cambridge MA—are leapfrogging over “high performance buildings” right into “high-performance municipalities” by setting a vision for achieving carbon neutrality within a couple of decades. We’ll look at support provided by national, regional, and local governments; the role of the private sector; and public perception, opposition, and support. We’ll also review the plans each municipality has developed and ask the hard questions about vision versus reality.  Registration


NESEA Building Energy 2016 -  Retrofit Like You Give a Sh*t: Inspiring Homeowners to Care about Efficiency - March 9, 2016

You care about the environment, climate change and sustainability. You want to do your part to make existing homes more energy efficient. But all your customers want are new kitchens, better bathrooms and big additions. What can you do? How can you help homeowners learn to value what they can’t see and begin to understand their house as a system? And equally important, how can you, on a limited budget, and in piecemeal fashion, move a house systematically toward greater energy efficiency? In this panel discussion, we’ll cover the following: educating homeowners about energy efficiency and the house as a system; making a long-term plan for energy upgrades over time; working incrementally to improve a home’s energy efficiency; and insuring that the way is clear for those who follow you.    Registration


Halfmoon Seminars: Passive House: Planning and Design - February 11, 2016, Natick, MA 

This seminar is intended as an introduction to the Passive House standard, the most energy efficient buidling energy standard in the world. Briefly touching on the energy efficiency aspects of conventional construction, we will explore the reason the standard was developed, the underlying principles, and implications for both architects and builders. We will discuss the architectural elements critical to successfully achieving Passive House performance, and discuss the dramatically different mechanicals used. Finally, we will review a number of case studies that illustrate the real world implications of the Passive House Standard.  Registration


NESEA Building Energy Masters Series - Passive House in the Real World - March 14, 2016
Spend four weeks with certified Passive House Consultant Mike Duclos, learning how to apply Passive House principles in the real world. With a brief nod to theory and computation, this course will mainly focus on tips, tricks, pitfalls, and what to expect when making Passive House a reality. Through case studies, videos, readings, quizzes, and Mike’s guidance you will enhance your ability to be a part of a Passive House project team, the most vital component of any successful Passive House project.
Learn more here.


JLC Live - All About Windows – Perspectives from an Architect and an Engineer - March 17, 2016 - 1:30 PM 

We will begin with a brief review the fundamentals to establish a ‘window language,' and expand on Architect Steve Baczek’s perspectives and experience on the correct (and incorrect) use of windows, and how quality windows are designed, manufactured and installed.
Windows are arguably the most important architectural element in a home, impacting the appearance, comfort, energy use, ventilation, cost, maintenance and overall enjoyment of our homes in a number of ways – some not so obvious. We will present some new ideas about windows, including how they impact comfort and home energy use, can supplement a heating system, assisting with ‘passive survivability’ when the power fails - with real data.
We will briefly review window construction, performance parameters, and HVAC implications. We’ll discuss architectural implications - such as floor-planning and shading - of windows, with some very interesting insights on their design and manufacture. Steve and Mike have worked together on a wide variety of both new Zero Net, and Passive House homes, as well as Deep Energy Retrofits of existing homes, including the first true National Grid Net Zero DER and the first retrofit of an existing home in the US to meet the Passive House EnerPHit standard, in which windows played a key role. This will be an interactive workshop, questions and discussion will be encouraged, so we can all learn together.  Registration


JLC Live - What's all this Passive House stuff about ? - March 17,2016 - 7:30 AM

Architect Steve Baczek and Certified Passive House Consultant Mike Duclos have worked on a variety of Passive House projects and will provide a fast paced introduction to what Passive House means in theory and practice, with the emphasis on practice.

We’ll briefly review the standard, then see what it takes, in terms of building assemblies, mechanicals and renewables to meet the standard. This will be an interactive exploration of what PH means from the perspective of those who would build one, with plan details and construction images of a wide variety of high R value building assemblies, the interesting mechanical systems approaches made possible by a super insulated building enclosure, using windows as part of the heating system, the challenges of residential ventilation systems, different ways to reduce time to hot water at each fixture and more.

We’ll see some construction images from a ‘market rate’ Passive House in RI, and learn about some of the risks and rewards of super insulated assemblies. We’ll explore different techniques and tools used to meet the 0.6 ACH 50 blower door test number.

This is designed to be an interactive session, questions and comments are welcome. Registration



Free Passive House Flip Book - A pictoral essay of Passive House, some in Europe, but most in the US
DEAP Energy Group's Mike Duclos was the energy consultant on the Savoy House on page 42. 



Passive House Massachusetts - Monthly Meetings at the BSA Space in Boston !

Passive House New England is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the use of the Passive House  standard to advance the 'state of the art' in building design and construction, and to promote highly efficient and environmentally responsible design and construction practices in general, including Net Zero Energy. 

Each month the Boston Society of  Architects generously provides a room and refreshments for a program that varies from examples of  Passive Houses designed and constructed by members, to advanced building practices such as Living Building Challnege and Life Cycle Assessment. Following the presentation, we gather at a local restaurant to continue informal conversations. If you are interested, you can sign up for the terse monthly newsletter.

Paul Eldrenkamp and Mike Duclos are founders, and on the Board of Directors, of Passive House New England.




Jamie Wolf Certifies First Passive House in CT
Clients win $25K in CT Zero Energy Challenge

Jamie Wolf has designed and built an extraordinary building at a remarkably low cost that is both a Certified Passive House and a Zero Net Energy home. Tours are available from time to time. Great pix in this article.



Contact us to arrange for a presentation, workshop or faciliated discussion on Deep Energy Retrofits, Zero Net Energy, Passive House, or other high performance building, measurement and evaluation techniques.


See Past Events for recent engagements.