March Newsletter                                                                                                March 18, 2016      

In This Issue...

  1. President's Message
  2. Flash Sale for NAPHN Conference Registration
  3. PHnw 2016 Book
  4. Stellar Apartments
  5. International Passive House Conference
  6. 11th Annual North American Passive House Conference
  7. Seattle AIA COTE Earth Day Sustainability Slam

Upcoming Events


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March President's Message

PHnw's annual conference, 'Building a Carbon Neutral Northwest' just wrapped up last week and If you were there, you know it was probably our best conference yet!  With several excellent keynotes and 18 great presentations and workshops, it showcased the best knowledge and projects from both our region and across North America, including the US' three ground-breaking projects:  the Orchards at Orenco, the Cornell Tech Tower, and Kansas City's Second and Delaware.  It's thrilling to see the rapid gains Passive House has made in the North American marketplace.  Conference highlights include:

  • Former Oregon Secretary of State and Senate President Bill Bradbury has gone from career politician to devoting himself full time to preventing climate change.  With his colleague Tom Eckman, they showed us how the Northwest Power & Conservation Council takes our region into a future where energy-efficiency is the main power resource and a zero-emission grid is possible.  Tom wowed the audience with his encyclopedic knowledge of how energy efficiency meets growing power demand.
  • Lois Arena showed us how the world's biggest Passive House will be air tight.  And explained the many challenges in detailing a 26-story Passive House.  She announced that the Cornell tower's steel framework has now topped out, and her job of wrapping it in a super insulated envelope-literally shaped like an envelope-is beginning.
  • Zack Semke, a Passivist from among our midst responded to Steve Hallett, last year's keynote speaker, making the case that although rebounds are real, Jevon's Paradox doesn't doom us.  There is still hope if we cooperate to advance building performance.
  • 'Kansas City leads' was the clear message from Jonathan Arnold.  His 500-year concrete/EPS sandwich Passive House apartments for 276 lucky renters hits every goal of smart growth, urbanism, inclusion, affordability, efficiency, leadership, and community.  It is the ultimate sustainable building.

If you weren't at the conference, you'll be able to view the presentations on PHnw's website soon.

The board of directors' focus is shifting as elections come to a close next week, and we set our sights ahead to consider how we can best continue to promote low-energy buildings in our region and support our members' work.  As always, your thoughts are welcome.  Otherwise, stay tuned!

Michelle Jeresek
President, PHNW

Jonathan Arnold, developer, presents his Second and Delaware project.   Lois Arena presents the Cornell Tech Tower project to a rapt audience.

Flash Sale for NAPHN Conference Registration: Only 2 Days: Tuesday & Wednesday, March 22 & 23

Don't forget to register during the 2-day flash sale next week: March 22 and 23.

For only two days next week, registration is reduced to $150 for members of PHnw (and other sister regional Passive House organizations which are members of NAPHN).

For members of PHnw, regular registration is $250.  Save $100 by registering on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The 40% discount is available only 2 days.

General registration for the 2-day conference in NYT on June 13 & 14 is $350.  During the 48 hours on March 22 and 23, general registration is discounted to $275.

Cornell's 26-story Passive House tower has topped off.  Now comes the fun of cloaking the steel in a superinsulated skin.  See the world's tallest Passive House under construction this summer in NYC. 

And if you missed some of the great presentations at PHnw's conference, many of the speakers will be at the NAPHN Conference.

Event information is continually being added at

Register here.


Passive House Northwest 2016 Book

By Tad Everhart                                  

Passive House Northwest 2016
, featuring 45 Passive Houses in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington is now available.

There are two electronic versions (flipbook or pdf) at no cost.

The printed Passive House Northwest 2016 is free except for shipping and handling.  Contact [email protected].

You may also obtain a printed copy at no cost from the following sponsoring businesses and PHnw directors in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle:

In Portland, contact Birdsmouth Construction to pick up a copy from its office.

In Olympia, contact Small Planet Supply to pick up a copy from its office.

In Seattle, contact Joe Giampietro to pick up a copy from him at NK Architects.

Another New Passive House Resource: The Stellar Apartments case study
By Tad Everhart

One of the first North American Passive House affordable multifamily housing projects is also one of the best documented.

Photo by Bergsund DeLaney Architecture & Planning, PC

Photo by Bergsund DeLaney Architecture & Planning, PC

A great team of Passive House pioneers in Eugene completed the Stellar Apartments in August 2013.  Pioneers like Professor Alison Kwok at U. of Oregon, Peter Reppe (then at SOLARC and now at Systems West Engineers), Jan Fillinger and Win Swafford from Studio-E Architecture, and Bergsund DeLaney Architecture & Planning, PC inspired and led three successive years of teams of undergraduate and graduate students who have extensively monitored the Passive 6-plex.

Read more here

This is the Year to Attend the International Passive House Conference
By Tad Everhart

The 20th international Passive House conference celebrates the 25th anniversary of Dr. Feist, Professor Adamson, and Dr. Ebel's first experimental Passive House.  They designed it in 1989, built it in 1990, and Doctors Ebel and Feist (and their two young sons) moved in by 1991.

  Read more here

11th Annual North American Passive House Conference
September 21 - 25!

#NAPHC2016 will kick off with two days of intensive pre-conference workshops (September 21-22). Then follow two days of core conference (September 23-24) chock full of multiple tracks of presentations lead by passive building professionals from varied climates and professional specialties. We'll cap NAPHC2016 off with a passive projects tour of Philadelphia and surrounding areas on Sunday, September 25.

Click here to Subscribe to the PHIUS Newsletter for up-to-date NAPHC2016 news!

Seattle AIA COTE Earth Day Sustainability Slam

The Seattle chapter of the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) invite you to submit case studies or ideas for the upcoming Earth Day Sustainability Slam on April 21st.

What? AIA COTE - Giving people the chance to stand and share their work to the sustainable design community in Seattle.

Why? We want to provide a platform for individuals and firms to share what they are doing and to create a fun social mixer. The format is meant to quickly share innovative ideas and encourage conversation.

How to Submit: Submit your projects or ideas per the submission method below. Individuals or groups selected will be able to present their work or ideas with 21 slides at 20 seconds per slide. Please submit your ideas in the following format:

  • Name:
  • Project or idea title:
  • Brief narrative explaining innovative sustainable features of the project or concept.
  • Slides of project or concept work as 21 slides in PDF format (you will have 20 seconds per slide when presenting).

Please email submissions (or questions) to [email protected] by March 28th. Individuals selected to present at the Sustainability Slam will be notified by April 4th. A schedule of speakers will be sent out once confirmed

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