Email Newsletter


May 21, 2015

In This Issue...

  1. President's Message
  2. My German Passivhaus Adventure
  3. Gunter Goes Guitar!
  4. Upcoming Events


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President's Message

The PHnw Board of Directors recently held our annual day-long retreat, at which we recap the conference, consider the year ahead, and re-visit Board positions.  At this meeting, Alex Boetzel concluded his tenure as President. Our gratitude for Alex's hard work and leadership is deep.  I’m humbled to have been elected to follow in his footsteps as PHnw's new president, and look forward to supporting the organization and our members.

I see an exciting year ahead.  In the shadows of an exceptional PHnw 6 conference in Seattle, the Directors have committed themselves to steadier outreach throughout the year, both to our members and with similarly-aligned organizations.  And while we’re considering year-long outreach, we’ve also started planning next year’s conference, PHnw 7, in Portland, slated for late-February or early March. Your thoughts on venues, speakers, and otherwise are always welcome, send us an email at [email protected].

Lastly, in recent Board elections, you voted to re-elect Wayne Apostolik, Jim Burton, Joe Giampietro, Markus Kolb, and added a new Director, Josh Salinger, to our Board.  Welcome, Josh!

Looking forward –

Michelle Jeresek

President, PHnw

Presentations from the recent PHnw6 Conference in Seattle are now available online!  View them HERE.


My German Passivhaus Adventure
by Tad Everhart

When I first seriously considered traveling to Germany this spring for the Passivhaus Institut’s Certifier and Trainer trainings and 19th International Conference, I thought about the pain of learning PHPP in May, 2008 in PHIUS’ inaugural Consultant training class. 

In the end, PHI offered an irresistible bargain, and Albert Rooks, Dylan Lamar, Christina Snyder, and I embarked on our April passivhaus adventure.

As we approached Germany from the Baltic, my first vision of Europe was hundreds of offshore wind turbines.  That was auspicious.  Over the next 18 days I was in Germany, wind turbines were almost always visible.  Especially flying over Germany and from trains trips between German cities.  And cities like Leipzig are ringed by wind turbines visible from skyscrapers in the city center.

Dylan and I were quick to visit Dr. Feist’s 1990 famous science experiment (his family home).  We took turns photographing ourselves in front of the first explicitly passivhaus in the world. 

Actually, there are four (4) attached passivhauser (plural of passivhaus or passive houses) in this building.  What we call row houses or townhouses, they call “terrace houses.”

While I was close up to the building photographing Dr. Feist’s family names on the nameplate on the passivhaus, Mirko Feist, Dr. Feist’s younger son, saw us and invited us in for an impromptu tour.


Gunter Goes Guitar! by Tad Everhart

For many in the PHnw 6 audience, Gunter Lang was a surprise.  Who opens a building performance keynote with a guitar riff and song? 

Someone who is passionate about passive and works hard promoting it.

If you check Gunter’s website, you’ll see that passion in print.  Gunter and his son not perform research and write reports about passive house, but you will see a list of well over 100 presentations on passive house to audiences on every continent except Antarctica and Africa over the last 9 years.

Those of us who have enjoyed Gunter’s prior presentations were not completely surprised by the guitar.  I first enjoyed Gunter’s skills as a presenter at the 2009 PHIUS Conference in Urbana.  I’ll probably never forget him thoroughly embarrassing an attractive young woman in the audience who answered his question (What you like best about passive houses?) and got a mini-lecture on the many “safe sex” benefits of well-ventilated passive houses.


Upcoming Events

May 21

Earth Advantage 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

June 4

PDX Future Green

June 11

New York Passive House Conference & Expo

September 9-13

10th Annual North American Passive House Conference - Chicago, IL

October 2

NWEBG Annnual Conference at the Impact HUB in Seattle

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