First Holly Passive House ConferenceFriday, 15 February 2013

Today we had the pleasure of hosting a forum of professionals with a keen interest in Passive House technology and building practices. The occasion was the balancing of the Zehnder ComfoAir Ventilation System by Zehnder representative Kevin Rapp. Ed Shank, the engineer who served as energy consultant for our home, was present for the commissioning, as was Ed Marion, an active proponent and practitioner of Passive House construction from Oakville, Ontario. Chris Coon and Christina Snyder took time off from building their Passive House (documented at to join the group. Christina, one of the first 13 Certified Passive House Consultants trained in the United States, is the architect who introduced us to the Passive House standard two years ago. Two representatives from Mitsubishi Electric, Scott Ansley and Greg Driscoll, and two representatives from Young Supply, Steve Niezur and Dennis Kurzawa, were present. The event was organized by our builder, Michael Klinger. Our house is very efficiently ventilated with a Zehnder energy recovery ventilator and will be almost entirely heated and cooled by two Mitusbishi mini split units.

Back: Dennis, Michael, Maura, Ed M, Ed S, Scott, Greg, Front: Kevin, Chris, Christina, Steve

Michael and Kevin adjusting duct in crawlspace

Kevin balancing ventilation system

Steve N and Ed S

Ed M and Steve in attic

Ed M in lunch forum

Kevin in lunch forum

Mitsubishi representatives examining outdoor units

During and after lunch, the group discussed a wide array of topics pertinent to Passive Houses, ranging from engineering details to public acceptance issues.

Links of interest

G • O Logic

Energy Wise Homes

J F Shewchuck Construction

Bostwick Excavating

Hanneman and Fineis Concrete Construction

Northern Michigan Hardwoods

RTM Heating & Cooling

Bach Electric

GoldStar Hardwood

Randy Lalone Well Drilling

Nu•Wool Premium Cellulose Insulation

Weaver Tile

Passive House Academy

WKAR / Lansing Home Builder Pushes Green Envelope

Pro Trees Unlimited

MPC Cashway Lumber

Lumbermen's Inc

Spartan Painting

Reynolds Water Conditioning, Co.


Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating

Young Supply

Equilibrium Energy Spaces



Picture index




April 2012

Breaking ground

Preparing the footings

Completing the footing forms

The Passive House standard


Footings poured

Crawlspace walls

Concrete poured

Additional insulation

Drain tile wrapped


May 2012

Backfilling and compaction

Crawlspace backfilled

Support posts installed

Framing delivered and barrier installed

Installing TJI joists

Installing the subflooring

Installing the first floor walls

Preparing for the second floor

Straight, Plumb, Level, Square and now Airtight

Second floor taking shape

Attic joists

Roof trusses

Roof trusses and attic deck

Roof deck and overhangs

Fascia boards


June 2012

Crawl space insulation and roof

Made in Michigan

Special delivery

Crawl space preparation

First floor preparation, TJI base

Sealing air barrier

Soffits and tape seams

First floor concrete and first envelope trusses

Crawlspace concrete

Excavating, trusses and crawlspace stairway

Water line excavation

Stairway, window framing

Fiberboard installation

Fiberboard installation and wrap


July 2012

Framing crawlspace walls

Envelope, plumbing

Beginning of wraparound porch


Porch and ceiling

Wrap-around porch


August 2012

Wrap-around porch

Window installation

Preliminary blower door test



September 2012

Wiring, insulation, porch roof


Siding progress

Well drilled

Mechanical system installation


October 2012

Insulation of inside wall

Drywall and siding


Drywall and attic insulation

Drywall, mechanical system

Wood floors and exterior painting

Doors and cabinetry delivered


November 2012

Exterior concrete, kitchen cabinets

Upstair floors, porch siding

Painting, tiling, flooring

WKAR interview, floor finishing

Exterior concrete, crawlspace walls and floor

Crawlspace floor

Compressors, exterior lights, tile

Entrances: drive and house


December 2012

Trim work

Front entrance

Floors and windows

Exemplary results in blower door test

Walkway, bathroom vanity top

Counter tops

Kitchen back splash tiling


January 2013

Upstairs painting

Upstairs painting and trim

Downstairs door finishing

Upstairs floor finishing, water conditioner

Downstairs painting

Kitchen shelf, painting

Cabinetry trim, painting


February 2013

Cabinetry hardware

Final interior painting

First Holly Passive House Conference


March 2013

Certificate of Occupancy



December 2013

Settled in


January 2014

Winter storm


February 2014




April 2014

Habitat restoration


May 2014



August 2015



February 2017

Life in a Passive House


December 2017

Are passive homes the future?