"Regarding Passive Houses, affordable ultra-energy efficiency is the point. The first Passive House in the US was Katrin's own, as she was experimenting on herself, but the second and third (on Fairview Ave) were Affordable Housing done in…"
How are you currently involved in the Transition movement?
I've offered to teach local Transition folks about the Passive House Standard, which produces buildings that use only about a tenth of the energy of code compliant buildings. There are now more than 15,000 Passive House buildings worldwide. A home built to this standard needs no more heating energy than can be supplied by a heating element in a hair blowdryer. People need help getting their energy consumption under control, and that has been my life's work. I'm shown with my first evacuated tube solar hot water system installation, which is still running fine.
In what ways do you identify with the Transition movement? Why are you interested?
I've been working on transitioning to a sustainable way of living for most of my adult life, and sharing what I learn with others as I go. The Passive House Standard is applicable to commercial/ institutional projects as well as residential, and retrofits as well as new construction. I'll never go back to building any other way - this is what humanity needs to avert climate change!
How can you help the growth/acceptance/vitality of the Transition movement? What can YOU teach us? What can your GROUP teach us?
I teach people about retrofitting buildings (or building new) to be ultra-low energy buildings, particularly to meet the voluntary Passive House Standard. Passive Houses are now available in the US, too, and the US institute is training folks from all walks of life how to make them - there are no college degree requirements if you want to train, but it is rigorous. I just got word today from the Passive House Institute US, www.passivehouse.us, that I passed my Exam and am one of the first 13 Certified Passive House Consultants (provisional for 2 years until I successfully get my first certified Passive House constructed). I'm working on two projects right now, one a single-family house, one a multi-family apartment building with community rooms that is part of an Ecovillage project in Michigan. Passive Houses give you the maximum energy bang for your buck by making it possible to eliminate furnaces or boilers, and give the client a building that is ready to move to Zero Energy for the least cost with the addition of renewable energy systems (I'd already been specializing in Michigan Zero Energy Homes and renewable energy system integration). The German Passive House beat the other 19 colleges entries in the 2007 Solar Decathlon - you, too, can learn the design methodology to be a winner!
Your Favorite Books/Websites/Blogs/RSS Feeds for Information about the Transition Movement
Passive House Institute US, www.passivehouse.us, is the only source in the US for Certified Passive House buildings.
Midwest Renewable Energy Association, www.the-mrea.org, has lowest cost training in renewable energy and sustainable living basics - the Energy Fair is worth the trip, with 13 simultaneous educational workshop tracks going on for the whole 3 day weekend.
Homepower Magazine, www.homepower.com, beginners to experts learn something new w/ each issue on renewable energy/ sustainable living.
BTFsolar, www.btfsolar.com, for the lowest cost solar heating systems suitable to cold, cloudy winter climates.