This blog is about building a home that cuts heat energy use by 90 percent. It is a story rooted in the no-nukes history of our family farm, inspired by Shaker design and determined to stay on budget.

Red house by Nicholas, age 9

Chris Gould is a photographer who likes to drive bulldozers. Visit his website here

Susan Guthridge-Gould is principal of Beyond Jargon LLC and often writes about population and environmental conservation.

Nicholas and Lily attend elementary school.

Dennis Wedlick Architect LLC is designing the house.

14 thoughts on “About

  1. Best of luck with your passive house! I just completed a zero energy house renovation. I think some of our goals are similar — reduce or eliminate fossil fuels!

    Kim Quirk, Enfield, NH

  2. Hello,
    I am considering ordering the Intus Windows for a energy improvement retrofit.
    My house is a colonial style saltbox. I was wondering if you got painted of veneered inside, or whatnot. Also if you went with interior grids as well Still undecided about that. Was wondering if you had any pics with windows installed yet.
    Hope the best for the house. Good luck.

    • Hi,
      We have integral grids inside and out, in order to keep things as “real” as possible in the finishes. No Pasties.
      The extra cost of a painted or veneer finish on our Intus window order was $5000. As a cost economy we went with default white.
      We have not installed the windows yet, I will post detailed photos when installation begins.

  3. Hi We are building a passive house in Boulder and appreciate this blog so thank you. Having done 3 years of research, we are actually looking at finishes and really like your wood floors. What is the material and where did you purchase?



    • Wonderful! The wood is locally harvested maple — it’s called Ambrosia Maple or Wormy Maple for the beetle that causes the grey streaks. It’s cheaper than Select or Clear Maple. I think it was about $3.19 sq ft at Ghent Wood Products. The link is in the post. Best wishes!

  4. We are planning a net zero house in the mid-Hudson Valley and would like to see Intus Windows and mechanical systems that were installed. Please contact us if we can see the house.

  5. Good Evening,

    Thoroughly enjoyed your photos and construction progress. I have a quick question, in the photos where you furred out the interior for running your electrical work the 2x furring which was used would only leave 1.5″ between the OSB and gypsum board.
    Did you have any trouble dimensionally with outlet boxes, etc? Is there any code issues needed to take into account?
    My wife and I are in the process of designing our house which will also be SIP panels and are considering furring the interior out as well but want to keep it to a minimal dimension as possible.
    Look forward to hearing back from you. Congratulations,


    • Dear Michael, We had 2 inches in which to fit the electrical. That is 1.5 inch depth furring strip plus .5 inch depth sheetrock. That allowed for a 2 inch thick pancake style electrical box, screwed directly onto the SIP. Sorry for delayed response. Best wishes with your project. Chris

  6. Hi,
    I’m producing some educational materials on sustainable building here at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, BC. I’ve been looking for some good images of slab pouring, glulam beams, etc., and came across your excellent blog. Would you permit me to use a couple of photos in our materials, with appropriate credit of course?
    Kind regards,

  7. We are building a passive house in Tivoli NY. We are looking for possible builders. I recognize some of the faces on your blog from Hawthorne Valley Farm store. Our kids use to go there. I would love to talk by phone. Thanks Liza 845
    757 2022

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