The Passive House Solution

I know something new. I know how to design and build homes that are dramatically better than any I’ve ever built. What I know is radically simple. It is systematically measurable and therefore proven. It …

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Then think again. It’s time to ask some fundamental questions. Sometimes all over again. It’s time to think clearly. Then act!


Design matters. When we learn to use all the tools in the design toolbox we discover more and make smarter choices.


Build better. Its time to make smart choices about how we build and the materials we choose to build with.


And energy sense. Our future literally depends on our ability to understand and use energy wisely.


Experience. Imagination. Familiarity. We depend on the sum of these part to offer and make good decisions.

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Local Harvest. Site Wood & Energy provide Net Zero Performance for a 50′s Farmington Cape.
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Saturday, November 15th

Open Wall Open House REGISTER HERE

Presentations take place at 11AM & 1:30PM at 1 Ledgewood Road in Farmington

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 3.17.59 PM great meals to great homes, it’s harvest season! With local food from farm to table it’s gratifying to know where your food comes from and that what you eat is supporting the local farm economy. We’re designing and building projects that harvest local energy. Some of these projects even produce all the energy they need from the sun that shines on them. It doesn’t get more local than that! These are “Net Zero Energy” homes. The one’s we’ve built have been awarded for this remarkable performance.

IMG_0811We’re excited to share a project in Farmington that goes a step further. Not only will it achieve “net zero” performance, we’re building parts of it from local wood. How local? The post and beam porch and nearly all the interior trim for this project will all come from large oak and hickory trees found in the backyard of this half acre suburban lot. One lay on the ground, one was half fallen from a storm, and one was diseased. Others were cleared to allow the sun’s energy to wash over the house. A portable saw mill was brought in to cut these trees into usable lumber. It’s a real treat to be able to make this wood a craft feature of the home.

We harvest the “local” solar energy in two ways. Larger south facing high performance windows capture more energy than they lose. Added to the outside of the house, super insulation and air tightness slow heat loss to a trickle. An 8KW solar array on the roof is then able to produce all the energy the house requires on an annual basis, including hot water, lights, and appliances. This is the first existing home where we’ve reached the net zero goal. It’s pretty impressive!

Johnson Rear FrameModest adaptations to this 1500SF post-war Cape’s floor plan will provide an inviting and functional entry to an enlarged family room, a remodeled kitchen opened up to their dining room, and a screen porch with a fireplace. The enlarged south facing windows will capture energy, invite in the light, and draw in views and connection to their wooded backyard.

We’ve eliminated the chimney and oil tank and will provide comfort with small mini-split heat pumps. Constant filtered fresh air will be provided by a heat recovery ventilation system. Beyond the remarkable energy performance this will be a home of lasting beauty. It will look great, work well, and feel good to be in.

This project demonstrates how new design thinking and building techniques can transform an existing home. It proves that unprecedented comfort, health, durability, security, and net zero energy performance are redefining what it means to live in a great home. Wolfworks calls these homes “future friendly” for good reason. They respond to the challenges of climate change and energy independence with confident vision.


On November 15 we will host an open house at this this Deep Energy Retrofit of a post war Cape in Farmington that will – wait for it… be a NET ZERO home. That’s pretty cool!

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Did you miss it? We all learned a lot at the Net Zero Open House
Did you miss it?  We all learned a lot at the Net Zero Open House

This past weekend about sixty people came out in the rain to see, touch, and feel how different a future friendly home is from the homes most of us live in. The grand prize winner’s …

Open House for Farmington Net Zero Winner
Open House for Farmington Net Zero Winner

On Saturday October 4 from 11-3 you’re invited
to visit EnergizeCT’s 2013 CT Zero Energy Challenge Grand Prize Winner right here in Farmington.
Get directions at the end of this post.
What’s it like to live in …

Beautifully Done: The sun shines on another Net Zero Winner!
Beautifully Done: The sun shines on another Net Zero Winner!

This Farmington home produces more energy than it uses on an annual basis. Pretty remarkable, right? This “net zero” performance deserves recognition; that’s why energizeCT created its annual CT Zero Energy Challenge. And that’s …

Net Zero: The new goal posts
Net Zero: The new goal posts

This is a story about where we live and the energy we use to live there and the tantalizing prospect of actually producing all the energy we need on an annual basis – its a …

Saving Energy with a Thick Skin
Saving Energy with a Thick Skin

We’re just closing up the building “envelope” on a Passive House project in Farmington. This is always an important milestone in the project because we get to test how effectively our air sealing strategy …

Passive House Winner Meets the Challenges
Passive House Winner Meets the Challenges

CT’s First Certified Passive House wins the 2012 CT Zero Energy Challenge

The Passive House we designed and built in Harwinton this year has been recognized for meeting two significant challenges. It is the first house …

Designing and Building the Harwinton Passive House – Part One
Designing and Building the Harwinton Passive House – Part One

Paul and Diane Honig and their family moved into their new Passive House a couple weeks ago and are marveling at the indoor comfort as winter approaches. This is what it’s all about for us, creating a home that looks great, works well, and feels good to be in.

Building a Future Friendly Home

We are building a Passive House in Harwinton, CT. Over the course of its construction we are inviting people to visit and learn about the ways in which the remarkable comfort, health, durability, and efficiency of this home are technically achieved. This is a special chance to see how it’s done. Come inside and take a look around. Experience the difference.

Building a Future Friendly Home
Building a Future Friendly Home

We’re building a new home in the Harwinton hills. When we say we need to build future friendly homes, this is what we mean.

Design + Construction = Value
Design + Construction = Value

We have been managing construction projects for decades and have developed a methodical system of management and communication designed to realize all the value of the design/build process. To put it simply, design is aligned with construction to assure value.