Passive House

The Gold Standard of energy-efficient "green" building.

Dale Munsterman leads the industry as one of Tahoe-Truckee's most highly-trained designers in the field of "green design". As a certified Passive House designer, Dale skillfully incorporates the most meticulous German-made energy efficient building techniques into the world of mountain home design. As custom homes become more and more efficient, home-owners have become increasingly interested in designing not only beautiful homes, but that are self-sufficient and off-the-grid as well.


America is just beginning to discover Passive House (“PassivHaus” in the original German). Certified Passive House Consultants who have obtained the right through PHIUS to carry the logo have committed themselves to design excellence and the Passive House energy performance and quality criteria. Simply put, the Passive House Standard is the most rigorous and thorough building energy standard in the world. Think of it as “LEED on steroids”. The benefits include: up to a 90% reduction in heating/cooling energy use, a 60-80% overall energy reduction over comparable code built homes, superior indoor air quality, elimination of large HVAC systems and drastically reduced energy bills. Beyond a very low carbon footprint, Net Zero energy capability is achievable with a much smaller and less expensive photovoltaic array.

The “passive” in Passive House refers to the ability to maintain a comfortable interior environment without the need for large mechanical systems. This is done by applying “building science”, specifically, the targeted use of super-insulation, thermal bridge free construction detailing, optimum solar orientation, high-performance windows and doors, an extremely airtight shell with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery, and by using accurate climate and site-specific energy modeling with the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP).

We are proud to be the first Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHCSM) designated firm in the Sierra Nevada.

As a NAHB Certified Green Professional (CPG), we seek to incorporate the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines into our designs. These environmentally sensitive guidelines impact such elements as resource and energy efficiency, site design, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, homeowner education and global impact.