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  • Carol Mckee

Building a Passive House - Our Big Why

Here is the first version of the front elevation of our Passive House project

We are now wrapping up the design stage of our Passive House and have preliminary construction documents. We are waiting for the Civil Engineer to finish his portion of the project and working on a projected timeline for the work. Hopefully we can start site work in March of this year should all the pieces fall into place.

In the meantime, I thought it might be useful to give you a little background on me and how we got to the decision to build a home using this method. It is of course a very different process from a traditional build in many ways.

It has been a long journey for me. 35 years ago, I took on the job of Recycling Coordinator for the small town we lived in, that had never recycled before, and has kept the program in place since that time. At the time we were living in Hyde Park New York and I was the Director of Purchasing for the Culinary Institute of America. After successfully working with the town to implement a recycling program I implemented a recycling project at the Culinary Institute as well. We managed at one point to cut our wasted stream by 90% and I was nominated for a Presidential Innovation award as a result.

I have always had an interest in this type of responsible use of resources and building in a way that reduced waste and enhanced sustainability was the result of the interest ignited in those early years.

For almost 20 years I owned a mid-size construction company that specialized in Disaster Restoration. I obtained my General Contractor's license during this period. We did everything from minor repairs after a small water damage to rebuilding houses burned down in a fire. So trust me when I say that I have seen a multitude of ways on how to build it wrong!

When we sold our Disaster Restoration company 2+ years ago. When Covid- 19 hit the world I spent months trying to figure out what direction I wanted to follow, and my passion for sustainability led me to Passive House.

In 2020 I spent several months getting certified, not only in the US Passive House entity PHIUS, but I also I became certified in Passive House Institute that is out of Germany. They used to be one organization, but split a few years back. So I am the rare GC who is certified by both entities.

I am a licensed GC for both Commercial and Residential in NC and SC, and have an unlimited license, which is the highest and most difficult level to achieve and maintain. Fully Insured, licensed and bonded. But more importantly I am passionate about building Passive House projects, both residential and commercial, in the Charlotte NC area. I believe this concept is the wave of the future and I hope to bring many more projects of this nature to the area in the future!

Note: this post was written by Steve McKee, Licensed GC and Certified Passive House builder. Published by Webmaster Carol McKee

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