top of page
  • Carol Mckee

Building our Passive House: The Back story

Our environmental consciousness journey started with a lot of conflict over trash more than thirty years ago in the early Eighties. At that time we were living in Hyde Park, NY and Steve volunteered to be on the town's recycling committee at a time when the concept of recycling was still just a pipe dream. When the town instituted recycling regulations our neighbors were up in arms that their twice weekly trash pick up was now trash once a week and recycling at the other end of the week. People were ANGRY! Of course today recycling is a nationwide phenomenon that hardly sparks protests at the town hall.

At the same time, Steve instituted a recycling program at his day job at the Culinary Institute of America. The school initially also worked with a local compost farm to recycle food scraps, of which there were many from the school's Kitchens, into rich black gold. During these years this project earned Steve a nomination for a presidential award for environmentally conscious programs.

From those early days of awareness we continued down a path typical of many families while we raised our kids and went about our lives. And while we added solar panels to our home and bought energy efficient appliances it just did not feel like enough. And thus our desire to build a home that drastically reduced our energy usage with a design aesthetic that still looked like the buildings of today out appearing to look like a building from the far off future began.

Steve used the time of the pandemic shut down to get his certifications as a builder in the Passive House concept from both the German entity that originates the concept and the US institute that has created the rules for construction more suited to the US market.

So we invite you to follow along with us on this journey as we go through the process of building our own passive house. We would love to hear from you if you have thoughts or questions as we go along. Feel free to shoot us a message at

Steve and Me in Rome

43 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page