Certified Passive House Designer

It is my pleasure to announce that I received certification as Passive House Designer today!

To receive this Certification I had to pass a stringent test set out by the International Passive House Institute in Germany, covering all aspects of Passive House Design and Construction, including mechanical installations and financing.

Read more about Passive House Designer certification here.

Certified Passive House Designer


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Power Generating Gym

Recently I designed this Gym for a couple of professional athletes that had moved from Calgary, where they lived around the corner of one the biggest work-out centres in North America, to Kaslo (pop. 1000) with only one small fitness centre – and it’s ladies only!
Every 2 years they compete in polynesian rowing races for which he needs to upkeep their strength and stamina, so it is important to them to have access to exercise equipment on a daily basis.

How would you like to work out in this gym?
The PV panels generate electricity while you get buff!







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Kaslo Passive House Construction II

Kaslo Passive House construction has reached lock-up – the house in enclosed. The walls are up, the roof is on and the doors and windows are installed. The house is weather tight – Let winter come!

Kaslo Passive House south viewSouth facade with lots of windows.Kaslo Passive House south-west view

South-west view with the covered entrance to the basement on the left.
Kaslo Passive House entry
South-east view. The air-lock entry, on the right, is outside the heated envelope.Kaslo Passive House north-east
North-east view. Note the angle between the main house and the entry. The main house is facing due south, while the entries and trellis align with the street grid.Kaslo Passive House north
North facade. Note the few small windows.Kaslo Passive House wrapped south-east
Kaslo Passive House wrapped up.

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Horse Shed #2

This fall I built a new shed for my horse at the house we are renting in the Cowichan Valley.
It only took me 4 days and about $700… Stickframe construction is definitely fast and economical!
Not as pretty as a timber frame structure, but the horse doesn’t seem to care 😉
– I’ll post some picture of the timberframe shed I built in Kaslo soon.-
After all, this is a temporary building, as I’m renting at the moment.
The shed is designed and build so that you can relatively easily take it apart and move it.
Actually, the neighbour across the road has already offered to buy it when we have to move again 😀

IMG_06621Our dog Shagga keeps me company.

IMG_067223 wall panels ready to go.

IMG_06753 My neighbour came along and helped me raise the walls.

IMG_0678Rafters installed…


IMG_06845And the roof is on!

IMG_0715– just in time for the rain 🙂

IMG_07046Being frugal I bought only 3 sheets of 3/8″ plywood, which covered most of the 2 walls. I used some plywood (white and red) that was laying around to fill the gaps – and add some colour interest at the same time.

My horse Strootje is happy to try it out.

IMG_07238I didn’t plan on adding a 3rd wall, but I figured it would help cutting out the wind, so I salvaged some boards from the burn pile and build a 1/2 wall on the right side.

IMG_07249I covered up the gaps below the wall with some more salvaged boards.IMG_072910Et voilà: c’est fini! (finished)IMG_1212-1IMG_1254


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One million certified Passive House square metres!

Good news for the energy conservation movement: the Number of certified Passive House square metres has reached one million!
Read more in this news release form the International Passive House Institute.

Interestingly, this certified Passive House is a retrofitted 1922 arts and crafts style home in California, proving that it is possible to upgrade the existing building stock in North America to Passive House energy efficiency standard, preserving the embodied energy that is in these building and preserving our cultural heritage.

The people at Midori house didn’t stop after implementing Passive House energy conservation measurements. They also installed a solar hot water system and implemented water conservation measurements.

Read more about the Midori house at Greenspiration and at their own Midori Haus Blog.

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The Ridge featured with Innotech W&D

Innotech Windows and Doors featured the Ridge on their blog, including a great photo gallery created by Raven Eye Photography. Check it out here!

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Kaslo Passive House Frame Raising

The construction of Kaslo Passive House is well under way!

The frame is raised and the walls are being build.

A huge Thanks to Daphne Hunter for taking these pictures!

_hi_6061 _hi_6070 _hi_6073 _hi_6090 _hi_6092 _hi_6095 _hi_6103 _hi_6108 _hi_6112 _hi_6115 _hi_6117 _hi_6125 _hi_6132 _hi_6135 _hi_6142 _hi_6149 _hi_6160 _hi_6185 _hi_6162 _hi_6186 _hi_6187 _hi_6188 _hi_6218 _hi_6225 _hi_6228



Posted in Passive House, Passive Solar Design, Small House Design | 4 Comments

Ecocentric Design moved to Vancouver Island

This fall Ecocentric Design relocated to Vancouver Island!

We’ve moved to Glenora, near Duncan, in the Cowichan Valley, halfway between Nanaimo and Victoria.

We’re looking forward to Building Sustainable Dreams on Vancouver Island!

Find our updated contact info here.

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Is a Passivhaus Building a “Hermetically Sealed” box?

Here’s a good article clarifying “air tightness’ and ‘breathable construction’ :

Is a Passivhaus Building a “Hermetically Sealed” box? – PASSIVHAUS IN PLAIN ENGLISH & MORE.

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New Logo

Introducing Ecocentric Design’s new logo…

Ecocentric Design New Logo

The new logo of Ecocentric Design: Turtle carrying the Sun.

The turtle is a creature living on land and in water, in harmony with it’s environment.

The turtle carries her house on her back, ready to retreat when there is a threat.

The turtle is an indicator species,  sensitive to a clean ecosystem.

The turtle is a Native American symbol for the Earth, as North America is often referred to as ‘Turtle Island’.

Many tribal creation stories tell that Earth was born on the back of a turtle.

Hindu mythology tells of the world supported by four elephants, standing on a giant turtle, just as Terry Pratchett’s Discworld in modern times.

In the far East Turtle is a symbol of heaven and earth, the round shell representing heaven and the square underside the earth.


The Turtle of Ecocentric Design carries the sun on it’s back.

The Sun, pure unlimited renewable energy and giver of Life – without the Sun there would be no life possible on the Earth.

The Sun brings Energy, Happiness and Joy.

The utilization of the Sun’s energy plays a crucial role in the sustainability of our homes, and our society.

“Turtles remind us that the way to heaven is through the earth. In Mother Earth is all that we need. She will care for us, protect us, and nurture us, as long as we do the same for her. [….] We must see the connection to all things. Just as the turtle cannot separate itself from its shell, neither can we separate ourselves from what we do to the earth.”  (Read more here.)

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