How the Passive House standard helps build a better world

December 16, 2014
Hosted by Shane Wolffe

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Episode Description

Reducing energy consumption through proper design is the most cost-effective means towards net-zero.

The Passive House standard has done the analysis and found how to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by 90% for approximately 10% extra cost.

In this episode Dr. Guido Wimmers of the Canadian Passive House Institute will speak with Shane about Passive House and how the standard frees us from unsustainable practices.

Future Proof Radio

Future Proof Radio

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

Future Proof is Freedom. What kind of world do you want to live in?

Together we can change the world. We must start with ourselves. Then we can Future Proof our homes, businesses and communities.

Many people don’t realize it, but most of our biggest problems can be solved using current technology. I want to help you understand what you can do right now to make a difference.

My guests and I are going to simplify our technical expertise and break down what you can do in your home, business, workplace or community to save money, reduce your environmental impact and improve the health of yourself and people around you. Our guests work in various industries but all of them are here to help you Future Proof your home and our planet.

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Shane Wolffe

Shane Wolffe

My name is Shane Wolffe and I work as a professional engineer with “Green Buildings” in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada, a city with one of the harshest climates that people live in. I am LEED accredited, trained by the Passive House institute, a Certified Energy Auditor and a certified Thermographer. I’ve worked as a consultant, a technician and as a manager for a start-up modular home building company. I've worked in pretty much every building type there is. I've seen a lot of issues but I've also seen a lot of solutions. I know that we can do much better, and if we do, we can build a much more sustainable world.

I’ve been fortunate to work with and learn from the best companies and minds involved with energy efficiency and green building. Unfortunately these companies often have difficulty gaining traction despite their value regarding the big picture. In other words, the green building industry has a marketing problem.

I firmly believe that this industry can reshape our economy and is necessary for the long term prosperity of humans and nature alike. The only way that this industry and movement is going to over-take the status quo is if regular folks understand how green building is of serious benefit to them, and they understand how to do it in an economical way. With this understanding I wrote my book and came up with the idea for my website. We will dive into this world so you can understand how you can help build a better one.

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Episode Directory

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

  • 12/30/2014: The Living Building Challenge Part 2 - Solutions Listen Now
  • 12/23/2014: The Living Building Challenge - The ultimate in sustainable architecture Listen Now
  • 12/16/2014: How the Passive House standard helps build a better world Listen Now
  • 12/9/2014: The Economics of a Green Home Listen Now
  • 12/2/2014: How and why to Future Proof Your Home Listen Now

Eric Corey Freed



Eric Corey Freed is Vice President of the International Living Future Institute, a global hub for visionary programs, including the Living Building Challenge and Living Product Challenge. As a licensed architect, Eric brings over 20 years of experience in helping architects, builders and homeowners use sustainability to improve the design and operational savings for thousands of buildings around the country.

Eric co-developed the Sustainable Design programs at the Academy of Art University and University of California Berkeley Extension, and currently teaches at Boston Architectural College. He is on the boards of the Inland Empire Chapter of the USGBC, Architects/Designers & Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), and Sustainable Stewards, as well as the advisory boards of over a dozen other organizations. He is also co-founder of Architect Exam Prep, providing innovative study guides for young architects.

He was the founding Chair of Architecture for The San Francisco Design Museum and one of the founders of ecoTECTURE: The Online Journal of Ecological Design. He is a regular contributor for Sustainable Industries Journal, Luxe, Natural Home, Metropolitan Home and dozens of other publications. Eric lectures around the country at over 50 conferences a year, and his work has been featured in Dwell, Metropolis, Town & Country, Natural Home and Newsweek. He has been seen on television on Fox News, HGTV, The Sundance Channel and PBS.

He is a founding board member and current Chair of the Coachella Valley branch of the US Green Building Council, and sits on the Sustainability Commission for the City of Palm Desert.
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James Glennie



At the heart of any wind energy project is sound financial analysis and an excellent understanding of the way in which wind turbines interact with electrical systems.

James is the technical and financial lead for Saskatchewan Community Wind, and deservedly so. He has 24 years of experience in the international energy sector. His career began as a financial analyst in the oil and gas industry. He then moved into investment banking in Russia before transitioning, after business school, into the wind energy industry where he has been for the last 14 years.

He is fascinated by the economic opportunities posed by electric industry restructuring and is particularly focused on the financial analysis and the electrical integration, of wind energy.

James has an undergraduate degree in geology and geophysics, an M.Sc. in environmental science and law and an MBA from London Business School. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. View Guest page

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Murray Guy



Murray and his son Taylor launched EcoSmart Developments in 2011 a design build company that specializes in delivering high performance homes. We have just completed our third project an infill Net 0 duplex in North Park of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan that will be our new home. Our goal with EcoSmart is to “Dispel the MYTH that high performance homes cost more” by delivering projects that provide a positive return on investment. Our benchmark is that the energy saving more than cover the interest for any additional cost. Our team recognizes that high performance only comes from people that are motivated and engaged because they are working for a higher purpose. Because it is important to lead by example, I take time to enjoy life spending time with my wife of thirty-four years and three kids traveling, mountain biking, snow boarding, stand-up paddling, kite boarding and windsurfing. When I have time I have been known to enjoy clubbing that little white ball around. Murray is a green building design professional that specializes in delivering Lean Green building projects with over 30 years experience in business management, coaching, training, project management, controls, commissioning, energy management and green building design. View Guest page

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Paul Hanley



Paul Hanley has published 1500 articles on the environment, sustainable development, agriculture, and other topics. He is editor and co-author of Earthcare: Ecological Agriculture in Saskatchewan (Earthcare 1980) and The Spirit of Agriculture (George Ronald 2005). Paul is a recipient of the Canadian Environment Award (2006) and the Meewasin Conservation Award (2014). He has been environment columnist with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix since 1989. View Guest page

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Ronn Lepage CA, CMC, C.Dir.



LEED Homes AP

Ronn Lepage is a Chartered Accountant, Certified Management Consultant, Chartered Director, and LEED AP Homes. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Ronn graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Computers in 1978 and a Masters of Science, Environmental Strategy in 2013.

Until May 31, 2009, Ronn was a partner with Deloitte, Canada’s largest professional services firm. His 30 years of experience at Deloitte have provided him with a broad background in consulting. Over the years he has had the opportunity to serve clients in Canada, United States and Australia.

Ronn took early retirement from Deloitte to start a second career helping people to move to a more eco friendly life style. His company, Vereco Homes Inc, is focused on helping Canadians to build smart green homes.

Ronn is on the boards of the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders Association and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. He is also a volunteer director for International Support for Acid and Burn Survivors.

Happily married with 8 children and 5 grandchildren, Ronn enjoys adventure travel, white water canoeing and anything outdoors. View Guest page

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Sean Magee



Sean Magee brings more than 10 years of experience in environmental science and education to his role as Director of Bullfrog Builds, Renewable Accelerator. Spending three years as environmental biologist studying in the Great Bear Rainforest and the Canadian Arctic., he later worked with communities and schools across British Columbia on a variety of Sustainability initiatives. In 2010 and 2011, Sean helped launch the Orange Drop and RecycleYourElectronics.ca programs on behalf of Stewardship Ontario and Ontario Electronic Stewardship, as part of Ontario’s Extended Producer Responsibility initiative. With a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor in Education from the University of Toronto, Sean has been awarded a David Suzuki Fellowship and Don Galbraith Award for his dedication and innovative approaches to environmental education. As Director of Bullfrog Builds, a program run by Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider, Sean supports the expansion and development of new community-based renewable energy installations across Canada. In 2011, Sean received the Communitas Award, honouring excellence in community service and social responsibility. Additionally, he was recently trained as a Climate Reality Leader by former US Vice-President, Al Gore. View Guest page

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John Norquist



John Norquist currently is the John M DeGroves Eminent Scholar at the School of Urban and Regional Planning Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Also he’s an Adjunct Professor in Depaul University’s Real Estate Program, Chicago. Mr. Norquist is a leader in national discussions of urban design and development issues. Norquist’s work promoting New Urbanism as an alternative and antidote to sprawl's social and environmental problems draws on his experience as big-city mayor and his service as President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism from 2004 to 2014. Under his leadership as Mayor of Milwaukee from 1988-2004, the city experienced a revision of the city’s zoning code and reoriented development around walkable streets and public amenities such as the 3.1 mile Riverwalk. Norquist is the author of The Wealth of Cities and has taught courses in urban planning and development at the University of Chicago, Marquette University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning. View Guest page

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Dr. Guido Wimmers



Dr. Guido Wimmers is the chair of the new Master of Engineering in Integrated Wood Design Program at UNBC. Guido holds a master in engineering and architecture and a PhD in building science.

Prior to moving to Canada in 2007 he worked as a consultant designing and building Passive Houses in Austria, Germany, and Italy. Since in Canada, Guido has been invited to share his refreshing expertise with students of UBC, SFU and BCIT at lectures and has given numerous seminars and talks about the next leap in building technology at forums and international conventions including the GLOBE convention, the CAGBC summit, ICBEST, BCBEC or the World Conference in Timber Engineering.

Guido is one of the initiators of Canada’s first official Passive House in Whistler and has since then worked on Passive House projects all across Canada. He is also co-author of the Passive Design Tool Kit of the City of Vancouver and a founding director of the Canadian Passive House Institute. View Guest page

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