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This is not in our comfort zone AT ALL...but we thought we had a unique opportunity with this house to make some educational content. Guided along by our good friend (and collaborator on this video-series project) Andy Pease from In Balance Green Consulting, we made a video series documenting different assemblies and aspects of this build. Stay tuned for more!

For blog posts accompanying these videos, head over to


Let's start at the beginning...

This site required more excavation and infill than we thought (shout out to SLO and its clay soil!) but we got that done and brought in some cool new (to us) products to complete the slab install. Andy Pease from In Balance Green Consulting helps us stay on topic in this short vid.


Framing done...Time to wrap the house! This can be done in a variety of materials as long as it is done right. Two of us wrapped this house in a couple of days, including exterior insulation, with a little goofing around and a lot of John Prine. It's not a terribly hard step, but it is a wicked important step.


GLAVEL is a recycled glass aggregate product out of Vermont that doubled as our gravel layer AND our under-slab insulation. With an R-1.7 per compacted inch, it worked well to provide us the insulation we needed. It also was super easy to lay down. Two of us opened the bags, spread it out with a rake/shovel (well for the first go…then we realized it might be smarter to dump the bags using a machine ;) and then used a compactor to finish it up. This stuff is super light and feels like pumice stone, but once compacted makes a strong structural base. Recycled products make us feel groooovy!


***we pay for all of our products and like to give a shout out when something works well for us. No endorsements here. Just spreading the knowledge.



We start our building process by making a wall assembly mock-up on site. It helps us to practice our joints and junctions and allows the subs to see how our airtightness will work. The best feeling is coming back to the site and seeing others studying it to get the wall done right! For San Luis Obispo, a rain screen assembly is an awesome choice. The wall will get wet, so we have to give it room to shed that water. Careful planning of this assembly ahead of time made for quick execution on site!



Windows...The eyes to the world and the pains in our butts. It's so important in Passive House construction to not sacrifice our views and daylighting for airtightness and performance. High quality windows let there be a balance and allow us to highlight the reason that a client bought a property in the first place. And they are just freakin' nice to work with. 


Exterior Insulation a.k.a. our puffy jacket on this house provides us with a lot of benefits. Comfort, temperature regulation, and sound attenuation are just a few. Special thanks to Andy Pease for walking us through the psychrometric chart to help illustrate just how much this simple step (it took us about 3 days with a crew of 2) can boost the efficiency of the home. Right on.


When you learn that there is a better product out there for the big three (people, planet, profit) you've got to use it. It just so happens that the process to use this product was also easy and felt much safer than being covered in foam. For the Bishop House we used inch and a half Gutex Multitherm to wrap the entire exterior of our conditioned envelope. Definitely worth a look!

***we pay for all of our products and like to give a shout out when something works well for us. No endorsements here. Just spreading the knowledge.


When constructing an airtight home, transitions are the spots that will make or break the project. In typical construction, theses are the places that could turn an otherwise comfortable home into an oven or an ice box. As tedious as these details may be, they are crucial for achieving that continuous insulation and airtight boundary. In this video we will also discuss one thermal bridge we do have and our reasons for it. It's time to transition to a smarter way of building!


***we pay for all of our products and like to give a shout out when something works well for us. No endorsements here. Just spreading the knowledge. 



AIA Santa Barbara, in conjunction with AIA San Luis Obispo, hosted us for their Hard Hat Tour. We got to bring a bunch of architects through our job site virtually and dispel some myths about Passive House. Way Cool. 



The Bishop Passive House is a one-story 2400 sq ft project seeking PHI Certification on the Central Coast of California (peep the sunny views). We got the opportunity to share this video at the North American Passive House Network conference, and it was pretty surreal to see ourselves up there! Excited to finish this project and continue the Passive House momentum in California.


Check out to learn more about the movement!

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