I've been working on superinsulated houses since the mid-1990s. I designed and built my first Passive House in Knox, Maine, in 2010 and 2011 (see "An Affordable Passive House," May/12 and Jun/12), and since then, I've built six new Passive Houses, designed several more to be built by others, and completed a deep energy retrofit on my own home in Maine that meets the Passive House EnerPHit standard for retrofits.

In recent years I've been approached by a handful of potential clients who have asked me to do EnerPHit retrofits on their existing houses. But in almost all cases, I've declined the work. The sad truth is, it's so expensive to turn a leaky, poorly insulated old house into a Passive House that it's rarely worth the investment. I referred all...

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