Randy Hayes


Founder of the Rainforest Action Network, Randy is a consultant at the World Future Council (WFC). WFC, which is based in Hamburg, Germany, is a global forum composed of 50 respected individuals from around the world championing the rights of future generations and working to ensure that humanity acts now for a sustainable future.

Peter Busby

Managing director at Perkins + Will, Peter created the Sustainable Design Initiative (SDI), the framework the firm uses to provide sustainable design leadership on all projects across the firm. Peter's globally recognized design work focuses on sustainable communities and regenerative design. Peter holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Philosophy from University of Toronto. In 2008, Peter was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Science by Ryerson University and in 2011 was named a Cascadia Fellow.

Mary James  is a science writer and a technical editor with the Energy Efficiency Standards Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She is the author of Recreating the American Home: The Passive House Approach and of American Passive House Developments, Multifamily, Multi-Use, and Retrofit Buildings.

For 10 years she was the editor and publisher of Home Energy magazine, which covers building science topics. In 2007 she attended an energy efficiency conference in France and heard about Passive House retrofits in Germany that were designed to save 80% of the space conditioning energy use. Following up on this research, in 2008 she coauthored Homes for a Changing Climate: Passive Houses in the U.S. with Katrin Klingenberg and Mike Kernagis. She continues to research and write about very low energy buildings as editor and publisher at Low Carbon Productions.

Graham Irwin, CPBD, CGBP, LEED AP BD&C, BPI Building Analyst, CPHC, is a principal of Essential Habitat, a Marin County design and consulting firm focused on healthy, high performance, sustainable buildings built to the Passive House standard. Graham was one of the first people in the US trained in Passive House techniques and studied at the Passivhaus Institut in Germany as a project certifier. His firm has worked on numerous single-family, multi-family and commercial Passive House projects throughout California and the US.

James Bill 

An accredited LEED professional with a Masters in architecture from MIT, James is currently principal architect at ZIA, a Marin County firm dedicated to integrating beauty and the science of deep sustainability. His many accomplishments include designing the first newly built Passive House in California. James speaks frequently about carbon footprint reduction and is an expert in Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

Rick Milburn is a Master Builder living in Glen Ellen, Ca.  He built the first certified PassivHaus in California and the first retrofit to the PassivHaus standard in the United States.  He is has been  actively involved in building "Better Buildings" for the past twenty years - Healthy, Efficient, Beautiful.

Rob Nicely
President and CEO, Carmel Building & Design, Inc.
Rob is a general contractor who is focused on building houses that are beautiful and benign.  Last year his company finished a house that achieved LEED for Homes Platinum and PHIUS+ certification.  He currently has several projects in planning or under construction which will meet these or similar criteria.

Terry Nordbye is an experienced contractor who now consults with homeowners and architects to ensure that their building plans incorporate Passive House standards and who trains builders in Passive House assembly and air-sealing techniques.

Kurt Hurley


Hurley earned B.S. in Physics from the University of California Santa Cruz and began working in applied optics and precision instrumentation. Kurt transitioned into the environmental non-profit sector in the areas of energy efficiency, urban water use, and resource management. He recently served as project manager for a residential Passive House retrofit in Santa Cruz completed in early 2013. 

James Wood is a filmmaker living in Sonoma, California. One of James' films, “Crude Impact,” is an award-winning documentary that explores the interconnection between human domination of the planet and the discovery and use of oil. Rick Milburn of Passivworks recently built a new home for James and his wife Jennifer in Sonoma, adhering to the energy efficient Passivhaus standard.

Bill Kelley, CBO


40 year career in construction as tradesman, contractor, designer, teacher, plan reviewer and building official.  Since joining the public sector in 2000, my focus has been on continuous improvement of the local government building permitting process.


Since joining the Marin County Community Development Agency in 2007, I have augmented my focus to embrace the supporting role effective permitting plays in the maintenance of healthy, safe and sustainable communities.


I am an active committee member of California Building Officials and a Past President of County Building Officials Association of California.

Spring Utting 


Spring Utting earned a B.A. in Anthropology from Swarthmore College and worked in health care advertising until 2007 when she left to focus on family and her husband’s growing business, ENU Construction.

Ewen Utting began ENU Construction in 2005 with a focus on high end remodels and development projects. In 2011, Ewen and Spring made the commitment to building Passive Houses. Currently, they are weeks away from finishing the first Passive House on the market in San Francisco, The Equilibrium House. They have three more Passive Houses in the pipeline.

John Sarter 


John Sarter is CEO of Off the Grid Design, a sustainable design/build firm that specializes in carbon zero living and transportation systems. He is also a Managing Partner at Sol-Lux Alpha, the first multi-family, Passive House certified, Net Positive Energy, Nanogrid living and transportation system in California. John will share his perspective on the design and development of the project, lessons learned, and present/future community integration opportunities.