Fall  Symposium  2015



Diana Ürge-Vorsatz is a Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, and Director of the Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP) at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California (Los Angeles and Berkeley), and has an MS in Physics from the Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary. She has served on the United Nation’s Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change, and led the buildings-related work in the Global Energy Assessment. Dr. Urge-Vorsatz is a current Vice Chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She played a leadership role as the Coordinating Lead Author in the Nobel Peace Prize-winning IPCC report when it received the award in 2007.  Her focus was on Residential and Commercial GHG Mitigation in buildings. 


Allen Gillilard graduated from the London School of Economics in 1974. His career covered the fields of management consulting, software, restaurants and Internet startups until he founded One Sky Homes in 2002. Since then, One Sky Homes has developed extensive expertise in high-performance residential design and construction. One Sky Homes designed and built the first HERS-certified Zero Net Energy new home in California and uses Passive House design principles and tools in all its work.  Allen is a licensed California contractor, a Certified Green Building Professional, an internationally Certified Passive House Designer and U.S. Department of Energy “Building America” Partner. He regularly participates in regional, national and international Passive House conferences and speaks to local building professional and student groups about high-performance building. He leads One Sky Homes’ Design/Build team, which 

focuses exclusively on Net Zero Energy and Passive House projects in Silicon Valley.



Andrew Michler is a Passive House Consultant and writer based in Colorado. He has recently completed the first international certified Passive House in Colorado, which is free of foam and minimized hazardous materials. He writes extensively about sustainable architecture and recently published the book [ours] Hyperlocalization of Architecture which explores worldwide sustainable building archetypes.








Ann Edminster is a leading international expert on green homes, assisting professionals in developing their capacity to create better projects.  Her award-winning 2009 book, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet, is the definitive guide for design and construction of zero-energy homes. She has guided numerous project teams of award-winning zero-energy and LEED Platinum residential projects. Edminster chairs the Green Building Task Force for the US, Canada, and Mexico’s Commission for Environmental Cooperation, and was a principal developer of LEED for Homes. She serves on the Board of the Net Zero Energy Coalition, and director of the Net Zero North American Leadership Summit. She has developed curricula for design and construction of zero net energy homes and is a frequent speaker and teacher on this topic and others at conferences, universities, non-profits, and utilities. In 2013 she was named Affordable Comfort Inc.’s first Woman of the Year. 


Chie Kawahara is the co-owner of the Midori Haus in Santa Cruz.  After being smitten by Passive House at West Coast Green in 2010, Chie and her husband, Kurt Hurley, launched a passive house remodel project to transform a 90-year-old house to the Passive House Standard and succeeded!  The blower door test showed 22ACH50 before the remodel and the first-time passive house builder, Santa Cruz Green Builders, trimmed it down to 0.59ACH50 in January 2013.  Chie chronicled the highlights of the journey in a blog ( and she is writing a book of the remodel from the homeowner's perspective.





Diane Moss is a founder of the Renewables 100 Policy Institute and an independent strategies consultant. She has served as a consultant to several nonprofits, including Friends of the Earth and Heinrich Boell Foundation, as well as to clean tech companies. Her writing on renewable energy-related issues has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Today’s Facility Manager, and Cleantechnica, among publications. She also served as U.S. Policy Advisor to World Future Council. From 2008 to 2011, she served as Environmental Deputy to United States Congress member Jane Harman. Diane is founder of Dima Communications, a communications and strategic partnerships consulting company specializing in sustainability related projects, companies and campaigns. She also served as intern to the Costa Rican Ambassador to UNESCO in Paris. She studied at Harvard University and New York University and completed a thesis program in political science in Paris with professors from L'Institut d'Etudes Politques, 

University of Paris, and HEC.


Graham Irwin, AIA, CPHC, LEED AP, is a principal of Essential Habitat, a Northern California architecture and consulting firm focused on healthy, high performance, sustainable buildings built to the Passive House standard. He has a degree in physics, with additional studies in engineering and architecture, and an extensive background in software development. His firm has worked on numerous single-family, multi-family and commercial Passive House projects throughout California and the U.S. He was a founding board member and vice president of the Passive House Alliance (PHAUS) and a founding board member of Passive House California (PHCA). Graham is actively involved in Passive House design, consulting, promotion, advocacy and education. He is a licensed architect and general contractor in the State of California.





James Bill is a licensed architect, a certified Passive House Designer and president of Impact Architecture (ZIA), a firm dedicated to integrating beauty and the science of deep sustainability. He was the architect of the first newly built Passive House in Califonia. An accredited LEED professional with a masters in architecture from MIT, James speaks frequently about carbon footprint reduction and is an expert in Nonviolent Communication (NVC).







John Druelinger, CPHC launched his career in sustainability in 2009 when he co-authored the first Climate Action Plan for The Evergreen State College in Washington State. He collaborated on community-scale sustainability plans in the Pacific Northwest before moving to New York City and catching the Passive House bug. He holds a degree in Sustainability Planning from The Evergreen State College and

a masters in science from The City College of New York’s Sustainability in the Urban Environment program where he focused on innovative sustainable building strategies and building energy. Now at 475 High Performance Building Supply in Brooklyn, John focuses on creating and enriching building science educational content available (at no cost) on the company’s website:



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.







Katy Hollbacher, PE, a licensed civil engineer, is principal of Beyond Efficiency, a firm she founded in 2009 to provide technical consulting services for high-performance building projects. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1992 and holds a master of science in civil/structural engineering. She is a Certified Passive House Consultant, LEED Accredited Professional, LEED Homes Rater, Certified GreenPoint Rater and Certified Energy Analyst. Katy is passionate about educating clients on building science and best practices. She specializes in achieving a high-performance building envelope, building durability and Passive House consulting. Prior to founding Beyond Efficiency, she spent five years developing and managing Build It Green’s suite of technical information programs, including the Ask an Expert green building hotline and Best Builders technical assistance program. She was also an engineer at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, a national consulting firm specializing in the forensic 

investigation and repair of modern and historic structures. At home in the field as well as the office, Katy has pounded nails, hung drywall and pulled wires on various construction projects.


Ken Eklund is the building science and standards team leader at the WSU Energy Program. He and his team focus on energy code implementation and building science research and training including emerging technologies. Ken has 30-plus years of experience in energy efficiency and renewable energy research, training, demonstration, program development, implementation and management. During much of his career, he served in supervisory and management positions in the energy field. Ken served as a voting member of the Regional Technical Forum of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council for nine years and is the author or co-author of a number of peer-reviewed papers in technical and program implementation areas. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Idaho, College of Law and a BA from Stanford University.


Lizzie Adams, a sustainability engineer, holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Northeastern University, graduating summa cum laude in 2008. She is currently a mechanical engineer with PAE Engineering.  Her professional mission is to keep systems simple and maintainable as 

well as efficient. To augment her previous HVAC design and energy modeling experience, 

Lizzie completed an intensive year-long retro-commissioning class in 2014. This unique hands-

on program requires each participant to retro-commission an existing building. Lizzie identified 

a 19 percent utility cost savings for her 50,000 sq.ft. office building. Before joining PAE, she 

was with Beyond Efficiency where she led their commercial building energy modeling, 

mechanical engineering and commissioning efforts.  Prior to that, Lizzie was a sustainability 

consultant at Umow Lai, a leading multi-disciplinary firm in Australia.


Mary James is a science writer and the author of several books about Passive Houses, Recreating the American Home: The Passive House Approach and American Passive House Developments: Multifamily, Multi-Use, and Retrofit Buildings. She co-authored the forthcoming Passive House in Different Climates, to be published by Routledge. 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 percent of the space conditioning energy use. Following up on this research, in 2008 she co-authored Homes for a Changing Climate: Passive Houses in the U.S. with Katrin Klingenberg and Mike Kernagis. She continues to research and write about low energy buildings as editor and publisher at Low Carbon Productions.



Roger Boulton is the Stephen Sinclair Scott Professor of Enology and Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Davis. He received chemical engineering degrees from the University of Melbourne in Australia. He led the design and development teams for the LEED Platinum Winery and Jackson Sustainable Winery Building within the Robert Mondavi Institute. He has received many awards for his contribution to the field, including the Outstanding Paper of the Year from the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (5 awards), the Faculty Award of Distinction from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC, Davis, and the Department of Viticulture and Enology Teacher of the Year Award on two occasions.




Stuart Bernstein is the global head of the Clean Technology and Renewables (CTR) Group Goldman, Sachs & Co., the firm he joined after graduating from Haas in 1985. He also received his MBA and MPA from Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School, respectively.  Stuart is a trustee of the UC, Berkeley Foundation and of the California Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. He is also a board member of the Haas School of Business as well as a board member of and an advisor to the Berkeley Energy & Climate Institute (BECI). Stuart is a member of the Littauer Society at the Harvard Kennedy School and a member of the Center for Market Innovation’s Advisory Council at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).




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.