Managing a major remodel of your home involves learning various aspects of a construction project: permitting; hiring contractors; clarifying what you really mean and want; managing a budget; overseeing quality, avoiding regrets; doing what’s right for yourself and standing up for yourself. It’s a big job. The learning curve is high and often we homeowners don’t get to apply the skills we learned again.
In this book, the stories of a couple going through this learning curve is told through the lens of a novice just like a conversation with a homeowner over a cup of tea. What they thought they wanted (a brand new house in modern minimalist style with solar panels and recycled materials) is very different than what they ended up with (remodel of a 90-year-old house in the classic Arts and Crafts style to meet the stringent international building standard called Passive House). What caused this shift? How did they choose the contractor? How did they navigate out of overwhelm of green building choices? How did they manage the relationships? What would they do differently? Was it worth it?
This book chronicles the journey by a couple from choosing the location through living in the house after the renovation completion. It wasn’t all about finding smart people and following expert guidance. When expert opinions diverged and they got stuck in analysis paralysis they had to trust their judgment and chose what they felt was right for them. After all, they’ll be living in the house for years after the experts are gone.
"Chie Kawahara is a storyteller. Her book, Midori Haus, tells a compelling story in a conversational style about a couple who wanted to remodel an older home that would use as little energy as possible—and was comfortable and healthy to live in. Anyone who has an interest in green building—doing right for oneself and the planet—will find a friend in this book." -Jim Gunshinan, Editor, Home Energy Magazine
“Midori Haus serves as a journey of adapting, learning, greening, nurturing, and caring for an old house by renewing the house to address current and future environmental challenges. The narrative is delightfully educational – the design process of achieving the passive house standard will be better understood through these stories and conversations.” -Alison G. Kwok, Ph.D., AIA, CPHC, University of Oregon
"The international Passive House standard has gained a deserved reputation as the fastest growing building energy efficiency standard in the world. Unsurprisingly, publications about it have mostly been by and for industry professionals. Midori Haus represents an alternative, introducing readers to Passive House through the eyes of a homeowner undertaking a remodeling project. Chie Kawahara takes readers along on her journey of discovery and remodeling triumph. She makes the process understandable and accessible and readers are given practical tools they can use on their own Passive House projects. There's nothing like a good case study told by the people involved to bring abstract concepts to life. Midori Haus doesn't disappoint." -Elrond Burrell, Architect, CPHD, blogger
"In this delightful book, Chie Kawahara describes the process she and her husband went through to purchase a 1920s bungalow and turn it into a state-of- the-art, healthy, green, Passive House. This account of their experiences is highly instructional for anyone considering buying and renovating a house, and it’s a wonderful read!" -Alex Wilson, Founder, BuildingGreen, Inc.