Sustainably Low-Cost Housing
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 05:04:44 -0700 (PDT)
 Adam Cohen <acohen [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
after adding missing subject line.
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In response to:

Sharon Villines to Cohousing-L
show details May 22 (3 days ago)

I changed the name of this thread from
"Strategy for Affordable Housing" to
"Sustainably Low-Cost Housing" for two reasons:

My group Passiv Structures is a triple bottom line company dedicated to
bringing ultra low energy homes to market at virtual parity with standard
construction.  We are in the second phase of  a five phase six year business
plan.  We have single family prototype buildings that can be completed for
90-100 dollars per sq ft and multi family buildings that can be completed
for less then that.  These buildings use Passivhaus design as their basis
and use a minimum 70% less energy then current energy code.  I will be
giving a talk on the basics of Passivhaus and would love to discuss our
groups goals of providing affordable sustainable construction for all.

Sharon, A triple bottom line company is one that emphasizes people, planet
and profit in it's business plan.  In our company, for example, we have a
1:4 max salary spread, meaning the difference between the lowest and highest
earners in the company cannot have more than that 1:4 difference.  Also, we
put aside 10% of net profits for low income subsidies of our buildings.
 That is part of the people part.  The planet part is that our product
reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 90% compared to conventional
construction.  The profit part is, well profit.

Our web  site is currently under development.  It is not scheduled to be
unveiled until the beginning of phase 3 of our business plan. We are
currently in phase 2 of a 5 phase 6 year business plan to deliver our
product.  Phase 1 was educations, certifications, research and design.
 Phase 2 is prototype construction and performance monitoring.  We are
currently working on our first prototype buildings.  We are actively both
building affordable plans on spec and trying to find clients who want to be
first adopters.

Our long term goal is to demonstrate that ultra high performance buildings
are both practical and affordable.  It is our firm belief that to make any
sort of change relevant in this country we need the building codes to adopt
the performance standards that the EU is using and it is our goal to show
that is doable!

Adam Cohen
Certified Passivhaus Consultant, LEED AP, NAHB Green Professional

Structures Design/Build, LLC
5104 Bernard Drive
Roanoke, VA 24018

Web site:
Check out my Blog:

540.774.4800 (office)
540.989.7062 (fax)

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