It’s official, construction is complete on the first Passive House project in California and the first Passive House retrofit in the nation.  Designed by Lail Design Group and built by Solar Knights Construction, the O’Neill Passive House is an example how to greenly renovate an older home to superior energy efficiency standards.


This Passive House uses the same amount of energy as is required to run an ordinary hair dryer.  That’s possible with superior insulation, triple-glazed windows, airtight construction, passive solar gain, and an efficient energy recovery ventilation system.  Otherwise, there’s no heating or cooling unit.

Owner Cathy O’Neill said the home is “beautiful, inviting, and comfortable,” according to a statement.  The interiors — decorated with a neutral array of colors — features open spaces, reclaimed oak floors, and curated antiques.

Outside, there is no lawn.  The yard includes native grasses and plants maintained by a water-efficient drip irrigation system.

The 1960s home connects two structures with a kitchen breeze way and has 2,400 square feet of space with 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, and a garage.  Public tours will be available October 23-24, when the builder, designer, and architect will be on hand to field questions.





Credits: Solar Knights Construction.