Designer builds efficient off-grid Passive House in Colorado

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Twenty years ago Andrew Michler bought a $60,000 solar shack in the Colorado mountains that “immediately fell apart” and inspired two decades of experiments in off-grid living. Today, he and his wife live in the reconfigured shack and he has turned a former shed on the property into an ultra low-consuming Passive House (Passivhaus).

“Passive House is an international building standard that focuses on how to reduce energy consumption in building by about 90% and they did it by physics really it wasn’t developed by builders it was developed by physicists,” explains Michler. “Everything how a building interacts with its environment, the thermal dynamics of how heat transfers through materials, the way that energy is produced in the building, how solar gains come into the building or are avoided in a building so this entire building is basically designed in a spreadsheet.”

The home is shaped in a wedge which helps with passive solar orientation and also helps avoid unnecessary surface area and heat loss. The wedge also contributes to an unconventional open plan interior which includes a hanging net bed.

Off Grid Hideaways
Andrew’s book “Hyperlocalization of Architecture”
Passive House:

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40 Responses

  1. complementarychaos says:

    This guy bagged on his own wife.

  2. debbie boring says:

    He has done some thinking about this. LOL No really some great ideas. The funny thing is some of the ideas were ones that people have used in the past but stopped using when AC and Heat pumps came in.

  3. fritz4345 says:

    Too bad this house didn't have a real architect. It has some nice Frank Gehry like elements but everything is poorly designed and executed. Just look at the tacked on labels on the 2×4 floor boards. That's hilarious.

  4. James Johnson says:

    I'd this legal what ur doing in co it is not is what I was told by zoning that I could not live on my 40 acres like that

  5. First Last says:

    Camerawoman shoots with no stabilizer?

  6. First Last says:

    What you will do during wild fire ?

  7. Lawrence Gonzales says:

    I've bought 5 Acres in Colorado, I live in New Mexico now. So now to get the foundations in. Fantastic video Bud.

  8. Paul Byvtary says:

    If you are a liberal, F off. If you are not, great job.

  9. TyMinnesota says:

    Pretty view. I’d rather stay here in Minnesota where the soil is rich. Big garden.

  10. Ethan Gaines says:

    Very cool house, and video! I love that the house is basically inert in the nature that surrounds it!

    Also wondering… if anyone knows where Andrew Michler got his shoes.. haha!

  11. Gott Gold says:

    plywood. shiiiit.

  12. Nick nack patty wack show says:

    Hello name is Nicholas and i live in boulder co….. I am very interested in your home. As i am soon gonna build my own. . im wondering if i could set up a date i can go see your house and get some critical points of advice?
    .. I really admire what u have done.

  13. backyardjunkie says:

    What is that about!… 'you can't capture your own water'! wtf…………

  14. Прохор Корольков says:

    Hey man, induction stove heats water better than propane.

  15. stedmans4christ says:

    I love this house and builder…what a great teacher he is

  16. Land Wirtschaft says:

    15:17 😀

  17. tal eliad says:

    the 1500 galon is enough for the hole year? how many month are sumer with no rain ?

  18. Dan Sigmon says:

    Great video and subject matter. I enjoyed it so much that I didn't want it to end. The builder seemed like a great guy to have a conversation with.

  19. Robert Jackson says:

    Sold a passive solar house built in 1979 designed by an engineer. He built on a hillside with a cement basement under a two car garage. A three story house with a greenhouse on south side. The heat rose three stories in the greenhouse to a mechanical vent that pumped the heat into the insulated basement that had River rock. A separate forced air furnace circulated thru the rock storage. The heat turned on about once a week. In summer it cooled the rock late at nite to act as a pre chiller as this designer. This was long before super insulation and air door design. We get 140" rain and 30" fog so moisture control is important and. Floor sealing . in 1970's we built 40 houses the contractor bought his lumber package including t-1-
    11 cedar siding. He stockpiled the siding on a finished street. Covered with plasticWhen installed the paint denominated. We sent the material to plywood assoc . we found it created a greenhouse under the plastic rain humidity and sun and moisture denominated kiln dried plywood. They changed storage specs btw we get 60 mph wind storms with that 4" of rain in 24 hours. Road as and foundations must be built in dry season .

  20. Dan Di says:

    Build a rocket stove for cooking and a rocket heater.

  21. Truthfears Guilty says:

    $60,000 dollars 20 years ago for a piece of garbage to live in the wild with bears, wolves and cougars is a lotta dough.

  22. animal mother says:

    cool but rough around the edges

  23. lastfanstanding999 says:

    wow, very cool ! 😀
    i especially like the box stairs and the netting… the view,

  24. ILLFilms says:

    Say "space" more.

  25. Sonia McCubbins says:

    Awesome! So creative.

  26. Not Even Wrong says:

    escape not "exscape"!

  27. Keep Moving Forward says:

    Nice. I would not move to Colorado though.

  28. Chris Black says:

    the way he talks sounds like a hippie

  29. Take the red pill by jack Nicholson faker Wilso says:

    Beautiful. Everything. Scenery building. All

  30. Michelangelo Buonarroti says:

    My big concern there would be the inevitable forest fire.

  31. Ineluctable Smith says:

    One man's meat is another man's poison. I want the Wifi. I want a TV. I love living off grid, but I do not want to abandon the world. I like your house very much and the insulated design. Thanks for this very informative.

  32. Sissyboi Slut says:

    Beautiful piece of country.

  33. Evan Herb says:

    A "canopy" of literally three trees. LMFAO

  34. Andnrew Morris says:

    Donald Judd had a thing for boxes.

  35. peapotter3 says:

    Love the house although I'd want lots of windows in the kitchen.  But very interesting details.

  36. vesa vartiainen says:

    This is the way I want to build my next house.

  37. Jose H says:

    I love the design

  38. Cobden Bastiat says:

    This channel is a lot like Grand Designs…. except NOT irritating as f— 😉

  39. s1Lence says:

    honestly love the place, it's absolutely stunning, but the entire video was ruined for me because of the poor camerawork

  40. s1Lence says:

    why do you say ecscape instead of escape?

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