In Memoriam, Monte Paulsen

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We are heartbroken to report that Monte Paulsen passed away on June 22. Monte was a pillar of the Passive House community; an articulate educator; and a brilliant, unique, warm, and loving person. It’s hard to overstate Monte’s influence not only within the Passive House community and for the Accelerator (where he served as one of the first advisors), but the sustainability movement as a whole. He was a leader, a mentor, and an inspiration to us all; and his willingness to share his knowledge, expertise, and humor with others was part of what made him a guiding light. 

It should come as no surprise to those who knew Monte that he was one of the driving forces behind the Global Passive House Happy Hour, which began in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than just being a place where we could learn from one another and share our experiences on projects, he wanted to create a space where the Passive House community could connect on a personal level. The happy hour would eventually evolve into the Passive House Accelerator LIVE! programming that exists today, but it was far more than just an educational resource during the spring of 2020. For many people, it was a refuge and a source of consistency at a time when the world seemed to be coming apart, and we have Monte to thank for creating that sense of stability and community.

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We think it’s also important to share that one of Monte’s most recent projects exemplifies his work as a building scientist and his compassionate nature. As founder of the Climate Ready Buildings Group, he had been working with Leona Humchitt, an elder from the Heiltsuk First Nation based in Bella Bella, British Columbia, and Marcel Studer of the Econ Group to develop what is known as the Haíłzaqv Passive House Kit. The kit consists of an assembly guide and all the components needed to create a Passive House, which had been designed in close cooperation with the Heiltsuk First Nation community. The lumber for the kit house is being harvested and milled locally by the Heiltsuk, enabling the band to once again construct their own homes with their own labor and return to their role as master builders. The first kit house will be built this year. They plan to build hundreds in the future.

We will be honoring Monte at this Wednesday’s event, and we plan to have an additional event this fall solely dedicated to celebrating Monte’s life. As of now, our thoughts are with Monte’s family, particularly his sons Seamus (19) and Galen (16).

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