Natalie Leonard, Passive Design Solutions: Bringing Passive House to the Mainstream


Natalie Leonard from Passive Design Solutions in Halifax, Nova Scotia dropped into our Happy Hour to talk about the challenge of bringing Passive House to the mainstream. As the first certified Passive House builder in the country, Leonard and her team were early pioneers in introducing Canadians to Passive House. Passive Design Solutions, owned by Leonard and Mike Anderson, is a design build firm that has focused exclusively on Passive House projects for over 12 years, working on a very impressive total of 200 Passive House projects in that time, as she has figured out how to address what she calls the “Passive House challenge”—bringing Passive House to the mainstream of homebuilders and homebuyers.

According to Leonard, she regularly confronts a slew of barriers to obtaining buy-in from potential Passive House homeowners, including fear of having to give some comforts up, questions about design aesthetics, worries about new technologies having problems, possible challenges finding knowledgeable builders, affordability, and perhaps the most fundamental question of all, What is Passive House? Find out how Leonard has tackled all of these barriers, including her differentiated tactics for wealthy homebuyers and ecofriendly prospects on a budget, and get some incredibly practical lessons in building in cold climates by listening here.