What Mike does

November 28, 2014 • Posted in Blogroll, Mike Knezovich, Mondays with Mike, Uncategorized, writing by

The success of our “Mondays with Mike” feature has a lot of you blog readers wondering: what does my husband Mike Knezovich do for a living? An online article in the Chicago Tribune helps explain. (The print piece is scheduled for Sunday.)

Katrin Klingenberg is featured in a Tribune article about passive house and PHIUS.

Katrin Klingenberg is featured in a Tribune article about passive house and PHIUS.

The Tribune story profiles architect Katrin Klingenberg, co-founder of a non-profit called Passive House Institute U.S. That’s where Mike works, but we usually refer to it as PHIUS.

I’ve written here before about how Mike met Katrin, and now this excellent short piece in the Tribune explains what Passive House is:

“Passive house” is a concept based on a set of design principles used to create buildings that use minimal heating/cooling, employing elements such as thick insulation, energy-recovery ventilation, high-performance windows and a steady supply of fresh air.

Born in Germany, Katrin had seen Europeans applying passive principles to buildings for decades. “But their principles only applied to the European temperate climate,” she told the Tribune reporter, explaining how she’d applied it to America’s extreme temperatures.
PHIUS started in 2007 and has already trained 2,000 architects, engineers, builders and energy raters. It’s certified 129 buildings, with many more in the works.

Now, PHIUS works with policymakers to get passive-house principles into local building codes.  They’re working with the U.S. Department of Energy on the next generation of climate-specific passive-building standards, too — those standards will be much more energy-efficient than the current International Energy Conservation Code. Katrin told the reporter that we absolutely must solve the climate crisis. “Energy-efficient buildings do make a difference,” she said.

As Director of Communications, Mike
helps get the word out via the Web, Social Media, trade and general interest press, and the organization’s annual conference. This article — which includes what Mike tells me is a terrific photo of Katrin — will help those efforts. Give the article a read yourself, and don’t miss the extra Q&A with Katrin at the end.

violynn333 On November 28, 2014 at 10:57 am

Cool! Can’t wait to read it in the Trib. Happy Thanksgiving, guys!

bethfinke On November 28, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all, too.


Mary Rayis On November 29, 2014 at 10:56 am

Looking forward to that article, Beth. And I took your advice and “friended” Mike on Facebook!

Judy Spock On November 29, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Thank you, Mike and Beth! Judy Spock

bethfinke On November 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm

You’re welcome, Judy Spock!


Sara Slawnik On November 30, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Hi Beth and Mike — always great to read your threads here. (if my name doesn’t register, we’re also friends with Janet/Jim and all six of us have hung out before at their house and etc.) Anyway, I was glad for the reminder of Mike’s work since I’d forgotten. But then I thought of him when I came across this article in the NYT. I’m sure he knows about already through PHIUS but thought I’d share here for any others interested, since so close to Chicago. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/27/garden/walter-white-would-not-be-welcome.html?ref=garden

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