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Minneapolis, MN 2017

Certified Passive House Consultant


Image Credit: Newport Midwest

Hook & Ladder Apartments provides 118 units of affordable housing in Northeast Minneapolis in two buildings, one of which is Passive House (PHIUS+ 2015) certified, the other which is standard affordable housing construction complying with Green Communities and Energy Star. The three-story Green Communities building in the foreground is separated from the active railroad tracks by the five-story PHIUS Pre-Certified building in the background. Increased insulation and high-performance windows in the PHIUS building will reduce the sound transmission to building residents in units. Solar panels are visible. Photo copyright Newport Midwest.


Precipitate served as the Certified Passive House Consultant for the Hook & Ladder Apartments. In April 2018, the project became the first Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) multifamily housing project pre-certified in the state of Minnesota, and in the entire climate zone 6A. Energy targets for Hook & Ladder were frequently reviewed with the project team. Ultimately, an efficient envelope with triple pane windows, whole-building VRF heating and cooling system, energy recovery ventilation, and solar PV production enabled the project to achieve pre-certification. This results in a building that not only uses less energy, but is more comfortable and healthy for the people who live there.

The project opened to residents in October 2019. The two buildings, side by side and with nearly identical floorplans, unit mixes and tenant population, will provide a cost benefits analysis of Passive House, both in initial construction costs and long-term energy and maintenance costs. Stay tuned for results of this study.


  • PHIUS+ 2015 Certified

High Performance Elements

  • Simple Massing

  • Triple-pane windows

  • Continuous exterior super-insulation

  • Air-tight construction

  • Whole-building VRF

  • Heat recovery

  • Roof mounted solar array



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