Q&A

Q&A: Marnie Peichel, on Affordable, Sustainable Housing

As one of the 2015 Eco-Blend award winners, for her work designing sustainability into an affordable North Minneapolis multifamily unit, Marnie Peichel is finding the balance between family life and city engagement that makes a difference in new ways. Her family uses solar power and electric vehicles. And professionally, Peichel is seeking ways to create meaningful impact by…

How Do We Avoid Ice Dams AND Mold?

Insulation options

This is the second part in a Q&A series with architect Tim Eian, of TE Studios in Northeast Minneapolis, focused on issues of building codes and insulation in Minnesota. See Part 1, about renovating older homes for energy efficiency, here. Q: Why do you think it is hard to get older codes updated for newer materials? Tim Eian:…

Q&A: Tim Eian on Renovations

Tim Eian, TE Studios

I met Tim Eian, owner of Northeast-based TE Studio, at a house demonstration event in St. Anthony Park, and appreciated his articulate, passionate viewpoints about home construction and renovation. I sat down with him for a few hours of conversation, about everything from innovative building materials to progressive politics, from frustrations to hopefulness. Here is…

Q&A With Home Designer Michael Anschel

Minneapolis-based home designer Michael Anschel of Otogawa-Anschel Design+Build (aka OA) led the effort to develop The Minnesota GreenStar building standards, now used in a 7-state region. His has been a long-standing mission to strengthen local housing — starting with a city battle at age 16 around homelessness. Years ago, after being penalized by the city for his…

Q&A: Architect Ron Fergle on Sustainable Materials

Action to address climate change started happening in some areas of the U.S. roughly 20 years ago. Certain businesses started to adapt their spaces, and build more efficient ones, recognizing serious long-term cost savings. Now, gradually, residential homeowners are beginning to recreate with sustainability in mind. The trick for a Minneapolis homeowner – whether pursuing…

Q&A with Xcel: Community Solar Gardens

One of the primary ways that Minneapolis residents can participate in renewable energy in the near future is through subscriptions in a Community Solar Garden (CSG). We’ve written about this option in detail on this website, including the cooperative model being created to include low-income households and focus on creating local jobs. Through a collaboration…

Q&A: Progressive Landlord Tim Springer

Tim Springer owns properties in Phillips and Powderhorn neighborhoods. Since his undergraduate days at Colby College in Maine, he has been implementing energy efficient measures. In the mid-1980s, he was a board member for the Recycling Association of Minnesota and board president for the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society. Those efforts led him to UC-Berkeley, where…

Q&A: Green Architect Alex Haecker

Alex Haecker, AWH Architects

“The greenest building is the building that already exists.” — longtime phrase used in the preservationist architecture industry Growing up in Omaha, Alex Haecker watched a large collection of historic warehouses demolished. It set him on a path of finding new ways to restore, repurpose and recreate older spaces and its materials into modern, sustainable…