About Us

We’re an Anglo-Japanese-Canadian family living on Wolfe Island, the largest of the Thousand Islands where the St Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario, just opposite Kingston. Kayo came from Japan and met David at Newcastle University in the north of England. After spending time in both Britain and Japan, they moved to Canada together in 2009, and Francis Katsu was born just afterwards.

Kayo has an Architecture degree, and a Masters and Doctorate in Planning, and is a Community Development academic and activist specializing in remote rural and island communities. She’s also been a member of the Japan Permaculture Association.

David works in the Sociology Department at Queen’s University, and researches surveillance in cities around the world – his work website is over here – but he also has a Masters in Rural Resources and Countryside Management and studied permaculture in England under the late and much missed, Patrick Whitefield.

We had talked about building an ecologically sustainable house together since we met, and now we’ve finally done it!

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28 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Andrew Bond

    David and Kayo

    Many Thanks for offering this great insight via GBA. Guess many questions there will have to wait until GBA catches up, but having read start to finish tonight am seriously impressed. Would you be open for a chat re. Malcolm and the teams approach to CLT as we finalsing plans for something a little different in BC.

    PS where are you from in Blighty? Cheshire then Glasgow myself with a fe nights on the Tuxedo Royale…. Sounds like Grand Designs bit you too.

    Andrew Bond
    Alberta

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    1. David Post author

      Yeah, would be happy to talk. My folks live in Hampshire, but I spent most of the 15 years before I came to Canada, in and around Newcastle.

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      1. Andrew Bond

        Cheers David

        I spent a good few happy nights on the revolving dance floor of the Tuxedo Princess! Newcastle often felt very close in nature to Glasgow (my adopted home): same mentality I think. We’ve frends in Hexham so used to frequent the area quite a bit before we emigrated to Alberta.

        So I was hoping to get some feedback on Tomaz, as his name has come up a few times and we are in the process of costing a small cabin development using CLT and passiv-like standards. I know you also used Malcolm and Mikaela (I’ve had fewer designers on commercial projects!!!) but given our design’s simplicity I was considering Tomaz as the project lead: any comments or thoughts?

        Seems we frequent the same blogs and sites: still a fairly limited selection in North America.

        Cheers

        Andrew Bond 780 607 2927 https://ca.linkedin.com/in/andrewbondleedap

        PS: I see you old the chair in Surveillance: we had an interesting perspective on this during the Fort McMurray fires. There’s only a couple of public camera feeds, but it turned out many homeowners had Vivint security cameras and could watch for the smoke, burglars etc. and shared these through facebook. Heck, we just watched the temperature on our Nest thermostats to see if our house was burning (nope!).

        On Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 3:09 AM, Wolfe Island Passive House Project wrote:

        > David commented: “Yeah, would be happy to talk. My folks live in > Hampshire, but I spent most of the 15 years before I came to Canada, in and > around Newcastle.” >

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      2. David Post author

        Tomaz seems technically very compentent and careful. We only dealt with him over engineering drawings for the CLT so I can’t say much about what he can do beyond that. It does seem like we’ve had a lot of people involved, but part of the reason is that this was a bit of an experiment for all concerned… Malcolm wasn’t charging us for his time, for example, because this was part of a process of testing whether and how you could get the basis of a passive house in a shipping container or two from Europe. I’m not sure anyone involved got all the answers they were really hoping for, but it’s certainly been a learning experience. And we’re going to end up with a house that we love.

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  2. ethan

    I’ve been in contact with various CLT suppliers, including Zublin. Zublin put me in touch with an outfit in Bozeman, Montana as their US contact. Did you work through a North American contact for your CLT or direectly with Zublin. Thanks!

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  3. Kelly Fordice

    Hey David and Kayo,

    My name is Kelly and I am a civil engineer studying a masters in building science at Ryerson University. I am working on a report regarding nearly zero energy buildings, and I would like to include your home. Do you have any information available, that you would be willing to share, regarding the annual energy consumption of your home?

    Thanks for your time and consideration!

    Cheers,
    Kelly Fordice
    kfordice@ryerson.ca

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    1. David Post author

      HI Kelly, we have an architect, who is also a building science student already working with us on this, collecting info. I will forward your details to him and see what he’s prepared to share.

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  4. Nick Gazendam

    Good Morning
    I am building a “nearly passive” house. Could you give me the contact for your HRV installer (designer). I can not find a contact for TBC Mechnanical anywhere.

    Thank you

    Nick

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  5. Nokomis

    I replaced the windows and other external wood on my old cottage but do not want to paint them as they are oak and I like the way it silvers in the sunlight but do not like the way it are turns black in the wet, so I used a Masonry and Wood Water Sealer on it (you can get it in any hardware store). This has also stopped the wasps who would ‘snick’ away at the wood and discouraged the masonry bees from making holes in my lime mortar. It is completely clear and you just paint it on. A 5 ltr tin costs about £20. It dosent kill the insects, they just don’t like it and go away. It does, however protect your house.

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  6. Brad Durant

    Hi David,
    I am a civil engineer who has completed the Passive house training and certification exam. My wife and I have purchased a lot and are planning to build our Passive house too. I would love to see your house and chat about your experience. As well, I do some training and education sessions for the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors. Their annual conference is March 1-3, 2019 in Kingston and I will be doing a session on Passive House for home inspectors. I wanted to ask you if you would consider letting a group tour your house on the afternoon of Friday Mar 1, 2019? Could you email me?

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  7. Ricki

    Hi David,

    I’m so grateful I stumbled across this page of yours. I’m patiently waiting for my architect to complete my first Passive house designs and I’m looking at importing CLT from KLH in Austria.

    I would love to know more about your journey thus far, so hopefully hear from you soon.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Ta

    Ricki
    Passive House Builders NZ

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    1. David Post author

      Hi Ricki, there’s lots on this site but it there is anything else you want to know you can contact me directly – dmw [at] queensu.ca

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  8. Lauren

    Hello David and Kayo,

    My husband and I are at the very beginning of our Passive house project. We plan to build about 20 min north of Kingston. I read on the site that you may be able to give the contact info of your architect. I would be very grateful for this info as we are currently looking to take our first steps.

    Best regards,

    Lauren

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  9. David Post author

    Hi Lauren, yes – sorry for the late reply, we haven’t been looking at the blog much recently. Our architect, Mikaela Hughes, can be contacted via: mikaela [at] hughesdowney.ca or mikaela [at] kos.net

    All the best,

    DMW

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