The University of Maine at Augusta Architecture Program will host a panel discussion via Zoom with passive house architects from the northeast and northwest United States.

The panel will take place at 11 a.m. 8 a.m. Thursday, April 22, and coincides with the 51st Earth Day.

The presenting panelists are Stephen Aiguier of Green Hammer in Oregon, Chris Briley of Briburn in Maine, Tad Everhart of CertiPHIers in Oregon, and Matt O’Malia of OPAL in Maine. Amy Hinkley, an architecture faculty member at UMA, will moderate the discussion.

“Given the current state of our global environment, it is essential that the architecture profession address issues of sustainability in the design and construction of both new and existing buildings. Passive House buildings are designed and constructed to be highly energy-efficient,” said Architecture Program Coordinator Eric Stark, according to a news release from UMA.

“These buildings can reduce temperature fluctuations, improve indoor air quality, and make a space more enjoyable to live and work in,” Stark added. “Passive House strategies can also reduce energy use by up to 90% and reduce environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions. It is incumbent that architecture schools teach their students to think and act in ways that benefit our planet in the long term. Understanding the principles and strategies employed in Passive House design should be a significant part of that education.”

Everhart is a PHI-accredited building Certifier and co-founder of CertiPHIers Cooperative. He and his brother Garth Everhart developed and built more than 40 homes in Portland, Oregon, before EnerPHitting Tad’s family’s home starting in 2009 to be 100% renewable electric powered by 2016. CertiPHIers Cooperative members certify offices, high-rise and low-rise multifamily, mixed-use, and institutional buildings throughout North America.


Aiguier is a pioneer of Oregon’s green building movement. He founded Green Hammer in 2002 and has grown the company into a full-service design-build firm known for its commitment to excellence in environmental design and performance. He is a dedicated educator, business leader, and father who has committed much of his life to proving that healthy, carbon-free buildings are the best choice — for a healthy planet, healthy people and a healthy bottom line.

The executive partner and founder of OPAL, O’Malia is an award-winning architect with a nationwide reputation for innovation and expertise in the design of high-performance buildings. A leader in Passive House design in North America and named to Architect magazine’s Architect 50 list in 2018, he is a frequent speaker at sustainable design conferences in the U.S. and abroad.

Briley is a principal architect at Briburn, where he practices “architecture for life” specializing in sustainable design. He is a certified Passive House consultant. He is also co-host of the Green Architects’ Lounge podcast, a participant of the Building Science Discussion Group in Portland, and a founding board member of PassivhausMAINE.

Hinkley is a faculty member in the UMA Architecture, teaching courses on building science, construction tectonics, and design research. A practicing architect, Hinckley’s professional work evidences a commitment to sustainable construction methodologies and building systems, as well as larger issues of landscape, site and community. Issues of environmental and ecological sensitivity are deeply grounded in both her design and teaching ethic.

The event is open to the public, but registration is required via For more information, contact Emily Pettengill at [email protected] or 207-621-3582.