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North Hudson home is a stop on Saturday's EcoMetro Tour

The three-level Passive House in the Woods has a rooftop patio and an array of energy saving and producing systems. It is located at 908 Kirkwood Way North on the north side of North Hudson. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson)1 / 2
Dr. Gary Konkol shows guests the rooftop solar panel that provides hot water for his carbon-neutral house during a 2012 open house. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson)2 / 2

Dr. Gary Konkol’s Passive House in the Woods is one of eight homes and businesses that will be a stop on the first EcoMetro Sustainable Living Tour on Saturday, May 31.

The North Hudson home will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for people who purchased a $10 guidebook. The guidebooks are available at Kendall’s Ace Hardware in St. Paul and Midtown Farmers Market, Barbette, Red Stag Supper Club and Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. The books also will be available at Konkol's house, located at 908 Kirkwood Way North, off 10th Street North on the north side of Krattley Lane.

The term passive house is the trademark name for a type of building so well insulated and airtight that it is heated mostly by the sun. Konkol’s home, completed in the fall of 2010, has thick exterior walls and insulation, high-performance windows, solar-energy systems and no furnace.

The self-guided EcoMetro Tour is sponsored by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society. Tour participants can choose to visit any or all of the eight sites that also include farms in Afton and Shafer; homes in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Roseville; and the Tiny Diner restaurant in Minneapolis.

Konkol’s house is the only Wisconsin stop on the tour.

“Sites showcase smart design choices, cutting-edge building techniques and on-site renewable energy systems that tackle the challenges presented by our cold winters and hot summers,” said Laura Burrington, managing director of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society.

“Site owners and contractors at each site will explain projects’ technical and financial aspects. Hosts will also help guests figure out the next steps to make their own life, home and business more sustainable,” Burrington said.

She said the people who live and work in the buildings make the effort to embody a sustainable lifestyle in their daily actions.

For more on the tour, go to or Questions can be addressed to Burrington at