Midori Haus

Midori Haus is an award winning house that demonstrates comfort and energy efficiency can coexist in an old house. Originally built in 1922, this classic California bungalow was retrofitted to meet the international building standard, Passivhaus, and reduced the energy use by 80%. Unique application of rainwater catchment system reduced the indoor water use by 625 gallons per month. Midori Haus received several awards and recognitions including Santa Cruz Green Building Award, Thousand Home Challenge, Passivhaus Certification, and Bay Friendly Landscape Certification.

Chie Kawahara

Chie Kawahara organizes green home tours to help architects and homeowners experience the comfort of science based energy efficient homes. As a member of Santa Cruz Downtown Toastmasters, she speaks about conserving water and energy at the home. In her prior career, she managed information technology implementation projects. Chie Kawahara received a bachelor of arts degree in economics from University of Hawaii and a masters of business administration degree from San Francisco State University. She lives in Santa Cruz with her husband and enjoys trail running, baking, and playing flute.

Past Speaking Engagements

Partial list of past speaking engagements.

  • Waterwise Conference, Rainwater and Graywater Systems - A Homeowner's Perspective
  • Space Systems Loral Lunchtime Seminar, Planning and Project Management of a Net Zero Energy Ready House
  • Citizen Science Speaker Series at Santa Cruz Public Library, Midori Haus: Our Green Home Journey
  • City of Palo Alto Net Zero Energy Workshop, Case Study: Passive House Path Toward Net Zero Energy
  • Konko Church of North America Conference, Practicing Receiving
  • Building Carbon Zero California, Living In A Passive House

What They Say


"The homeowner perspective/ presentation from Chie was something new to me and much appreciated."

"Very productive way to spend the day. Many thanks. Am now able to make some informed decisions on our home water usage.​"

"Really appreciated learning what a homeowner would do differently next time."

"Case studies were the best part of the day!"


I attended the Palo Alto NetZero House Talk today, June 27th. Your presentation was just what I was hoping for. The City of Palo Alto hedges too much, suggesting LED/CFL or low flow shower heads, etc as “energy efficient measures.” Those measures do not address the major problem of wasted energy. You did! And you did it expertly! Thanks so much. You have inspired me to remodel my 65 year old mid century, energy hog using the Passive House objectives.


To schedule a speaking event with Chie, please email chie {at} midorihaus.com

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