High Performance SIP Retreat Lutsen MN

Location: Lutsen, MN

Project Information

Project Type: Residential, < 3,000 sq. ft.
Manufacturer: Energy Panel Structures
Builder: Taiga Design+Build
Design Professional: Taiga Design+Build
Year Built: 2022


High Performance: Yes
HERS/EUI Index Score: 10
ACH50 - Blower Test Results: 1.5
CO2 lbs./sq.ft./year:

Awards/Certifications: Building Excellence Awards

BEA: 2022 Honorable Mention High Performance Homes Under 3,000 sq. ft.

This private second home and basecamp for local skiing and biking, selected SIP panels due its minimal thermal bridging, allowing net zero operation of home. 

The goal of this project was to produce a year round retreat that produced more energy than it consumed. Perched on a cliff above Lake Superior, the 180 degree southern exposure allowed solar panels to be installed, sized to produce more power than the house would consume. An existing pond on the property was utilized for a geo thermal heat pump system for heating of domestic and hydronic heating of home. SIPs allowed us to expedite construction, and their inherent structural properties came in key in the glass filled walls facing a lake where winds often exceed 80 mph. 

The energy savings from utilizing SIP panels, combined with triple pane windows, allows the net-zero infrastructure design to function smoothly even in the frigid MN winters.

Wall thickness: 6.5" Neopore
Roof thickness: Trussed and vented, R-60

Pond based heatpump for heat and domestic hot water. HRV in each wing of cabin

Tri Pane Kolbe AL windows perform at U factor of .17 for direct set and .21 for Tilt Turn units. Rain Screen installed under Cypress sou sugi ban charred siding. Walls at R-26 roof at R-60 (cold roof, vented with closed cell sprayfoam.

Energy Star certified appliances, all LED lighting, Dark Sky compliant exterior fixtures, passive solar design, super insulated slab (R-40) for heat sink. Low flow plumbing fixtures.

Solar array provides appx 9.6kW.

All interior finishes feature low VOC finishes on walls and slab stain.


Affiliated Members

Energy Panel Structures, Inc.
Graettinger, IA


SIPA Website Sponsors