Board of Directors
James DonaldsonJames earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and a Master of Architecture Degree from Virginia Tech. Prior to joining Johnson Fain, James was practicing in San Francisco with a focus on high-end residential and tenant improvements during the ‘dot-com’ boom. James’ knowledge of the building industry is complemented with his interest in green building technologies and advanced computer modeling. James has co-taught architectural courses with Scott Johnson at both Berkeley and USC and has been a guest speaker at USC’s BIM symposium. His commitment to green building technologies has led to speaking engagements and leadership positions with a number of organizations including AIA LA Committee on the Environment. He is involved in the US Green Building Council and was a Co-Chair on the Greening Committee for the 2016 Greenbuild Conference. In addition, James leads the Johnson Fain Sustainability and Resilience Lab within the firm.
Mike HorganMike Horgan is a Certified Passive House Consultant and Zero-Net-Energy & Passivhaus design-builder and licensed general contractor in both Massachusetts and California living full-time now on the Central Coast region of California in San Luis Obispo. He’s the founder of Horgan Design-Build, Inc; runs Cairn Collaborative Consult-Design-Construct, LLC; and provides education for builders and architects with In Balance Green Consulting as a construction specialist. He is on the advisory board of the Tri-County Regional Energy Network in California; is Vice-President of Passive House California; co-chairs the Building Decarbonization Task Force in San Luis Obispo; and was named the City of San Luis Obispo’s Climate Coalition Climate Champion of 2019. Combining an academic background in economics, education, and linguistics from Worcester University and Boston University with over two decades of construction experience, he focuses on helping builders and architects transition from baseline practices to designing and building more responsibly, resulting in higher-performance, healthier, more efficient and comfortable homes built to Zero-Net-Energy and Passivhaus standards.
Irina TehraniIrina Tehrani is a Certified Passive House Designer and a licensed architect in California and Bulgaria with over 13 years of professional experience ranging from multifamily residential, commercial and hospitality projects in Europe to ambitious international competitions to highly detail- and craft-oriented custom residential and commercial projects in Los Angeles. She holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia, Bulgaria and a Master of Advanced Architectural Design degree from Columbia University in the city of New York. The opportunity to work with the typology that most intrigues her - the home - brought her to Los Angeles where, shortly after earning her California license Sfumato Architects was founded as a practice committed to design in harmony with place, site and climate, respectful of land and people. In alignment with its founding principles, Sfumato considers delivering highly energy efficient buildings a matter of standard practice and is dedicated to continuous learning, education and advocacy for sustainability.
Sofia SiegelSofia Siegel is currently an MBA Candidate at USC Marshall's School of Business. Sustainability professional and environmental justice advocate, Sofia has served on the board of PHCA for two years, formerly as Vice President and currently as Treasurer. She is a LEED AP BD+C, is Living Future Accredited, and is committed to accelerating a clean electric future that is accessible and affordable for all. Her work with Passive House California is in service of that vision, and is thrilled to be working with this wonderful group!
Christian KienapfelBorn in West-Berlin and raised in Germany, Christian Kienapfel received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Cottbus. Christian came to the U.S. as a Fulbright Scholar and received a Master Degree in Architecture from Virginia Tech. Christian is a principle at PARAVANT Architects and has over 20 years of international experience in the architectural profession with the planning of various building types in the U.S., Germany, Italy, Malaysia and Costa Rica, including commercial buildings, theaters, high-rise construction, religious & community projects as well single and multi-family residential buildings. He has taught architecture, interior design studios and been invited as guest lecturer at various international conferences. Christian Kienapfel is a Certified Passive House Designer (CPHD) and is the architect of Passive House LA (PHLA+) one of the first new construction Passive Houses in Southern California.
Ciryl PetitCyril is a versatile engineer, graduated from a French engineering school, who worked in different industries like railroad, aeronautics, aerospace, automotive and the building construction one. He has always been passionate about the technologies of the future, no matter what industry he worked for. Before starting the company Construction Progress (aka CPHBA), he developed 3 patents while working in Research and Development for the Millet Group, already creating smart and efficient new lines of products fighting discomfort problems and energy overconsumption. Cyril moved to California in 2014. Since then, he has been able to provide his support and expertise to local builders, engineers, architects and homeowners with a green mindset.
Jason ScheurerJason Scheurer has been in the construction industry for over 30 years and as a pioneer in the construction and management of environmentally responsible buildings. He has vast experience as a General Contractor, Project Manager, Project Estimator, and has been in the Energy Efficiency field for over 15 years. He has built one of the first Net Zero Energy Homes (NZEH) in Orange County, California. This home was certified by Build It Green as a GreenPoint Rated home that achieved an astonishing 210 points. Jason’s mission is to first - “Do No Harm” and help teach and educate the green construction industry and the end consumer about the rights and wrongs of our existing building stock and how to make these buildings perform at their BEST by applying House-as-a-System, Building Science and Energy Efficient techniques through the standards established by Passive House Institute, Building Performance Institute, Build It Green and National Comfort Institute. Jason is a BPI Approved Super Proctor, has numerous certifications with BPI, Build It Green, National Comfort Institute, etc. As a “Building Scientist” Jason takes his profession to heart and educates contractors and homeowners towards energy efficiency in residential buildings across the nation. Jason has taken training classes on the CPHD/C course, and is a Certified Passive House Tradesperson (CPHT).
Jay GentryJay Gentry is a graduate of UCLA Business School, attended Fuller Seminary, and served in the USAF (Instructor Pilot). He has over 40 years of experience as a Marketing and Sales consultant to American businesses and has held executive level positions in manufacturing, consulting services, and real estate development. In 1980 Jay founded Con-Com-T, Inc., a sales and marketing consulting firm, through which he has worked with leading companies in manufacturing, IT, financial services, building products, home improvement, and construction. Recognizing the importance and urgency of action on climate change, in 2008 Jay narrowed his focus to the emerging Building Performance Industry. Since 2008, Jay has been consulting with and training contractors to help them gain the knowledge and skills needed to find and win opportunities to make homes and other buildings more efficient, comfortable, healthy, and environmentally responsible. He was a founding member of Efficiency First and is currently on the board of Passive House California. Jay continues to champion energy efficiency and environmental responsibility in the built environment, including retrofits and new construction.
Rob NicelyRob has been working in the construction industry for 35 years. For the last 20 years he has worked at Carmel Building & Design, which he now owns. Carmel Building & Design is a residential design/build firm which has spent the last 12 years integrating sustainable practices into it’s method of building. CB&D has put 25 employees through the Certified Green Building Professional training provided by Build It Green. Carmel Building & Design has built Certified Passive Houses, LEED Platinum Houses, and Houses following the Living Building Challenge Net Zero and Red List Guidelines. CB&D incorporates aggressive sustainable construction measures into every house they build. Rob has also worked with several community groups including the Monterey Bay Regional Climate Action Compact, Passive House California, and the Monterey County Building Council’s Competitive Clusters to create economic opportunities in the area of the sustainable economy. Through Passive House California Rob has helped to organize several educational events to help further understanding of sustainable construction practices and the Passive House standard.
Steve MannSteve Mann is a California HERS Rater and Certified Energy Analyst (CEA), LEED AP+ Homes and Green Rater, and a certified Passive House Consultant, Tradesperson, Trainer, and building Certifier with the Passive House Institute. He has been actively involved in high-performance residential construction, in a variety of roles, including owner/builder, for more than 15 years. His two most recent design/build projects are Net Zero Energy, and are both LEED Platinum and Passive House certified. He is currently working on several Passive House projects as Certifier or Consultant. His former non-profit experience includes President of the California Association of Building Energy Consultants and President of the San Luis Obispo chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Social Media Manager
Hannah McKayHannah McKay is a Certified Passive House Consultant and recent architecture graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. A Vermont native turned SLO resident, she joined the team to help promote Passive House California on social media. She has done build work in Ecuador and Tanzania and is excited to the growing popularity of Passive House and sustainable materials in California.