• Saturdays – Zionsville Farmers Market
  • September 2 (Wed) Ghost Walk Actor Auditions
  • September 12 (Sat) Lions Club Fall Festival Parade
  • September 11-13 (Fri – Sun) 62nd Annual Zionsville Fall Festival in Lions Park
  • September 19 (Sat) Village Picnic
  • September 26 (Sat) Village Garden and Gourmet Society gathering 

President’s Letter

Hello neighbors,

Thank you to Ralph Stacy and to all who attended the August meeting.  We learned much about the Century Structures program and the Historical Society.  I believe Ralph heard from 5 or 6 people interested in pursuing the process of their house being recognized as a Zionsville “Century Structure.”

Our next regular meeting is the Annual Meeting on October 13 but, in the meantime, we have the Village Picnic to look forward to on Saturday, September 19 starting at 5pm at the residential end of Main Street.  The picnic is sponsored by the VRA but is open to anyone who lives in the village regardless whether they are members.  We will provide the burgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs and water.  Please contribute with a side dish or dessert.

Have a great Labor Day and I’ll hopefully see you at the Fall Festival and the Picnic!


Village News and Events

SullivanMunce Cultural Center is pleased to announce the return of one of its most popular events – the 13th Edition of GhostWalk – October 9 and 10, 2015.

GhostWalk is a 45-minute guided walking tour of the historic village of Zionsville, IN where guests stop at up to 7 different vignettes to experience reenacted ghost stories from Zionsville’s past. GhostWalk tours run every 15 minutes from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. both nights. Tours leave from the front lawn of SullivanMunce Cultural Center, located at 225 West Hawthorne Street in Zionsville.

Volunteer to be a tour guide, sentry or an actor! No acting experience is necessary, this is a family friendly community event and you’ll get all the training you need. Tour guides and sentries can work one or both nights but actors need to commit to performing both nights. Call SullivanMunce Cultural Center at 317-873-4900 to volunteer as tour guide or sentry. Actor auditions will be held Saturday, August 29, 1 pm – 3 pm and Wednesday, September 2 from 6:30 pm – 8 pm. Don’t be shy! We’d love to have you haunt the town with us.


Passive House Architects Offer Advice for Home Efficiency

by Heather Lusk

You’ve likely seen the construction over the past year of a new house on Cedar Street, just east of 6th Street. Passerby paused to read the sign posted in front explaining what a Passive House is and its focus on energy efficiency.

The Passive House designation is a rigorous energy standard that began in Germany and is the pinnacle of home energy efficiency. Once the house receives the designation it will be among 92 in the U.S. to meet this criteria.

The house has passed it’s final hurdle – in mid-June a blower door test showed that the house measured .38 air changes per hour at 50 pascal building pressure, with 7.0 being “to code” in Indiana. In layman’s terms this pressurizes and depressurizes the home to check for the amount of air leakage, and the house passed with flying colors.

To achieve energy efficiency, a key to building a Passive House is insulation – ensuring that no air comes in or escapes through nooks and crannies. The other key is the indoor ventilation system. The home will be consistently supplied with fresh air while stale air is exhausted. As the incoming air passes the outgoing air through a duct system, the new air is heated in the winter by the stale air leaving the home. This helps reduce the cost of heating the fresh air. This is reversed in the summer, with sunshades providing protection for the south facing windows that help to heat the home in the winter.

Dan Porzel’s Cedar Street Builders constructed the house in which Porzel and his family now live. He estimates that it will cost roughly $140 annually to heat his home and less than $50 a year for cooling. While he estimates that it costs roughly 15 percent more to build a Passive House, the higher building costs are offset by the decreased utility bills in the future.

“The whole thing is built on setting the construction numbers,” said Cara Weber, architect for the building. She emphasized that the sizing of the house is also important, considering the minimum number of square feet needed.

“People building today probably don’t realize they can do this,” Dan Porzel said.

But building new isn’t usually the most sustainably-minded option according to Weber. “Historic preservation, reuse and adaptation of existing structures should always be considered the first option,” she said.

“Let’s build things better, let’s make them sustainable,” said Weber. “We hope it incites good conversations.”

Weber offered some tips to ensure older homes are as efficient as possible:

  • Consider the site and sun in terms of window treatments. Putting sun shades / louvers on the exterior will both shade the windows and block unwanted heat gain before it enters the building.
  • Strategically placing deciduous trees can block summer sun while allowing winter sun to add heat when you need it.
  • Insulate, insulate, insulate! Remember the basement, crawl space, roof, exterior walls.
  • Study all elements of your home’s envelope in terms of insulation and if any are inadequate get quotes or implement DIY improvements.
  • Replace old or worn insulation as needed.

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