PCUN and Green Hammer led the development and construction of the CAPACES Leadership Institute building in ways that:

  1. Met “Passive House” standards, the first commercial or office structure in the U.S. to do so;
  2. Worked within capital funds raised and require no assumption of debt;
  3. Promoted community investment by asking everyone involved to contribute—volunteering labor and/or discounting or donating materials/services—and recognizing their contributions;
  4. Produced a structure and infrastructure that will last one hundred years with appropriate maintenance that, for the most part, ordinary folks can carry out;
  5. Completed construction by October 2012;
  6. Increase capacity in the community which the CAPACES network serves and organizes;
  7. Relied on sub-contractors and vendors who are unionized and/or who support fair labor standards and practices;
  8.  Achieved “net positive” energy generation;

… And was completed with the “Si Se Puede” spirit.

What’s so amazing about the process of building the CAPACES Leadership Institute’s home?


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The CAPACES Leadership Institute is a place of training and collaboration for the CAPACES network where farmwokers and immigrants’ rights movements’ leaders of today and tomorrow understand and embrace the path of the unlikely doing improbable to achieve amazing social change
substantial volunteer labor and no debt
The first certificated Passivehaus office building in the US. High quality construction including:
–R34 slab with polished floor
R43-57 exterior walls with high thermal mass masonry interiors walls
R108 Roof
0.6 Air exchanges per hour at 50kpa
Regionally Produced triple pane windows and doors
Natural ventilation for night flush cooling
High efficiency Energy Recovery Ventilator
Heat Pump for mechanical heating and cooling only when necessary
Living Roof and appropriate window shading

CAPACES Leadership Institute construction slideshow: