Thorsten Chlupp

Thorsten Chlupp

Project Manager III ARCEE-Research


Thorsten Chlupp is a project manager and researcher at NREL’s Alaska campus in Fairbanks. Prior to joining NREL in 2023, he operated REINA, LLC. as a licensed general contractor in Alaska since 1999, and founded the full-service renewable energy company Arctic Sun LLC. He has collaborated with the Cold Climate Housing Research Center on building and energy projects for many years. He worked as a building science consultant, educator, designer, and builder with wide expertise in super-efficient and zero energy design for cold climates. Thorsten developed innovative methods of super-insulation, thermal storage, and integrated renewable energy systems, which enabled his projects to achieve unprecedented levels of performance. From zero net energy and zero fossil-fuel residences and passive house commercial projects in Alaska’s interior to Living Building Challenge homes among the Aleutian Islands, his work has helped redefine sustainable building in the most challenging climates on earth. He lectures on Passive House, Zero Energy Design, and Sustainable Building approaches throughout the United States and overseas. From 2017 until 2021, he worked as the only foreign technical advisor, educator, and senior project manager for the construction of the Royal Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law of Bhutan. There he helped incorporate advanced building science and Passive House principles into the design and construction of the first ever law school in Bhutan–a 160,000-ft2 campus in the mountains. The law school is now fully operational and has become a showcase for modern construction in the entire region.

Research Interests

Bau-biology, IAQ and healthy homes

Environmental, energy, and climate justice

Embodied energy in buildings

Diffusion open building envelopes

Window technology and thermal shutters

Mechanical systems and automation

Solar design and thermal storage

Professional Experience

Licensed general contractor with residential endorsement in Alaska

Building Energy Efficiency Standard

Passive House consultant

Technical Committee Passive House Institute U.S.

IAGBI certified GREEN build professional

NAHB certified GREEN build professional

Alaska certified erosion and sediment control lead

Featured Work

Installing Exterior Insulation in Cold Climates, The Journal of Light Construction Magazine

Designed and built first NetZero Building in Alaska "The SunRise Home" 2010              

Living Building Challenge Homes among the Aleutian Islands, Alaska 2010-2012

The "Sustainable Greenhouse of the North" 2012 in Fort Yukon, Alaska

Living With the Arctic Sun—Pathways to Sustainable Buildings in the North, Better Building By Design Conference in Vermont

Awards and Honors

Alaska Builder of the Year 2008