The New England climate puts high performance building to the test for the construction of two Passive House schools in Southern Maine. New construction of the Maine Coast Waldorf High School in Freeport, the first Passive House certified high school in the US, and an addition to the lower school (pre-K thru 5th grade) on the Waynflete Campus in Portland’s historic West End. The design teams will share lessons learned during design, bidding, construction, and certification. They will explain how energy modeling and the PHIUS review process informed the evolution of the building envelope, systems, and detailing. Differences in life cycle cost analysis and integration strategies for key players (client, sustainability consultant and contractor) will be discussed along with challenges of tight construction budgets and schedules.