Posted by: ecodestination | March 26, 2009

Passive houses will rock you green

The gorgeous prefabricated WeberHaus Passive House

The gorgeous prefabricated WeberHaus Passive House

This is one of the most amazing things I have ever known about – if you live in Germany or Scandinavia, you could be living in a house that keeps you comfortable without heat or AC, no matter the temperature. You’d be saving more energy (and money) than you’d know what to do with!

Passive houses, as they are called, adjust to temperature. These homes use one-twentieth the heating energy of typical German homes. While architects outside of Germany and Scandinavia are working to achieve something similarly spectacular, barely any passive houses have been built in other countries. So far, these houses cost just 5-7% more to build than typical ones. This system is also being implemented in Frankfurt schools. I am swooning.

The key to the amazingness of passive houses is ultra-thick insulation and doors and windows with complex airtight mechanisms that keep cold and heat from entering and exiting the structure. The house heats up via sunlight, the use of appliances, and bodies! The central ventilation system keeps mold and stagnant air out.

Passive house in Ireland

Passive house in Ireland

“The European Commission is promoting passive-house building, and the European Parliament has proposed that new buildings meet passive-house standards by 2011,” the New York Times reports.

Sweet. And the U.S. Army might build passive house barracks. Who would’ve thought the army would be this progressive? Not me, that’s for sure.

Hey, Obama! Turn the White House into a passive house!

More:

Passive Houses FAQ

Check out passive houses resources and builders around the world

The Passive House Institute US

Promotion of European Passive Houses

Passive House (Passivhaus) Standard for Energy Efficient Design

How to design a passive house in a specific climate

Photos of beautiful passive houses!

More photos (Weberhaus)!!

And more still!

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