written by:
January 20, 2014
Passive heating and cooling are both cost-efficient measures that ease a new residence's burden on the earth. From super-green homes to certified Passive Houses, here are six great examples of the genre.
Passive house green architecture in Rhode Island by Zero Energy Design

South-facing windows, bedrooms situated at each end of a simple gabled structure, and a sleeping loft maximize both energy efficiency and an open, airy feeling in this Rhode Island vacation home by ZeroEnergy Design. Photo by Greg Premru.

Courtesy of 
Greg Premru
Originally appeared in Passive Houses Across America
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Modern bamboo-clad farmhouse with solar panels

Among the first Passive Houses in France, this bamboo-clad farmhouse by the Parisian firm Karawitz Architecture only uses a tenth of the energy a conventionally constructed home does. Photo by Nicholas Calcott.

Courtesy of 
© 2012 Nicholas Calcott
Originally appeared in 20 Modern Home Facades
2 / 7
Sustainable house side view with thermal-mass wall and stilt construction

This house in Chile floats atop a 180-foot cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a 90-minute drive from Santiago and nearly as far from municipal utilities. The residents equipped the house with solar panels, a wind turbine, and a gravity-fed well and employed passive heating and cooling strategies. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Tunquen Treasure
3 / 7
Modern outdoor gated long deck with laundry clothesline

For this rural Ontario home, the owner focused more on natural forces than high-tech gizmos: "To to me there are more interesting things in passive design that rely on the available sun and wind." A 1.4-kW solar array by Sharp and propane-powered in-floor radiant heating from Radiantec obviate any need to connect to municipal power. Photo by Derek Shapton.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
© Derek Shapton
Originally appeared in A Sustainably Built Home in Rural Ontario
4 / 7
R-House, Syracuse, New York

Passive solar design, which promotes passive means of generating and retaining warmth over active—and expensive—systems, is central to R-House’s success. ARO designed it so that solar gain—chiefly from rear-facing windows that cascade from roofline to threshold on the building’s south side—and heat generated by people and electrical equipment warm the house.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
© Richard Barnes
Originally appeared in Project: R-House
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eco house with painted red steel Pac-Clad panels

Unlike its next-door neighbor, R-House, TED wasn’t originally planned to meet the exacting Passive House standard. The building’s green bona fides came largely from four roof-mounted thermal solar panels and a 120-gallon water storage tank that architect Tim McDonald attests would have met nearly all of the home’s heat and hot-water needs. After submitting the proposal, though, he completed a course in the Passive House standard. Inspired, McDonald modified the original approach, ditching the tank and thermal panels in favor of a highly insulated, airtight envelope—the equivalent, he says, of shielding the house from the harsh Syracuse winter with a fur coat instead of a windbreaker.

Courtesy of 
© Richard Barnes
Originally appeared in Project: TED
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courtyard house environmentally friendly

If you ask Thomas Robertson, the difference between actively green houses and his passively sustainable Courtyard House is the difference between “a solar-powered yacht and a sailboat.

Originally appeared in Sit to Be Fit
7 / 7
Passive house green architecture in Rhode Island by Zero Energy Design

South-facing windows, bedrooms situated at each end of a simple gabled structure, and a sleeping loft maximize both energy efficiency and an open, airy feeling in this Rhode Island vacation home by ZeroEnergy Design. Photo by Greg Premru.

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