Collection by Heather Corcoran

What is a Passive House Anyway?

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Whether you subscribe to the guidelines of Germany's Passivhaus Institut or you prefer PHIUS (Passive House Institute US) protocol, passive design principles are surprisingly simple. The philosophy looks back to traditional common-sense design moves such as considering the local climate and sunlight when siting a building and using thick insulation to reduce energy waste. Take a look at the following projects and primers for energy-efficient inspiration.

Passive Progressive
Among the first Passive Houses in France, this bamboo-clad farmhouse by the Parisian firm Karawitz Architecture brings a bit...
How Does a Passive House Work?
Passive Houses are built according to a rigorous series of design principles that promote efficiency.
Sustainable Living: Chicago's First Certified Passive House
Take a tour through Chicago's first Passive House built by Brandon Weiss of Weiss Building and Development LLC, with the help of...
Photo of the Week: As a Storm Rolls in, a Climate Smart House Is Put to the Test
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
Near Boston, a Red House Designed to be Green
A teardown renovation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, comes with a mandate for maximum efficiency.
The Greenest Home by Julie Torres Moskovitz is out now from Princeton Architectural Press; buy it on Amazon here.
An existing 1970s house was renovated to Passive House standards of construction, though the north-facing views and...
Orient House (2012) on Long Island was an existing structure retrofitted by Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects to conform...
Little Compton Retreat in Little Compton, Rhode Island, completed by ZeroEnergy Design in 2011.
The interior of an urban passive house by Loadingdock5, located at 174 Grand Street in Brooklyn.
First things first: What's a Passive House? They're well insulated, virtually airtight buildings who must meet strict...
With the challenge of fitting a four bedroom house on an oddly shaped plot, Merer's design aimed to maximize space.
A Sustainable Brownstone Transformation in Brooklyn
How do you make a Brooklyn brownstone more sustainable? First, get rid of the brownstone.
To adhere to Passivhaus standards, the house has a tightly-sealed shell, a smart ventilation system, and plenty of...
The Passive House-certified home features high levels of insulation and high-performing, triple-glazed windows from...
The approximately 1076-square-foot, two-bedroom dwelling was built by architect Bernard Tulkens for his parents-in-law.
The New Home On the Block That Uses 90 Percent Less Energy
A Seattle engineer builds an energy-efficient house with an assist from a prototype smart-home system.
Super Green Affordable Housing Introduces Passive Design to the Masses
Multifamily housing projects that meet Passive House standards are bringing European-style energy efficiency to a new demographic...
A Passive House and "Sauna Tower" Join a 19th-Century Barn in the Hudson Valley
In New York, architecture and interiors firm BarlisWedlick creates an eclectic compound designed to suit a client with an...
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