I came across an article on ClimateYou that discussed building passive homes. Passive homes are homes that are built to a high standard which are very energy efficient and requires little heat to warm the house. The house is built using very good insulation and sealed air tight to maintain the temperatures inside. It uses solar energy and coupled with a simple wood burning stove, could heat the whole house along with “electric radiant floors,” powered by solar power. The cost of the house is high, ranging $500,000 and up with materials meaning it may not be easy to implement but in Europe there are many already built. These homes work well for the winter but have not proved the same in the heat. If any changes need to be made they must first be presented to a consultant and computer program that then runs it by metrics to determine if the change lives up to the standards of passive homes. These homes may not be the next big rave in construction but it does seem like a step in the right direction.
In a recent article in the New York Times, it looks at the prospect of passive homes quickly becoming zero-energy-use-homes and references Katrin Klingenberg, the director of the Passive House Institute-U.S. in Urbana, Ill., who considers homes as power generators that can produce and then feed electricity back to the grid.