The Passive House

I do apologize for the glut of links to NY Times articles in the past few days, but I just keep finding interesting articles. Here’s one about energy efficient housing that is becoming popular in Germany and Scandinavia. The whole idea is that the house heats itself through what already gives off heat in the home. The discussion of the ventilation system is also great because it describes the genius ingenuity of the system. Here’s an excerpt below explaining the concept of a “passive house”:

The concept of the passive house, pioneered in this city of 140,000 outside Frankfurt, approaches the challenge from a different angle. Using ultrathick insulation and complex doors and windows, the architect engineers a home encased in an airtight shell, so that barely any heat escapes and barely any cold seeps in. That means a passive house can be warmed not only by the sun, but also by the heat from appliances and even from occupants’ bodies.

Link via The Energy Challenge – No Furnaces but Heat Aplenty in Innovative ‘Passive Houses’ – Series –