Homes of the Future: Essential Considerations when Building a Passive House

Since modern society is constantly trying to come up with innovative ways to preserve our living environment, it comes as no surprise that passive houses started to receive a lot of attention. This elaborate design became popular not only due to its minimal effect on the environment but also due to the fact that building and living in such a house will bring you numerous benefits.

homes of future passive house
Photo by Ralph Kayden

However, before we dive any deeper into the matter, we must first discuss what a passive house is. Simply put, a passive house is a building structure that has extremely low energy needs. Thanks to careful positioning and planning, this type of houses mostly relies on the natural elements, especially when it comes to heating and cooling. That said, let’s see what are some of the essentials you need to keep in mind when building a passive house.

homes of future passive house
Photo by Vivint Solar

Where Does the Efficiency Come From?

In order to fully understand how a passive house works, you need to know more about the structure itself. Basically, these houses are built to mimic the performance of a thermos bottle. Simply put, they are designed in such a way that they don’t waste the conditioned indoor air thanks to excellent all-around insulation. When it comes to insulation, don’t only think about wall insulation. Instead, try to also focus on sealing any possible air leaks with insulating triple-pane windows and air-tight doors. Aside from these, you will also need to install an efficient air quality system to ensure that your indoor air doesn’t reach unhealthy levels.

How to Choose the Best Location?

When choosing a building site for your passive house, you will need to take a few things into account. First, make sure you know how the sun is moving throughout the day at that specific location. This will help you determine how to position your house. Ideally, if you are in the northern hemisphere, the majority of your house should be facing south. This way, you will ensure maximum benefits from this natural resource, which will reduce the need for artificial light and temperature control. That’s why these houses are an excellent choice for people who like to be more environmentally sustainable.

homes of future passive house
Photo by Anthony DELANOIX

What are Integrated Utilities and Why are They Important?

In a passive house, you can expect to find so-called service zones. These are the places integrated into the wall design that will serve for running plumbing, regulators and electrical lines. Since this way, your entire utility system will be grouped in a single spot, it will be much easier to access it and conduct any necessary repairs. Most homeowners also prefer to take everything a step further and look for a better home insurance policy that covers any potential household damage. Of course, since the majority of utilities will be grouped together, any damages that may happen to arise will be more easily contained.

How to Layout the Rooms?

Room layout is another important thing you need to consider. Most commonly, a passive house will have all of its “wet rooms” grouped in one area of the house, no matter how tall or wide it is. So, Bathrooms, kitchens, utility and laundry rooms will be placed either side-by-side, on top of each other or back-to-back. This way, all of your plumbing will be contained in a single area of the house which will come in quite useful in case something happens to go wrong. Not only that, but a smaller plumbing system will guarantee reduced energy waste, thanks to reduced heat losses. Similarly, common areas and living rooms should be grouped mostly to the part of the home that experiences the most natural light, while bedrooms can be grouped on the “darker” side of the house.

homes of future
Photo by Lex Photography

What About the Design?

Finally, the design of a passive house can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it. Of course, keep I mind that a house that’s more compact will perform better than the scattered one. The interior design will entirely depend on your personal preferences and style. Of course, sustainable and eco-conscious interior design might be the perfect choice for such a space as it will perfectly foster the green vibe throughout your living space.

Trying our best to preserve our natural environment will simply never go out of style. Since most of us are constantly looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, passive hoses come as the perfect solution. So, if you are about to build your forever-home, consider going passive. Not only will you reduce the impact your household will have on our environment, but you will also enjoy numerous benefits such a structure brings.

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