ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Principles of Passive House Design

Updated on September 7, 2017

Interest in smarter housing solutions is on the rise while at the same time people are becoming more aware of the importance of protecting the environment and finding alternative and clean sources of energy. Your house is the place where you spend many hours each day for many years and even some of the biggest monthly expenses may come from the bills you pay. It becomes obvious that your home is a fundamental issue to be resolved and it makes a big difference on the long-run if you come up with a smart solution. Your home is even more than a bunch of problems to be solved, but a style of living to be loved and enjoyed daily. It can certainly influence the way you feel on a micro level without having you make a conscious notice. So, what can we do to make everyday living a smarter, greener and more pleasant experience?!

Passive Solar Energy

Finding alternative sources of energy is more popular than ever. Tesla is one the famous companies that are doing lots of research and development on this subject. We may have all cars in the future run on electric energy instead of burning fossil fuels. Another promising project and a product that the company is working on is the Powerwall, a battery that stores solar energy during the day, which can be later used at night or even the next day. If you do some research on "passive house design" you will quickly notice that solar panels are already very popular and often used. It's a small investment in the beginning but return in time and further saves energy, so if you have or are building a house, certainly consider harnessing the passive solar energy. Some countries even have government programs that support greater use of green sources of energy and will give some extra benefits to users. The founder of Tesla, Elon Musk is doing much more than passive design, he is sending rockets to Mars and inventing alternatives to public transport, some call him "The Real Ironman" so if you have the chance, find out more about what he thinks about the future.

Work With the Seasons

One of the main expenses in the house often come from heating and cooling expenses. One way to cut on the bills is to simply plan the change of seasons ahead of starting to build and make sure you choose a correct placement of the house according to the sun. The sun angle changes during winter and summer, usually in winter if falls at a sharp angle and in summer it comes overhead more directly. You should double check though depending on your country and how it's positioned on the globe, but it's should be fairly simple to determine. People that work with solar panels usually know every detail so you can consult with them. Place and construct your house in such a way that it receives in more sun in the winter and less in the summer.

Thermal Mass

Thermal mass refers to the heat capacity properties of the materials that are the core of the house, for example, the floor and the walls. If wisely used, it can store heat trough the day and radiate it back slowly during the night. It works best in combination with good insulation and proper placement of the house.


One very important aspect of building a sustainable house is insulation. You have to be very careful about this one because it's kind of obvious and it's been around for a very long time, but a bad insulation can destroy all other features that you implement in your house. Some famous companies like Honda, for example, are making experimental 0 energy houses that are tested to have airproof insulation so you can imagine how important it is to have it done right. The roof and walls that are in contact with the outside ground and base should receive extra attention and a great insulation solution.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Another alternative source of getting some free energy to regulate the temperature of your home is simply the earth beneath your house. At the surface, the earth is changing temperature more rapidly, but if you go deeper it's quite constant and some geothermal systems are able to use that energy to regulate your house temperature.

Cheap, Experimental, Environmental Cob Houses

Cob houses have a great charisma. For many, they are not the first choice for a permanent living space, but some people manage to give them a sophisticated spin and finish and end up with a great looking and yet modern and functional home. In some countries, law regulations may hinder the building process so make sure that you check the regulations before making any serious plans or investment. Even if you don't plan to build one yourself, they are a great example of simplicity and minimalism of natural building and are an inspiration to watch being built, you can find lots of resources on the web and youtube videos of course.

Earth-ships - Learning by Experimenting

If you do a little search on "Earth Ships" you will find some futuristic looking projects that are done by visionaries and environmentalists and are a great resource to learn from, because designing is not a simple challenge. People have learned a lot by trying to build completely sustainable houses that produce their own energy, water, and even a little food. That's crazy right?! Crazy, but awesome, you don't have to live in one, but take a little time to learn more about them.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)