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7 Stunning Passive Houses That Will Cost Just Pennies to Heat This Winter

7 Stunning Passive Houses

It is getting cold here in England, and I’m preparing for the yearly tradeoffs between comfort, carbon emissions and heating bills that are part of living in a house with reasonable but not great insulation.

For the 30,000 or so owners of passive houses these compromises are a thing of the past. They’ve got the comfort, the low emissions and barely a heating bill to speak of.  I’ve looked at the technical reasons about why a passivhaus has a negligible heating bill in the past.  But I’ve never mentioned how pretty they can be.

Here are 7 stunners from around the world!


1: The Hudson Passive Project, Hudson, NY, United States



2: La Maison Bambou, Val d’Oise, France


Fab lad house

3: FabLab House, Madrid, Spain



4: Crossways, Kent, United Kingdom



5: Passivhaus (the original), Darmstadt, Germany


Sweden Round

6: Villa Nyberg, Borlänge, Sweden


Studio Moffit

7: House on Limekiln Line, Huron County, ON, Canada

One day, when I’ve got the cash, land and time . . . .

Which one floats your boat?

Lindsay Wilson's picture

Thank Lindsay for the Post!

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Josh Nilsen's picture
Josh Nilsen on Oct 22, 2013 2:52 am GMT

Hobbit house #1!

Lindsay Wilson's picture
Lindsay Wilson on Oct 22, 2013 8:17 am GMT

‘If one is truly interested in saving carbon dioxide, one might move to a large walkable city, preferably powered by nuclear energy, and do infinitely better than anyone living in any of these things is doing.’

I think that is a valid point by and large.  But it also misses the merit of passive design.  If you compare investments in insulation with nuclear power, or any other source of power for that matter, on a marginal abatement cost curve it isn’t really a contest.  Moreover most (not all) passive house designs (including large apartment blocks) are far more attuned to embedded emissions than conventional designs.

But yes, city dwellers have consistently smaller emissions in the developed world

Lindsay Wilson's picture
Lindsay Wilson on Oct 22, 2013 3:37 pm GMT

That comment is a simple reference to marginal abatement cost curve.  It doesn’t matter which one you find, you will see that when it comes to building investments in insulation are about the cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions.  The reason they don’t happen enough is more to do with principal agent barriers.

As for nuclear, I’m pro nuclear.  And I have a great deal of respect for Hansen’s postion on it.  That doesn’t change the realitiy that there is far cheaper abatement in deforestation, agriculture, builidng efficiency and transport efficiency.  Nor the fact that the power sector is only 12 Gt of a 37 Gt carbon problem.

We have a new nuclear plant just announced here in the UK.  The reason we don’t have 10 more is cost, period


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