Passive design utilizes the natural resources of our world to reduce your house’s energy profile. Many of these passive design principles are most effective when they are integrated during new construction periods, though some of these principles can be applied in retrofit projects.
Image source: passivebuilders.com.au
For new construction, the following passive design strategies are typically used:
- Building location and orientation - harness the natural heating power of the sun and cooling power of the wind by locating and orienting your home correctly.
- Passive solar - heat your home using solar energy without any mechanical devices.
- Natural ventilation - use natural winds to cool or heat your house by properly positioning and sizing your windows or exhaust vents.
- Natural lighting - use natural light to reduce artificial lighting usage.
For existing homes, the following passive design strategies are feasible and effective:
Windows, skylights, and roofs - retrofit or upgrade your windows, skylights, and roofs to reduce energy losses of your home.
Reduced air infiltration - improve seals around your windows and doors to reduce air leaks that can cause up to 40% of building heat losses.