The best way to heat your home is with your body.
That’s the belief of the passive house school of eco-friendly architecture. Its buildings avoid the energy-wasting constraints of conventional heating and cooling designs, in favor of technologies (triple-pane glazing, for example) that circulate and regulate temperature without drawing on more than minimal electricity. Minimal electricity can be met by solar power – and suddenly, you’ve got something excitingly near a closed loop. If you want more details, have a look at the Passive House Institute’s primer.
It’s the kind of environment you’d want your kids to grow up in. For Viking House and their German partners, this is more than a hopeful sentiment. They’re working hard to introduce Passive Schools across Frankfurt, Germany – a city that in 2007 decided that all schools and official buildings should be built and renovated to the passivhaus standard.
Image: Erik Charlton