What is passive architecture, houses where there is no heat or cold and almost no energy consumption

  • Paula Roses
  • BBC News World

A machine that measures heat losses.

image source, Getty Images


Passive architecture tries to prevent heat loss from buildings to limit energy consumption as much as possible.

Heat waves, skyrocketing fuels… Heating or cooling a home is going to become more and more expensive and problematic, no matter where you are in the world.

In a few decades, parts of the earth that were used to temperate climates will experience much more extreme weather. The more heat, the more air conditioning, which will result in more energy consumption, which will contribute to global warming and translate into… more heat. A vicious circle in which we are already immersed and that condemns us to disaster.

There are, however, solutions to build buildings that have a lower environmental impact, either because they use recyclable natural materials, such as wood or mud, or because they follow a series of guidelines that drastically reduce energy consumption.

image source, Passive House Institute


Passive house in the Tigre Delta, Argentina, raised on pillars to allow for the frequent flooding of the river.

The latter is the concept of what are known as “passive houses”, which use the building’s own architecture to keep them warm in the cold months and cool in the hot ones, and which can reach reduce energy consumption by up to 90%.

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