No place is more comfortable than a home in the entire world. We want our houses to be where comfort is a priority and cosy spaces. Homes are a combination of comfort and sustainability. When a person comes home tired, after struggling for the entire day, they want their room to have comfortable furniture and enough sunlight and wind. These elements are required to make the areas of a house ‘liveable.’ Implementation of passive design strategies ensures an abundance of natural light and air. The passive design has evolved since the birth of architecture. 

So, here are ten examples of passive design residential buildings across the world:

1. Al Azm Palace, Syria 

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The courtyard of Al Azm Palace_©Dick Osseman

Architectural History is one of the essential subjects of an architecture school. This subject helps to learn from the past and apply it in their designs. So, Al Azm Palace is a perfect example of traditional Damascene House. These traditional houses consist of an internal courtyard that helps natural ventilation through the proper windows opening.

2. Nathmal ki Haveli, India

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Nathmalji ki haveli_©S. Singh

Nathmal ki haveli, a typical Rajasthani residence, is situated in the hot and dry climate of Jaisalmer. The salient features of a haveli, like jharokhas, chajjas, chhatris, jalis, courtyards, contribute to the aesthetic look of the structure. Still, it also has positive environmental effects to maintain the temperature despite the hot climate. The irregular ceiling heights regulate the wind direction. The building plan also clart irradiated heat loss from walls. Along raised wall area of the bumpy building mass scatter a better extent of heat to the sky as consequence stays cooler than a more covenant mass.  

3. Ahmedabad Pol House

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Narrow alleys amidst Pols_©Hrishikesh Dalvi

The growth of the neighborhood of Ahmedabad and the evolution of the historical houses led to apply strategies for thermal comfort and open spaces. The narrow streets are considered beneficial for summers since there is mutual shading amongst the places when the temperature rises. The comfort conditions are both indoors and outdoors. Due to proper shading, even outdoor spaces are comfortable in summers. This Pol has survived for 300- 400 years, and there has been a continuous evolution of community interaction, construction systems, and design.

4. Jacob’s House, United States

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Jacobs House living area photo_©David Heald

This house was designed keeping the principle of organic architecture in mind and even tries to achieve Net Zero energy ideas and passive solar strategies. The L-shaped plan where the bedrooms face the south side and the living faces the west side helps regulate the amount of light entering the house. The gentle slope, the clerestory windows, thermal mass, flooring, all the factors have been considered to make the spaces more ‘breathable.’

5. Greenhouse in Prairie, Navasota 

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The doors and windows allowing daylight inside the house_©Environment Associates

Clerestory windows have always been used to regulate the amount and intensity of light entering the room, which helps maintain the temperature of the room. This house has used clerestory buildings as the strategy for passive design. Eaves and porches have been used as shading devices. 

6. Tehran Apartment Block

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Tehran Apartment Block_©Parham Taghioff

The Tehran apartment is an 8- story building with a façade made of perforated bricks. This façade helped to relate to the urban context and to regulate light. The brick panels on the façade are twisted to create a gap for the natural ventilation. In this block, fluid nature and the glass and brick skin of the facade allow the light to pass through.

7. Recreation house, Netherlands

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Shutters opening to the garden_©Stijn Poelstra

This wooden house has shutters that open up to the garden. The movable window shutters help to direct the sunlight and the view. The spaces are divided by sliding panels to make the rooms bigger and compacted as per convenience. The main idea behind the house is to maintain a balance in temperature between outside and inside. The wooden elements have helped to maintain this balance.

8. Lima House, Peru

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Park Passive House_©Aaron Leitz

The Lima house is a result of the division of overlapping of three boxes which into programmatic compartments. The hollow brick walls guarantee visual protection with abundant natural light and cross-ventilation. The materials that are used provide resistance to the weather of Brazil. Here, the materials like wood, stone, concrete, and aluminum come together to make the house earthquake resistant, provide thermal comfort, and maximize ventilation.

9. Park Passive House, Seattle

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Overlapping of the boxes_©Fernando Guerra

It is the first passive certified house in Seattle. The design has helped to decrease energy consumption by 90 percent. There is thermal comfort as well as superior air quality in the home. The concept of vertical living has been applied in the house, leading to double-height spaces and daylit areas.  

10. Passive House, Belgium

Passive House Blandon_©Liesbet Goetschalckx

Due to the climatic changes occurring in the world, energy efficiency in houses is one of the most critical parameters that has been taken care of. The designers have placed the rooms according to their optimal orientation for receiving natural daylight and wind. The material of the outside directly affects the temperature of the house. Perforations on the wall help to maintain wind relations between outside and inside. Even the stair walls are open, which opens up spaces.

References:

  1. Astbury, Jon. (2019, June 14). Tehran apartment block by Fundamental Approach Architects features perforated brick screens. Dezeen, [online] Page/s. Retrieved from: https://www.dezeen.com/2019/06/14/saadat-abad-residential-building-fundamental-approach-architects-perforated-brick/
  2. M. Sofia, M. Manisha. (2021). Indigenous Architecture of Havelis in Rajasthan.
  3. Gangwar Gaurav, Kaur Prabhjot. (2020). Traditional Pol Houses of Ahmedabad: An Overview.
  4. Martita Vial della Maggiora (2012). Passive House Blanden / HASA Architects. Archdaily, [online] Page/s. Retrieved from: https://www.archdaily.com/904328/passive-house-blanden-hasa-architects
Author

Goral is inquisitive in nature because she thinks that the only way to reach to know the secret of the world, is by asking questions. Since she is a keen observer, noting down her observations has led her into the world of creative writing.

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