passive building design

passive building design

Passive building design is building design that uses non-energized design features to make a building more climate responsive and energy economical. It typically involves a variety of integrated strategies which take into account such factors as climate conditions throughout the year, the position of the sun (azimuth and altitude) at different times of the day and in different seasons, prevailing wind direction and speed, seasonal humidity, and average combined temperature.


Among many ways to achieve energy savings through passive design, are:


  • Aligning the long side of rectangular-shaped buildings in an east-west direction
  • Using a simple house design that minimizes the area of perimeter walls
  • Placing living spaces and areas that are the most frequently occupied during daylight hours, to the south
  • Placing laundry areas outside of interior living space if possible
  • Taking advantage of natural lighting strategies
  • Using the proper amount of glass and window locations
  • Using properly sized roof overhangs
  • Planning windows for cross ventilation