No Furnaces but Heat Aplenty in Innovative ‘Passive Houses’

by Volker Weber

DARMSTADT, Germany — From the outside, there is nothing unusual about the stylish new gray and orange row houses in the Kranichstein District, with wreaths on the doors and Christmas lights twinkling through a freezing drizzle. But these houses are part of a revolution in building design: There are no drafts, no cold tile floors, no snuggling under blankets until the furnace kicks in. There is, in fact, no furnace.

We are not as radical as the houses described here. But we used less than 20 kWh per square-meter in 2008 to heat our home using some of those concepts.

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[Thanks, Richard]


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