If we want to create a better energy future for ourselves, we need to start being smarter about the way we do things so we don't have to go back and correct our mistakes more. In few places does this apply more than how we construct our buildings. This idea really begins to hit home when families realize how much money they can save themselves. Passive Houses offer a design model that can save people money, allow people to live more comfortably, and help people conserve energy all at the same time.
Often time, When people build homes or buildings, they neglect to take the total cost of ownership into account. People look at the sticker price of the house and forget that the actual amount of money they put into their new home is dependent on renovations they need to make to expensive systems that heat and cool their home, the amount they pay to the energy company, and how often they have to replace things like their windows. Passive Houses take all of these things into account so that homeowners pay a little bit more up front so that they can save money for years to come. A small investment that decreases future costs and raises the value of your new home is a no-brainer.
The Passive House design technique, which is very popular in Germany and several other countries in Europe, emphasizes some great, green technology like an energy recovery ventilator and triple-glazed windows (see more about these in the video). Habitat for Humanity is starting to build Passive Houses across the country to lessen the back-end burden for low-income families that move in so they aren't slammed with extra costs in the end.
If we want the amount of energy we use to be smaller, we have to start by living smarter. Passive House design is a great way for all of us to start making that happen.