The Artisans Group, an architecture firm based in Washington State recently designed a passive family home in the Northwest region of the country. To build this passive house, the architects used a number of systems, as opposed to technologies, which resulted in an energy efficient, sustainable and energy star rated home.

The house is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, single story home, designed for a family of four. The designers were careful to offer a good sense of privacy for all occupants, while they also made sure the house doesn’t disturb the natural environment in too harsh a way.


To make the house so extremely energy efficient, the builders relied heavily on high levels of insulation, as well as making sure the entire structure was airtight. The house was also fitted with custom made European windows and doors made by Zola. They used the Zola thermoplus clad line, which has an insulation rating of R-11, due to the triple glazing and the fact that the windows are thermally broken with a layer of patented German Purenit®.


The designers were also striving to maximize the amount of natural daylight that enters the house, which was achieved by installing both tilt and turn, as well as fixed windows in the living and dining area of the house. The house also features a terrace door that connects it seamlessly to the outside world.


According to the architects, the house is capable of heating itself in the dead of winter with less energy than it takes to run a hair dryer, while sacrificing none of the creature comforts of living in a standard house. Even though the house is not capable of producing enough energy for its own needs, the heavy insulation and airtight construction still ensure that it is very energy efficient. So far, the house has received the Energy Star certification, as well as a Built Green 4 star rating.