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Passive Homes: A Trend Or A Lifestyle?

How Passive Houses Perform Through The Seasons

Choose Your Passive House Adventure

How Will A Passive Home Define You?

There has been a lot of chatter about these homes that are being called “Passive” but what does that mean? No, it doesn’t mean that they are quiet and remain inactive. Actually, it’s the opposite! A Passive Home is built and engineered to heat and cool itself - that is where the word ‘passive’ comes into play. In this age of sustainability and energy efficiency, Passive Homes are built to be Net-Zero. (We will talk about that later.) So, where did it all start? 


Traditional Passive Homes

Most of the first homes built were indeed Passive! The materials for modern insulation weren’t discovered yet. So, our ancestors had to rely on the sustainability and energy efficiency of the natural materials they had around them.

In southern China, the climate required cooling rather than heating. To build passively would keep their homes protected from the muggy heat outside. The ancient Chinese would build their homes inside the earth to create soil dwellings, this would insulate the home naturally - keeping it cool.

In Iceland, it’s a different story. They required houses to protect them from the harsh winter weather to keep them cozy in their homes. From the middle ages, the Icelandic folk used turf as building materials for their roofs to help with insulation, due to the wood shortage from deforestation.

In North America, engineers built a series of “super-insulated” homes in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Using this technique, the engineer’s goal was to provide an air-tight seal. This was the beginning of the low-energy concept and Passive Home designs in Europe.

Now, the only difference between these traditional Passive Homes and the modern houses that we build and engineer today is using high-performance windows, improved air quality and air-tightness, and being sustainable with Net-Zero technology. Let’s dig in!


What It Means To Be Net-Zero

The definition of Net-Zero is simply this; a home that produces and consumes the same amount of energy so that your energy bills ‘Nets Zero’. So, how do we get there? Each home will be different in how it can be passive and use the energy sources around it. However, we are lucky to live in the Okanagan region. Kelowna, BC, receives 304 sunny days a year. Why not harness that energy to help power your home through the mild winter months? Installing solar powers is one of the most common ways to start building your Net-Zero home!

Speaking of our mild winters, the temperatures rarely go below -14 degrees Celsius and during the summer months, it can rise to 35 degrees Celsius. The weather trends in the Okanagan are predictable for the four seasons. This is the perfect environment for a Passive Home! 

The other factors to consider are installing a high-efficiency HVAC system to regulate airflow, appliances that won’t consume high amounts of power, and other smart electrical devices to help keep your energy usage down. But what other advantages are there to building a Passive Home? Let’s talk about that now.

Image of a passive house

Passive Homes have been around for centuries. We are here to bring them to the 21st century… and beyond!


Tell Me The Advantages

We have already talked about the energy savings and the sustainability benefits from building a Passive House, but what other benefits can be expected? 

At Taigh Sidhean, we will be with you on your Passive Journey! We are connected to BC’s best builders, architects, engineers, and designers to build your dream home. 

Architecture: Working with some of the most creative individuals in BC helps us create Net-Zero buildings across the province. Whether it’s a single-family home or a row of duplexes - we have got you covered. 

Interior Design: Don’t skimp out on the finer details of the interior design of your home. We take care in the craftsmanship to enhance your eco-friendly design - inside and out! 

Builders, Contractors, Service Providers: It can be hard to find a company that you can trust to build your dream home and invest your money into. That is where we come in! We are committed to matching you with the builder to get your project done - on time and on budget.

Passive homes are not a new trend that is occurring in the 21st century. Our ancestors used this engineering technique to heat and cool their homes - naturally. Let’s get started by rebuilding this old way of living and give it a modern-day twist. We design and build high-performance buildings purposely crafted to offer an exceptional quality of life, sustainability, longevity, affordability, and value.


Taigh is a team. We can’t wait to see what we can build together - contact us today!