A Tale Of Two Houses
Huxley Bragg
University Transition Program
Floor Location : S 022 F

With the threat of climate change and the end of fossil fuels on the near horizon, humanity needs to find a way to make the switch to renewable energy. While the majority of fossil fuels are consumed in an economical setting, sustainable housing has been a topic on the minds of scientists and engineers for some time. One proposed method is the passive house standard. Following rigid requirements, passive houses focus on energy efficiency and using the environment to the house’s advantage. Passive houses also focus on insulation and airtight seals to conserve heat and energy. However, some find the design strict and location-specific. The second proposed method was created to improve on the flaws of passive houses, aptly named active houses. Active houses work like a smart home: technology is incorporated to regulate heat and energy. Technology is used to gather renewable energy from the environment. Active houses focus on user comfort, while passive houses focus on saving energy. This project compared the two houses using a criteria system focused on cost, materials, adaptability, living space, comfort, energy efficiency, and accessibility (or location requirements). After everything was taken into account, this study supports the idea that active houses are the better design standard for energy efficient houses. This is because of many factors, but mostly because of the location requirements and serviceability to the resident. From this result the study then focused on what this means for the future of sustainable living.