What is Passive House Design?

A Prototype for the Future


Passive House (or Passivhaus) is a design and construction concept defined by energy efficiency, comfort, and affordability. Worldwide, it is arguably the strictest energy efficiency standard for buildings.

Because heating and cooling come from passive sources such as the sun or internal sources like people and appliances, and not entirely through mechanical means, the energy needed for active sources of heating and cooling (such as furnaces and air conditioners) can be cut dramatically. This means carbon emissions from Passive Houses are close to zero.

These houses are built to make a difference by addressing our most pressing environmental problem – climate change.

  • Super energy-efficient and built to passive house standards;
  • Emission-free and all-electric;
  • Heated and cooled by air-source heat pumps, the most efficient method of heating;
  • Built for healthy living with whole house air exchange systems;
  • Powered by solar energy from the grid supplemented by rooftop solar and solar storage systems;
  • Equipped with Electric Vehicle (EV) charging systems;
  • Zero waste on-site
  • Quick to build using new prefab construction technique
  • Inexpensive to operate.
Finkel Residence - 1982
Solar Cube
Solar Cube - 2000
Dolan Street - 2023

A Project of Taos Sustainable Housing LLC

In partnernship with Taos Sustainable Housing LLC,
Joaquin Karcher and Hamid Hekmat (Architects), Phoenix Haus (Energy Efficient Prefab House Manufacturer), Compton Construction, PPC Solar, and Kit Carson Electric Cooperative.

High performance & utra-low energy usage- SoCube embeds a high level of energy efficiency and performance in the structure itself: The massing, the orientation, continuous thermal bridge free insulation, integrated windows and shading and so on. 90% less heating & cooling energy demand, and up to 75% overall energy demand through a “super insulated building”. The easiest way to understand it is that we build the house based on the principle of “thermos”, going to any length to minimize heat loss.

Solar Cube