As a builder of high efficiency homes we have learned to take the best global practices in energy efficiency and design and apply them in a way that best fits our local geography and climate.

Here are five designs that we have been inspired by in one way or another as they help lead the way in making more energy efficient housing a reality.

Passive House, Bessancourt, France – by Karawitz Architecture

We love the simplicity of the design but are particularly fascinated by the fact that the solar exposure is managed with unique external bamboo blinds that can be easily closed or open to allow sun in or limit sunshine depending on need.

Tigh Na Croit PassivHaus, Scotland – by HLM Architects

In the northern clime of Scotland, a bit of a surprise, we find a home we love because it melds a beautiful open design with high efficiency features. It was given the UK’s award for a PassivHaus from the PasivHaus Trust in the Rural Category.

PassivHaus in Bremen, Germany – by Christoph Schulte

Although solar panels are a key element of our designs, we admire Christoph Schulte’s home which utilizes several high efficiency elements that make the use of additional energy for home heating incredibly limited. Well designed home builds can yield incredible efficiencies when approached with careful planning.

Passive House – by Dennis Wedlick, Architect

Lest you think Europe has the only passive houses in the world we wanted to disabuse you of the idea. Labeled one of the most efficient passive houses in the world this design is simple in its form and symmetry but truly elegant in how it comes together. Built in collaboration with the New York State Energy Research Development Authority in 2011 it was one of the earliest in a trend of rapidly expanding passive homes across the U.S.

Chalk Bluff Cabin – by Arkin Tilt Architects

Although not the primary residence for the owners, this cabin in the Nevada mountains is a great example of what great efficiency combined with smart utilization of energy options can do. Solar heated water, photo voltaic for energy generation and a smart battery system make this a good example of how no access to the grid can still yield comfort.