national passive house alliance
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller details plans for a National Passive House Alliance in the U.S. and shares the activities of current regional Passive House alliances.
Here Sonya describes moving into the the NewenHouse and conducting the final duct blaster test (reaching an amazing score of .51 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals)and balancing the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit).
An affordable prototype home helps revitalize a blighted Syracuse, New York, neighborhood--and could be the city home of the future.
Citing breaches of contract and “good faith,” Dr. Wolfgang Feist of the Passivhaus Institut has announced that it is cutting ties with the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), no longer allowing the branch to certify Passive Houses in the U.S.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller pinpoints areas where unconditioned air could be leaking into or out of homes.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes how and why the Passive House conference inspired her to change the NewenHouse kit home's design to meet Passive House certification.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller offers an introduction to the Passive House standard, including what makes Passive Houses energy-efficient and how they differ from passive solar homes.
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller offers solutions to thermal bridging.
Follow along as architect Mark Miller takes his energy-efficient design skills to the next level with the Passive House standard.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller continues his introduction to the Passive House standard.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse Here Sonya gets ready for a busy week of subcontractors for the NewenHouse kit home. The interior of the home is nearing completion!
Natural Home intern Carly Halvorson shares her recent research on the Monolithic Dome Institute website about monolithic dome houses.
Simone Swan built her off-the-grid domed and vaulted home in Presidio, Texas, as a model of how financially and thermally efficient adobe can be. For $50 a square foot, she built a masterpiece. She says you can, too.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse tests the performance of her new Passive House by not turning on the heat—and enthusiastically reports that you can comfortably live furnace-free in Wisconsin in the winter.
The NewenHouse kit home has officially received Passive House certification! The Passive House is also the highest-rated Energy Star home in the state of Wisconsin.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller shares discusses the lack of energy-efficient, insulated doors in the U.S.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller explores high-performance windows, a key element in reaching the Passive House standard.
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes how she and her team insulated under the slab of the NewenHouse prototype home and the importance of air sealing to achieve Passive House certification.
Sonya Newenhouse describes the roof truss system and air-tight barrier between the second floor and the roof for the Passive House NewenHouse Kit Home.
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses the southern-facing 17-inch-deep windowsills of her Passive House-certified home to grow seedlings.
In her new book, Micro-Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, Mimi Zeiger profiles 36 creative, innovative small dwellings that represent a 'new, rich architectural typology.' Here are eight great examples to start fueling your fantasies.
These tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News, published in 1970, will make your housekeeping more enjoyable and efficient. Mother has always known best.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the framing process and how she finds opportunities for borrowed light in the inner walls of the NewenHouse kit home.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes building the 12-inch remote Larsen Truss wall, which, combined with the OSB air barrier, will create a 16-inch-thick insulated wall system for the NewenHouse kit home.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes moving into the first NewenHouse and conducting the final duct blaster test and balancing the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit).
Sonya Newenhouse discusses some of the issues with synthetic gypsum drywall and documents the steps she will take to avoid electromagnetic fields in her new house.
Here Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses her southern facing 17 inch deep window sills to grow seedlings. She also notes that their electrical bill for February in the furnace free home was only $11 -- $8 of which was service fees.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s "Best Green Homes of 2010" list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she and her team insulated the perimeter of her model Passive House slab and installed an EPS foam frost skirt around the slab for cold climate construction.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the super-insulated, sustainable and small NewenHouse kit home she's planning to bring to market in 2012. The prototype, being built in Viroqua Wisconsin, is striving for LEED Platnium and Passive House certifications.
This home in the Florida Keys stays cool by capturing prevailing breezes and taking advantage of passive cooling techniques such as open, screened walls and a reflective roof.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the HRV (heat recovery ventilation) unit and insulation installation for the NewenHouse Kit Home.
Instead of buying store-bought and possibly toxic cleaning agents, give these nontoxic homemade cleaners a try.
A University of Georgia study finds that common houseplants can remove toxins and improve indoor air quality.
Adding houseplants to your home’s décor is an easy, affordable way to enliven your home.
Many air fresheners can emit toxic chemicals; however, potted chrysanthemums are natural and safe deodorizers.
Throughout human history people have used herbs to protect themselves against lightning strikes.
Grow your own beautiful houseplants from citrus seeds. Growing citrus trees from seed is easy, fun and, best of all, free.
These homemade orange ornaments will add bright colors and a citrusy aroma to your tree this year.
In an effort to help consumers find safer products, the Environmental Working Group has created an online guide that rates more than 2,000 household cleaners for safety of ingredients and disclosure of contents.
In honor of Earth Day, the Cork Forest Conservation Alliance has teamed up with Anthropologie to create unique window display art made from recycled corks.
A new report from the Natural Resources Defense council lists 25 national parks at risk from climate change.
Instead of using synthetic scents, try this simple natural trick to make your home smell delicious.
July 19th is National Ice Cream Day, so celebrate with these delicious ice cream recipes.
Guest blogger Eileen Troemel sets out to find easy-to-grow indoor plants that she can successfully keep alive with a black thumb.
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's 'front porch' culture.
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized—to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. 'I've got everything I need,' Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
Don't let National Peach Month slip away before biting into this juicy fruit and all of its health benefits.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has invented an air conditioner, the DEVap, that’s up to 90 percent more efficient than traditional ACs.
Celebrate a technology-free Sabbath with a jug of organic wine, a loaf of homemade bread and handmade candles. Could you go 24 hours without your smartphone?
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
Do you dream about living in a tiny, super-efficient home but worry about living with less space? This list of reasons for living could help push you off the fence. Dream big, live small!
Natural Home editorial intern Stephanie Nelson is attending the Business Alliance of Local Living Economies and reporting on rural economic development strategies.
The PopUp House from House Port, Inc. embodies the definition of model green home as it utilizes sustainable methods, not only within the structure of the dwelling, but also within the interior of the home.
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
At only 156 square feet and just 4 feet across at its widest, the Keret House in Warsaw, Poland, might just be the skinniest tiny house ever.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer teaches Americans how to build efficient homes of less than 1,000 square feet.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
Designed as a shotgun-style house for natural ventilation, the Alligator House was designed and built as part of the rehousing effort in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Deliciously cool off this summer with these naturally-sweetened chocolate ice cream toppings made with fair trade cocoa.
Celebrate the end of National Berry Month with this recipe for cod with bluberry-mango salsa. Sweet and spicy, this recipe is sure to become a summertime favorite!
Unused and expired medications are difficult to recycle. Participate in National Take-Back Day this Saturday for an easy, safe way to dispose of old pills.
Rishi Tea will be donating a portion of its sales from its Organic Unity Herbal Tea to the National Yoga Month organization.
Concerned about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's refusal to stop Monsanto? Here are four steps you can take now.
During National Ground Water Awareness Week next week, let's bring attention to what natural gas drilling is doing to our ground water supplies.
Don't be afraid of breads anymore, well at least whole-grain breads. A new study shows that whole-grain foods that are rich in fiber at may be beneficial to your health.
Sweet Bay is surprisingly easy to grow and offeres wonderfully spicy flavors to your kitchen.
The American Institute of Architects' most recent housing trends survey shows housing sizes inching back up again after the first declines in decades. Will people still want smaller houses in better economic times?
Orchids are some of the most beautiful flowers—they're safe around house pets, they come in a multitude of colors and shapes and ... they're edible?! Read more.
Diana and Tony Varnes are the happiest they’ve ever been, and they attribute their well being to living in a small home. They have more time for reading, talking and enjoying the outdoors—and their relationship is better than ever.
Ryan Mitchell, founder of TheTinyLife.com, is saving up to pay cash for a 130-square-foot home on wheels in North Carolina. He’s seeking perspective, clarity—and a girlfriend who gets it.
Salt glaze pottery, primitive colonial furnishings and pewter bring wabi-sabi into your home—while honoring our American traditions.
When a fire destroyed their home and office near San Luis Obispo, Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper seized the opportunity to build the off-the-grid straw bale home of their dreams. Their comfortable compound now houses two other families as well.
Natural Home has been invited to decorate rooms in Blair House, the President’s guest house that hardly anyone ever gets to see, and the U.S. State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, DC in the first-ever Magazine Holiday Design Showcase, a partnership between the U.S. State Department and the Magazine Publishers of America.
After weeks of planning (and a little bit of panicking), the Natural Home team finishes decorating the Blair House and State Department for the holidays with a selection of fair trade, artisan-made items that benefit our planet and its citizens.
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will stop accepting loans from the nationwide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which helps homeowners pay for the cost of energy-efficient retrofits.
Vitamin Water's false claims about its flu prevention powers may have resulted in a lawsuit.
Decorate your home with zero-waste decor that can be reused, recycled or consumed—instead of toxic landfill trash. The Christmas decorations of Colonial Williamsburg offer inspiration for using natural decor.
The Herb Society of America hosted an open house to celebrate its newly constructed headquarters in Kirkland, Ohio. Check out the photos.
Swamp Hut is a complex of four 8-by-12-foot huts surrounding a deck with a fireplace. This an off-the-grid, light-on-the-land summer getaway could easily be replicated in your favorite vacation spot.
Managing editor Jessica Kellner discussed her early house hunting experience and her hopes to do green remodeling.
Sayra and Dominic live with their 5-year-old daughter in a charming 550-square-foot home in rural Idaho. There are challenges, but they've found that less really is more. 'It's like living in a fun clubhouse,' Sayra says.
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
This tiny kit home—less than 90 square feet—is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
Refresh the exterior of your house with a coat of YOLO Colorhouse paint inspired by the landscape around it.
This 433-square-foot floating home on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, feels spacious and airy on the inside.
Perched atop a cliff overlooking Montana’s Flathead Lake, this 830-square-foot off-grid cabin steps lightly on its site so as not to disturb osprey nesting in the surrounding forest.
The Obama administration announced yesterday that it will place solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the White House roof by spring 2011.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
The Obamas plant an organic vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House.
When Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora restored Frank Lloyd Wright's first small, affordable home, they discovered how green the iconic architect really was.
Guest blogger Rebecca Selove searches for the most energy-efficient lighting for her sustainable Tennessee farmhouse that she is building to LEED Platinum standards.
Michelle Obama's new organic White House vegetable garden is the first of its kind since World War II. I spoke with a friend who was at the scene as students from a local elementary school broke ground Friday, which was the first day of spring. Find out what the new "First Herbs of the United States" are.
A National Restaurant Association survey found that serving more local food tops chefs expected trends for 2012! Keep you home diet seasonal and local, too, with this vegetarian recipe featuring winter vegetables.
Sunday, July 18, is National Ice Cream Day. Celebrate by serving up a scoop of naturally sweet, organic and fair trade ice creams.
Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson describes how to make homemade ice cream and gives some organic ice cream recipes.
These three homes--in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina--use passive cooling techniques to eliminate the need for mechanical air conditioning. Check them out and learn a few tricks for reducing--or eliminating--your AC bills this summer.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list--all under $50!
The Lemon Verbena Lady shares more about her experience at the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a popular flower show in the United Kingdom. Here she discusses which of the Chelsea Flower Show gardens were her favorites.
Lisa Lillien, aka Hungry Girl, shares a recipe for Teriyaki Tofu Kebabs, perfect for a neighborhood block party or backyard cookout.
Apartment Therapy's annual Small Cool contest, featuring homes of less than 1,000 square feet, is a gold mine for smart ideas that make tiny spaces elegant, graceful and liveable.
Matt and Kelly Grocoff keep cool in Michigan by taking advantage of their 110-year-old home's natural ventilation strategies. It's as easy as opening a couple of strategically placed windows.
Green is Universal and Etsy's The Art of Reuse Contest is a gold mine for DIY home project ideas. My favorite pays homage to Audrey Hepburn's ahead-of-its-time sofa made from an old clawfoot bathtub in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
Innermost House, a 144-square-foot off-grid cabin in Northern California, provides a retreat for Michael Anthony and Diana Lorence to pursue simple living.
The miniHome by Sustain Design Studio puts a modern twist on traditional trailer design.
This 275-square-foot cabin on the shores of Lake Simcoe in Ontario provides its owners with a comfortable vantage point for watching sunsets and enjoying nature.
Built from a recycled shipping container, the 160-square-foot Surfshack uses folding, moveable panels and smart design to fit all the creature comforts of home into a durable, weather-proof frame, creating a home-away-from-home on the Washington coast for an avid surfer.
Natural Home and the Obamas are in sync on fun, waste-reducing holiday projects. Find out more about decoupage ornaments.
Weigh in as Natural Home collects reader and contributor suggestions on "greening the White House."
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley takes a look at the Marrakesh House, the new sustainable home of filmmaker Chris Paine.
Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.
In the summer of 2008, one guest blogger started reading Rosemary’s Sampler, an herb blog by two of her two favorite sisters from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and was inspired to start writing her own blog: Lemon Verbena Lady’s Herb Garden.
Designed to be a comfortable, modern home with a minimum impact on the environment, the Cube generates its own energy and proves that you don't have to sacrifice creature comforts to live in a small space.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
Take a trip across the pond with the Lemon Verbena Lady to discover a 300-year-old garden.
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins outlines ways to build green while keeping a light footprint on the earth.
Two years ago, the Natural Home & Garden staff had the honor of decorating President Obama's guest house with sustainable and handmade holiday decor. Try some of these "president-approved" projects yourself!
A wabi-sabi home just feels right, without pretense or compromise—like our grandmothers’ Depression era homes, where things were patched and mended but scrubbed and clean, handmade or chosen and paid for with care.
This holiday season, avoid the shopping frenzy and make your own gifts straight from the heart. These homemade holiday gift ideas are fun and should cover nearly everyone on your shopping list.