Passive, or zero-energy, houses are making their way to the United States from Europe and several are being built in New York.
Now one of the most exacting standards, called “passive house,” is making its way to the United States from Europe. Passive, or “zero energy,” houses maintain a comfortable interior climate without active heating and cooling systems, according to the Passivhaus Institut, which administers the standard. That is achieved through a system of interior and exterior air exchange, an airtight building envelope and energy-saving appliances, among other things.
Any additional energy needs can be generated by renewable sources. The institute says a passive house uses less than a quarter of the energy of a traditionally powered home.
Our windows look like this. I have also heard our type of house called a 'furnace free' house.