Do you know the difference between an Active House and a Passive House?

Although they sound like opposites, they are actually very similar! Passive homes focus on high levels of insulation and air-tightness, allowing them to operate using up to 90% less energy. While Active Homes also aim to be energy efficient, they tend to focus more on the health and comfort of the structure’s occupants. To maximize the well-being of the occupants, Active Homes promote increased natural light and ventilation. This prevents them from being as well insulated as Passive Homes, so Active Homes typically require a renewable energy system such as solar water heaters and/or geothermal heat pumps to maximize energy efficiency.

This newly constructed modern home in Palo Alto can’t be a Passive House due to its lack of insulation/air-tightness, but it does have the potential to be an Active House!

This single-family home designed by Acadia Architecture presents a beautiful design with advanced functionality.

Regulated by our Messana mControls platform, this home’s climate-control system features:

  • Messana Ray Magic® radiant ceiling panels to provide first-stage cooling and heating
  • Messana mSense room comfort sensors
  • Aermec fan coil used for second-stage cooling
  • SpacePak buffer tank and heat pump
  • GRUNDFOS pumps
  • Belimo mixing valve

Additionally, this home receives an abundant amount of natural light via VELUX skylights which provide highly efficient daytime lighting, perfect for Active Homes. 🌱

Finally, with LaCantina Doors folding doors, these homeowners can also create a large open space to access their serene backyard. 🍃 ⛱

📐 Architect: Davide Giannella

🔧 Installer: Hydronica

📍 Location: Palo Alto, CA

Would you rather live in an Active House or a Passive House? Let us know!

Front of Palo Alto home.
View from inside looking towards the front of the home.
Horizontal view to back of home.
Palo Alto view to back of home.
Palo Alto Kitchen