Renewable energy sources are a major boon in the fight against carbon production and rising energy costs, but they are not the only way that residents can reduce their carbon output and their energy bills. Elements of passive design — structuring and outfitting residences in a manner that simply reduce the amount of energy needed — can also lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions and money spent on energy elements. What passive design requires is taking into account the physical situation of the residence in its natural environment, using the position of windows, air vents, basement structures, and other architectural as well as device elements in relation to the environmental elements of the sun, winds, temperature patterns, and more to provide the bulk of a homes needs in lighting, heating and cooling, ventilation, and more (Branz, 2012). Simple things like large and purposefully-positioned windows, often with special coatings and in multiple layers to provide better insulation, can allow homes to be lit with more natural light and even heated by the sun, reducing the neat for active lighting fixtures and heating units (Branz, 2012).

Better external as well as internal insulation can also reduce heating and cooling needs by proving more stable temperatures inside the residence, and well-placed passive ventilation systems can improve indoor air quality without as much temperature transfer or energy requirements as older active systems (Branz, 2012).

Both renewable energies and passive design should be utilized as much as possible in modern residences. This will help reduce carbon emissions significantly and save residents large sums of money in energy costs. Ultimately, such innovations are better for the environment and the economic progress of modern populations.


Branz. (2012). Passive design. Accessed 7 January 2012.

Sorensen, B. (2010). Renewable Energy. Burlington,.

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