Why You Might Need an Architect: Passive Design Strategies

Can you imagine a reality where the design of your home was aimed at reducing your energy costs? I am not just referring to the airtight windows and the thick insulation. (Although it does include that.) A good architect will always hold passive design strategies as a top design priority. Why? Because this is also what we, in the Architecture Community, simply call “good design.” (We also call it “Passive Design Strategies.”) Take a look at the following areas an architect will consider when designing a home that saves you money.

Passive Design Strategies

Building Orientation

Building Shape


Building Shading

Earth Sheltering

Green Roofs

Air Locks

Insulation & Weather Sealing


Double Envelopes


Over the next several posts, I will be going into why you might need an architect – specifically when it comes to homes that save you money simply in the way they are designed.

Take a look at this illustration done by Albert, Righter and Tittmann Architects. Developers naturally default to the “20th Century” model. They sometimes design an aesthetically pleasing house that appeals to the masses and expect mechanical systems to make up for the lack of design.

Why do you need an architect? Architects have an ethical responsibility to work within the constructs of the “21st Century” model. How we orient the building, the shape we give the building, the earth around the home, the enclosure assembly we specify, where we place the penetrations, the type of glazing that we use for those penetrations and the amount electricity needed to operate this home is at the forefront of our mind. We want to rely on active systems (mechanical systems) as minimally and intelligently as possible. This will save you money and fulfill our ethical responsibility to the future.

Until next time!