The secrets of the passive house | homify
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The secrets of the passive house

April Kennedy April Kennedy
Minimalist house by homify Minimalist
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There are lots of different factors that make for a green and environmentally friendly home. One is passive climate control, that is, designing your home to take advantage of the natural heating and cooling aspects of the building site. Another is taking care to choose sustainably-sourced materials. These materials may not be the cheapest, but they will generally be natural and make for a very sturdy home. They won't emit harmful toxins in your immediate atmosphere either. The third factor is simply building a dwelling of modest proportions. So what would a home like this look like? Well, as you probably guessed, we're going to present one today. This property was built in South Korea and designed by architects Roy House. Let's check it out…

White exterior

The home is just 93.6sqm, but has two levels, a generous sized balcony and a big airy spirit. The white bold facade has been designed with lots of big openings that offer shade from direct sunlight and allow for a free flow of air throughout the building. The lower facade also makes the outdoor area feel like an integral part of the interior life of the home. Finally, note the flat roof. It is ideal for installing solar panels.

Living room

The simple living room here functions as a showroom for the designers. It has sustainably sourced hardwood floors and one wall almost entirely covered in sliding glass doors. These doors have highly insulated glass that acts as an excellent insulator. They also allow for lots of natural sunlight to flood the space so there is minimal need for electricity.

Combined kitchen/dining room

The combined dining/kitchen, has the same hardwood floors we saw in the living room. This time it has been teamed with sustainably sourced tiles as well. It also has energy efficient appliances that drastically cut down on energy usage. But aesthetically, what was like about this kitchen is the simple, sturdy integration of living spaces. Also, have a look at the little storage nook at the end of the bench on the left.


The bathroom is simple, modern and comfortable without being overly flashy. One of our favourite elements here is the white textured wall of the bathtub. Also have a look at the patterned tiles behind the toilet and washbasin. This is a subtle way to add interest and variety to a bathroom while retaining an essentially simple aesthetic.

Wood-panelled stairwell

The biggest wow factor here comes from the dark wood panels on the stairwell. They add a lot of distinction to the home and create lovely contrast to the lighter tones of the wood used on the lower level. It's interesting to see how they have been installed so the grain of the wood runs vertically. This subtly draws attention to the height of the space. This is often a good aesthetic for a stairwell space. 


The upper room could be a bedroom or another living area. It has a quiet, almost Zen-like ambience due to the simple combination of hardwood floors and the rounded light fitting. It's also good to see how the profuse amount of natural light allows for quite a dark tone on the walls. Just as important is the awning outside this window. Features like this can have a huge impact on how much heat a home absorbs.

Second-floor terrace

What strikes us about the terrace is the wooden floor and ceiling. Both have been installed to fit beautifully into the unusual triangular shape of the terrace. The balcony railing is also another point of interest. The chrome material works well with the low glass balustrade. The transparent glass also works to provide safety without blocking the flow of natural light into the home.

For more green living inspiration, have a look at The simple one-storey home for a small family.

Modern Houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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