What’s a Passive Home?

Many people think of passive negatively. After all, we’re Americans; we’re supposed to take charge in situations and be independent, active thinkers. Yet, when we talk about passive in terms of custom home building, passive can be defined as anything but negative. In fact, passive homes may be the wave of the future.

UrbanLUX Builders is the best local custom home builder in San Antonio. We have many amazing communities that you can choose from, from The Canyons at Scenic Loop to our two communities in Boerne, The Overlook at Boerne and Woodridge Homes. Our homes offer open floor plans and custom details beyond belief. You can see sample blueprints online of our floor plans with photos. We encourage you to speak to one of our custom home builders when you’re ready about all of your possible options. Below, we’ll go over passive homes. Contact us today to get started!


You can think of a passive home like passive energy — energy that works for you that you don’t necessarily have to work for. Solar energy is one of the best examples of passive energy because every time the sun is shining, you can collect the sun’s rays and convert it into usable energy.

With a passive home, the idea is to design your home to be as energy-efficient as possible. This is above and beyond the normal home’s energy efficiency, even beyond using solar and wind energy to power your home; this is energy efficiency taken to the extreme. The first passive home was built in 1991 with the idea to maintain a consistent and comfortable interior climate without using heating and cooling systems. To be designated a passive home, you will see many of the characteristics below.



Sure, all homes have insulation; however, not all homes have an insane amount of insulation like passive homes do. With passive homes, the entire home’s building envelope (or what separates the interior from the exterior home of your home) is wrapped in a continuous layer of insulation with the goal to seal out all air from escaping and all air from entering.

Eliminate Thermal Bridge

A bridge is used to move objects from one place to another and thermal refers to heat. Thus, when you set out to remove thermal bridges from your home, the idea is to remove all areas where heat can leak out, such as window and door cracks, through the walls, and more. You want this heat to stay inside. Little things like having windows with triple-pane glass can make a huge difference.

Focus on Airtightness

UrbanLUX Builders notes that many inefficiencies exist in modern homes in terms of lost air. The overarching goal of passive homes is to keep the air inside your home, which helps to maintain its constant air temperature, which eliminates the need for heating and cooling systems. By focusing on airtightness, however, you are also keeping out moisture that can be  harmful in terms of causing mold growth inside your home and can cause structural damage to your home as well.


While passive homes strive to keep the air in, this doesn’t mean you are left breathing in stale air. With a top-notch energy efficient ventilation system, air will be constantly refreshed with outside air that is then filtered to maintain consistent temperature using passive heating technology.

Passive Heating Technology

One of the best technological breakthroughs when it comes to passive homes is the passive heating technology that can heat or cool the inside of your home using only the outside air. This works by the system taking the cold air from outside, passing it through the ventilation system, and then heating it by the warm air that is then exiting your home. 

Using the Sun

UrbanLUX Builders in San Antonio notes that the primary means of heating your home is through the sun’s energy when you have a passive house. This means building your home and installing windows that will capture the most rays from the sun, as well as having shade for the summer to help with cooling. A true passive house does not rely on a heating and cooling system. Instead, it relies on using the heat inside the home already to keep it warm. This comes not only from the sun’s rays, but also from your body heat and heat from every electrical device you currently use, such as your computer and TV.


Beside the obvious benefits of saving you money on your utility bills and decreasing your carbon footprint on the planet, passive homes also create a pleasant living environment with no extreme temperature fluctuations. What this means is you won’t come home to a cold house in the winter and you won’t be overly hot in the summer.

Many of us already have taken strides to make our homes energy-efficient. When you partner with UrbanLUX Builders in San Antonio, we can help make your custom home as energy efficient as possible. We have many wonderful partners who help us along the way, including Pure Wellness Home, which now offers a home air purification system and a drinking water purification system in our custom homes. Our mission is to create a home that fits you and your lifestyle like a glove. We do this by offering the best custom homes at the best prices that not only fits your budget, but also helps increase the quality of life for all. Contact us today to get started!

3 Responses to “What’s a Passive Home?”

    • Patrick Hamann

      We can/will build a passive house. There are not many built due to the costs involved. Usually once someone sees and understands exactly what goes into building a passive house they change their mind and decide against building to passive house standards. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to reach out to me.

  1. Eve Rubenstein

    We’re looking to replace a modular home with a passive home model just outside of Hondo, Texas, and would like to interview potential builders. Thank you.


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