‘Passive’ Homes Save Energy, Money

This is the VOA Special English Economics Report, from voaspecialenglish.com | http Heating and cooling equipment are the biggest users of energy in American homes. And homes are responsible for about one fourth of the nation’s total energy use. But there are surprisingly simple ways to deeply cut energy use, its effect on the environment and its cost. David Peabody and his team at Peabody Architects design passive homes. He says the design of a passive house aims to reduce energy demand to its lowest possible level. Passive houses use no solar, geothermal or wind energy equipment. But they are extremely energy efficient.Mr. Peabody says passive houses cut heating and cooling costs by about ninety percent. But what sets his design apart from other “green homes” is that it looks like any other home.”That is the beauty of the passive house approach is that you don’t have to build in a particular way with any particular materials or to any particular style. That’s why in our case we decided to try to do something to prove that point to make something that was very traditionally American.”Peabody Architects says it is building the first passive home in the Washington, DC, area. In Arlington, Virginia, Roger Lin and his brother Eric are also building one. Roger Lin of Southern Exposure Homes explains that windows are sealed against leaks and have three layers of glass. The windows are airtight. On a cold winter day, the temperature inside the unfinished home is a comfortable

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