New Orleans proves passive houses work just as well in hot climates
New Orleans might be turning into an island, but by God, it will be a stylish, energy-efficient one, if some Canadian architects have anything to say about it.
We already knew passive houses were all kinds of awesome, capable of staying warm in even harsh winters without any kind of heating at all. But NOLA is hot as hell and only going to become more so. So the architects’ mandate was to create a passively cooled shotgun-style home.
They came up with a design that marries the air-circulating powers of a traditional shotgun shack to the privacy concerns of the 21st century. Their design incorporates a central living area with bedrooms in either wing, plus a large overhang on the south-facing wall to shade the home's interior. Reflective material on the outside of the house bounces even more heat back into space, while ground-source heat pump helps cool it.