Rather than relying on technology such as photovoltaic arrays and solar hot water heaters, a passive house is designed to maximize its ability to heat itself in winter and cool itself in summer. To do this requires careful consideration of a home's site and how the sun moves across the sky, where the trees and other vegetation are located, where the winters winds come from, etc. In this way, a passive house relies more on good design and proper site location than anything else.
Designed by architect Dennis Wedlick, this Hudson Passive project is the first certified passive house in New York State and one of the most energy efficient houses in the world. It was realized with the assistance of New York State and is designed in accordance with the standards established by the German Passivhaus Institut. These standards, which target an overall savings of 90 percent in the energy consumption, are common in Europe but relatively new in the United States, with only 12 houses certified to date.