Bob Shock October 20, 2013 01:07 PM Nice designs for the 0.01% of the population that can afford them, but what about posting articles for the other 99.9% of us? I could pay my air conditioning bill for the next millenium for what one of those houses cost! אראש יאן חלמון October 20, 2013 07:24 PM There are centuries old passively cooled houses in the city of Yazd in southwestern Iran that give you a chill in temperatures over 100! harry_72 October 21, 2013 06:31 AM Yep only the mega rich can afford these houses... places like I live it is near impossible to have a house passively cooled for us non millionaire plebs, 45°c during summer and there are no cooling breezes as the breeze is already 45°c+ and you cant use pools of water as water is a scarce commodity... leaves mechanical cooling only, which despite the ultra greenys BS can be done with little environmental impact through solar powered mechanical air conditioning! Larry English October 21, 2013 01:29 PM yes those only cost about 2 million each wle jerryd October 21, 2013 02:55 PM I live in Fla, a similar climate and for 5 months/yr you'll be sweating in these. In fact I'm sweating right now at 90F on Oct 21th!! They are stupidly large thus hardly called low energy. I'd combine a much smaller, airy place like shown with either an underground area or a highly insulated one with a small A/C. I'm moving onto an uninsulated 34' trimaran that with just 1kw of PV runs my power needs including A/C for 20+ yrs for $1200 system with storage, sunelec and Auto Zone. So it depends, my Tri is far lower impact that the examples including it's A/C . And I can sail anywhere with it. Jerry Peavy October 21, 2013 03:03 PM Not only are these houses ugly, they are ridiculously expensive. Passive cooling is available to anyone with access to enough subsurface area to install a below ground passive cooling system, where the temperature is around 57 degrees! Jay Finke October 21, 2013 03:05 PM All I hear is waaa I can't afford it waaa. I'm with All Gore as long as I can keep my power bill under $3000.00 a month I'm happy Bryan Haslett October 21, 2013 07:53 PM I love some examples and all the benefits of a monolithic dome home. The technology makes for not only a super efficient home but near disaster proof as categorized by FEMA. They can be heated or cooled for a fraction of the cost of a standard stick built home and they will still be standing in a couple hundred years. Just do a web search for monolithic domes or check monolithic.com The shape is radical but I suppose if we were used to them we would see square as radical. A friend asked what do you do with all the curves to which again I say we would be saying what do we do with all those corners. Oh and the costs are equivalent to a standard build. If you put your utility savings into your mortgage you could pay a 30 year mortgage in 12 years. MoraigandBenjamin Klenner October 24, 2013 09:43 AM Good article, though, it does make passive solar houses look unattainable for the average homebuilder. Here is a great house built in Western Australia for the same price, and the same timeframe as a regular house: http://joshshouse.com.au PrometheusGoneWild.com November 3, 2013 11:20 AM No mention of shade trees. To be fair a few of theses homes seem to have them. During the summer the trees shade the house for most of the day. There are a few hours in the middle of the day when direct sunlight hits my house. During the winter the leaves fall off and I get direct sunlight through a sliding glass door. I do have a small air conditioner. We run it sometimes during the most humid days. But for the most part my trees do the job.