Known as a standard for building and certifying highly energy-efficient homes -- concentrated mostly in Europe -- Passivhaus buildings are "basically a super-insulated box that is sealed tighter than any drum ever was."
Moreover, Passivhaus buildings aren't found just on the ground, but also on the water. This latest riverbound iteration is the Autark Home, a floating Passivhaus dwelling currently docked in Maastricht, Netherlands. It runs on solar power and is ten times more energy efficient than your regular, comparably-sized house.
Designed by Pieter Kromwijk, the prototype has been flooded by would-be buyers attracted to the home's distinctive features and ultra low-energy consumption, so much that there are now plans to produce more Autarkhomes to meet the demand.
Each houseboat is projected to take up to four months to complete, according to Peter Meijers, managing director of IBC Solar B.V., which collaborated on the technical design and installation of the house's photovoltaic system. Meijers tells Renewable Energy Magazine that
[Autark Home] is of particular interest in those areas where there is an abundance of rivers and lakes and only limited housing space. This problem could be solved with the passive house, which offers a new, self-sufficient living space.
Certainly, with growing pressures of increased urbanization and rising real estate prices, having a mobile home on the water might be one way to adapt. Jetson Green describes some of the features which enable this houseboat to be completely off-grid:
There are no dock connectors for energy or water; energy is provided by solar hot water collectors and solar PV, while water is processed through a built-in water treatment system.
Additionally, Autarkhome has a heat recovery ventilation system, EPS insulation, Mosa tiles, Desso carpet, and IKEA interior products.
There's definitely an allure to being able to raise anchor if you don't get along with your neighbors or want a change of view. More over at Autark Home (in Dutch).