Group 6
Houses of 2025

Presented by Neil Singh, Gavin Noronha, Ryan Miller

© Zooey Braun

The Passive House + Triple Zero Standard by Neil Singh

"The earth is not only the common heritage of all humankind but also the ultimate source of life. By over-exploiting its resources we are undermining the very basis of our own life. All around, signs abound of the destruction caused by human activity and of the degradation of nature. Therefore, the protection and conservation of the earth is not a question of morality or ethics but a question of our survival." - Dalai Lama XIV, Caring for the Earth

Time to face the hard facts...

It is safe to assume that we all consume energy each day in some manner - driving our cars to school or work, switching  on the television set, plugging in our laptop chargers, or even flicking the living room lights on. This is what the most privileged of us do, and we seldom spare thoughts or serious actions to what we really do. We just continue to consume energy...and we consume a lot. The energy consumed by the construction industry and the operation of buildings accounts for over a third of the earth’s energy consumption, and 40% of its mined resources (Straube, 2006). Energy consumption coupled with climate change, and worldwide population growth will demand sustainable housing, with a focus on standard of living. (Straube, 2006). If energy consumption of developing nations surpasses or matches that of developed nations, the damage done to the planet will be irreparable (Straube, 2006).

So, imagine...

...ten years of energy consumption. Now, imagine the future house of 2025. Those ten little years are looking pretty grim when facing the facts, no doubt. So what do we do? We simply move towards sustainable building.

Moving towards to a sustainable future of housing and construction is achievable. But it requires a change in human consumption, a change in design, and understanding of the energy crisis. It basically means we need to change our collective attitude towards consumption and conservation. The future of truly sustainable building would therefore entail constructing and supporting building operations without adversely affecting natural (environmental) systems. So how do we accomplish this as we build more and more housing units to match the growing population? We employ different building standards: Passive House Standard and the Triple Zero Standard.

Passive House

(Image: Cascade Built/Aaron Leitz Photography)

A Passive House is a building standard that is energy efficient, affordable, and ecological. The Passive House is designed and built to six principles: thermal bridge-free insulation; superior airtightness; insulated windows and doors; balanced heat and moisture recovery ventilation system and minimal space conditioning system; and solar power used for heating purposes (Canadian Passive House Institute, 2015). It sounds complicated but these few principles can really make a difference in the future when the demand for resources is great...and that is no exaggeration. These homes use 80% to 90% less heating energy than traditionally built houses (Biehle, 2015). The Passive House standard provides long term benefits plus energy efficiency and proves to be the best path to sustainable energy consumption.

Take a look at Cascade Built's latest Passive House constructed in Seattle, Washington. Designed by b9 Architects, it is the first Passive house constructed in Seattle.

Cleaner energy

Energy efficient systems are the backbone of the Passive House standard but clean energy supplied off the grid is the next step in passive house building. Today's passive homes are constructed with standard HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) systems that heats air from the home using gas provided by the city. For passive homes, finding a cleaner source of heating energy becomes imperative...which is why geothermal heat ventilation systems are the future of air quality of passive homes.

Heat can be naturally sourced from the earth. Ground temperature fluctuates seasonally and a geothermal heat exchanger can heat and cool down a house by using hot and cool air gathered from the earth (Vents, 2015).   It is the best source of free clean energy for a passive home of 2025.  

You can take a look at a more in-depth look at Geothermal Ventilation Systems at the following link.

We've seen how clean energy significantly improves the Passive Home but there are other building standards that must be employed in the future to improve sustainability development. This is where the Triple Zero Standard comes into focus. The United Nations Bruntland Commission Report defines sustainable development as:

“Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Straube, 2006).

Triple Zero Standard

The Triple Zero is a standard developed by architect and engineer Werner Sobek to define a building that is energy sufficient (Zero Energy Building), produces zero CO2 emissions (Zero Emission Building), and constructed entirely of recyclable material (Zero Waste Building), and spearheads an aggressive route to sustainable building (Storrs, 2009). The energy generated from sources in and on the building amounts to the energy equal to the primary energy demands of the building. How cool is that?! Imagine the possibilities of 2025!

Roland Halbe, Stuttgart/Germany

Check out R128! R128 is the first building constructed in accordance to Sobek’s Triple Zero built with recyclable material, produces zero carbon emissions, self-sufficient in heating energy (Storrs, 2009). R128 is easily assembled by means of mortice-and-tenon joints and bolted joints, and easily dismantled and recycled. Electrical energy for the house is produced by solar cells. You can view Sobek's PDF file on the project below ↓

You can learn more about Werner Sobek's Triple Zero Standard by taking a look at his website! It is very informative and offers a look into some of his other projects.

Passive House + Triple Zero Standard

Sobek’s buildings are off the grid (city supply) by producing its own energy (and more) while the Passive House demands less energy from the grid by maximizing energy used in the building. Both standards enlist sustainable technologies to produce an energy saving building.


Now let's combine these two building standards...

The future of the Passive House and the building industry will eventually lead to a collision, and the eventual marriage of the Passive House standard and the Triple Zero standard. Sobek strives to reduce the use of materials that are harmful to natural systems. Sobek’s Zero Waste Building standard enlists using all recyclable material for building construction. The Passive House standard could also benefit from the Zero Emission Building standard which forbids no burning processes in or on the building.

To produce a hybrid building standard!

The house of 2025 would eventually be built to the principles of the Passive House, and (almost) entirely to the complete standard of Triple Zero. Its construction and operations would follow Sopek’s Zero Emission and Zero Waste standards. The house of 2025 will utilize sustainable technologies that supplement the energy required by the house and reduce the amount of energy taken from the city grid.

Take a look at Sobek's B10 building...

Zooey Braun, Stuttgart/Germany

B10 is the first active house in the world that is easily assembled and dismantled. B10 generates twice as much energy as it actually requires. The excess energy is pumped back into the city grid and results in less energy being taken from the grid.

Now imagine this...

Imagine combining the Passive House Standard and Triple Zero standard to build modular housing units in the future. Take a look at how B10 was constructed from scratch with prefabricated material transported to site for assembly.

House B10 / Werner Sobek Group by Archdaily

Modular Homes + Contour Crafting

By Gavin Noronha

How does it work? According to the counter crafting website, contour crafting is a fabrication process by which large-scale parts can be fabricated quickly in a layer-by-layer fashion. (How Does It Work?, 2015)

The advantage of contour crafting is the ability to improve the speed of fabrication. The success of this stems from the automated use of tools used by hand, along with conventional robotics, which allows super-fast fabrication. It also saves materials, reduces accidents, and the final structure is stronger than those made by traditional construction. (How Does It Work?, 2015)

Contour crafting is displayed, as a huge machine that builds a house, layer by layer. But what if we do it in a different way? Think about it like how we build nowadays. Instead we can use a 3D printer to print parts of a house or a certain room, and all the furniture, and things in that room. So if you were working on the kitchen, you can 3D print the design of your kitchen along with all the other amenities. Think about it? If we got to the point where building a house is all mechanical, then that would result in a huge decrease in jobs and job opportunities. Someday it probably will be like this. All buildings will be built by robots. That’s why I think it would be better if we used Contour Crafting, but instead of having a huge machine just to build a house, we can have a facility where everything is made to build the house, and all you have to do is transport it to the correct location, and place it. Not only will this save time, but the construction workers will still have jobs, and not be replaced by a huge machine.

Google's Project Ara Modular Phone

You might be thinking, what does a phone developed by Google relate to Contour Crafting? Well, this phone has the same idea as a modular home. Imagine this…….. You buy the phone but now everyone is into another phone because of its camera. You can buy just the camera part of the phone and replace it with the one you have at the moment.

Now what if you could do that with a home? Well you probably will be able to this in the near future. This is called a modular home.

So now you’re building a house. Just like the phone you can buy different parts and make your very own customized home. And how will these parts be constructed. In a facility, with huge 3D printers, of course! So is this what we call a modular home? YES!! SIR IT IS!!!!

How is this different from normal contour crafting? Well, you don’t have one machine doing everything, but you have one machine building aspects of a house, and then you have people transporting the aspects to the right house. Just like the phone. You simply take out the part of your house, probably with some special tool, and replace with the new house. So now, you are with the trend.

The man behind Contour Crafting...

Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis and his team of scientists at the University of Southern California invented a machine that can build a 2,500-square-foot concrete house in just 24 hours. (Staff, 2014) The process of doing this is called Contour Crafting. This includes a 3D printer embedded on a computer-controlled gantry system that shoots out fast drying concrete layer by layer to build the walls of a house. The machine leaves space in the walls for electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning and other utilities to be installed. (Staff, 2014)

Dillenburger and his tool, a 3D Printer

A man with the name of Benjamin Dillenburger, an architect, created a room that could have taken hundreds of years, but only in a matter of days. He did this using one tool, a 3-D printer. He says his dream is to print a whole house. (3-D print a whole house?, 2014)

The printing of the room did not even involve a stone chisel. It was made using algorithms. The printer uses layers of crushed quartz to make sandstone. (3-D print a whole house?, 2014)

This was the first time an entire room was printed. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture. (3-D print a whole house?, 2014)

Why should we consider 3D Printing?

One of the major advantages of 3D printing is the amount of time it saves.  The 3D printing industry is very sustainable. It also cuts down on materiel waste, much safer, and it is very cost effective.

Building Passive Homes using the Contour Crafting Method

This is the future house. But this is probably not how it's actually going to be built. Then how would you build this home, you might say. Well......I have the answer to your question.

There are two ways these types of homes can be built using 3D printers. It can be built the way Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis shows it or another way which I think is a lot better.

What is my way? We can have facilities which will 3D print these items and then construction workers can transport certain parts of a house and simply place it.

Innovations Paving the Future

By Ryan Miller

Kwikset was first to market with the smart lock, which is completely compatible with your smartphone(Kwiksetpresskit). What it does is having your smartphone in your pocket and touching the lock with your finger will unlock the door allowing access to your home. Even though this technology came out back in late 2013 we believe it is this type of technology that will be paving the future to home development. Forgetting your keys would never happen again and products that come out that hide your spare key will be redundant. The technology is also calibrated to know whether or not your phone is inside or outside with you. This is a big feature were as if you were to have left your phone inside near the door anyone could potentially open the door. This feature makes sure your phone is on you outside of the door. One problem that may come in a future update is locking the door directly from your phone, which would help a lot of forgetful families.

Nest Thermostat

Auto-Schedule: Nest learns your lifestyle and temperature preferences and adjusts the temperature throughout the day saving you up to 20% on your heating and cooling bills (, 2015).

Nest Leaf: Nest allows you to see when you have chosen an energy efficient temperature (, 2015).

System Match: Nest will adapt to your systems whether it’s forced air, heat pump or radiant (, 2015).

Auto-Away: Nest will sense when nobody is in the house and turn itself into energy saving mode (, 2015).

Airwave: Airwave will automatically turn off your AC a few minutes early but keep the fan running. This allows you to still remain comfortable and run your AC up to 30% less (, 2015).

Energy History: Better helps you understand your energy bill to see how much energy you use and why (, 2015).

Nest is the future for all homes as it not only has a far sleeker look with its display but also allowing it to understand how you live and adjusting to your lifestyle. This will far better help sustainability for families as you don’t have to just set your temperature to a number and either forget about it or constantly change throughout the months or even weeks. As for any newer type of technology it takes time for it to make its way into homes and we for see this being in all homes by 2025. The nest is also completely compatible with your smartphone. This seems to be the trend with new housing technology. It makes perfect sense though as we use our phones every day and they are basically everyone’s life remote; it goes hand in hand to allow compatibility to better fulfill your needs at home. Other products that nest is developing and releasing are smoke alarms and home cameras further pushing how homes will be for 2025.

(, 2015)

Picture this

GE appliances have put together what they believe the houses of 2025 will be as far as kitchen, laundry, cooking and the overall home.

Smart Faucet with Hydration Sensor: The faucet of the future will not only dispense water but also ice, carbonated water, vitamins and various other beverages. Also it brings touch pad and ability to make fully compatible with your phone.(geappliances, 2015)

In Sink Dishwasher: The ability to wash small loads in the comfort of your sink with built in sensors to detect when bacteria and chemicals are completely washed off your dishes (geappliances, 2015).

Water: Sustainability will be a component of the future and allowing our appliances to use less water will be crucial. Better filtration systems will be implemented though out our homes better recycling the water to be used in areas such as harvesting crops or even the toilet (geappliances, 2015).

Cooking: Ovens with touch top stove allowing for heat to be placed anywhere on the stove top and not formed to 4 separate locations. This allows a new way of cooking with everything compatible though your smartphone which helps monitor temperature and heat leveling (geappliances, 2015).

Social Cooking Experience: As apple has made Siri more and more popular, integrating this form of technology in your home can be beneficial in an outstanding amount of ways. Help with meal preparation or staying healthy through meal plans, all this can be stored and found on through the internet and read as you are preparing any meal (geappliances, 2015).

Easy Care Laundry Machine: One machine that not only washes and dry’s your clothing, it also stores and compresses your clothes ready for travel or to just put on right away (geappliances, 2015).

Virtual Closet: A touch panel based closet allowing you to properly store clothing, request items to be chosen for you based on weather or even suggest matching outfits (geappliances, 2015).

GE goes over a lot more ideas they have predicted for the future and all seem very obtainable in for 2025 (geappliances, 2015).


As trends show, housing is turning towards everything being compatible with your phone and causing wires to become obsolete. A completely smart and wireless home is the future and something we believe will allow sustainability for families. Cars, Homes and appliances will be interconnected. Photo voltaic energy is becoming more relevant with housing where panels are attached to roofs to heat your home and water while powering devices inside (Businessinsider, 2014). Food shortages will be less of a worry as farms will have higher technology to produce more products (Businessinsider, 2014). This can cause prices to drop for food allowing more families to have food on their plate. A lot of families don’t have enough money to feed themselves every day and we believe food in the fridges of every home will be more practical in the homes of 2025. Better biodegradable systems will be run to promote recycling even future more than houses do these days (Businessinsider, 2014). Not many houses participate or even recycle properly; we believe better recycling will be done in the homes of 2025 to create their own dirt for landscaping.

3D Printing

Houses in the near future of 2050 will look around the same they do right now, houses these days can last up to 100+ years so in 35 years the houses of the future will have already been built. I do believe better technologies will have come forth to improve the sustainability of the housing. This can be interpreted as smart phones are now, more or not with clear screens in the walls for temperature control to touch start your TV to pop out and play on any wall. As the possibilities are endless of what may be incorporated into a house 35 years from now. With the new technologies coming forth such as 3D – Printing, things were possibly printing a whole house is becoming more and more surreal. With this form of constructing housing may become a lot smaller, as the printing is a long process. This can result in cost cuts for the families, more available spacing to build more houses and less of a reason to be polluting and tearing down our natural habitats that are being cut down every day to make room or gain materials to build new homes. This is something that would greatly help the earth from the toxics we spew out every day. 3D printing a house is possible but has yet to showcase anything other than a brief moment at TED 2012 (core77, 2014). Meanwhile in China, they have been practicing their ways of 3D printing and trying to be first to market. They have recently built ten sample structures measuring 200 square meters and only costing $5 000 each to construct (core77, 2014). This would change the world if something like this became a reality where houses now only cost 2% of what they use to cost. This is something I can see that the government would not let happen as they make too much money on all the taxes that come with a house, but could seriously help families recover from debt or hard times. Also, not only is the 3D printed house helping the forest from being knocked down all material used in these China homes they are also completely made up of recycled material (core77, 2014). The next step for China is to be building a small villa, this can show proven concept and get things started in this direction as we go into 2050. This can also result in a few negative features as construction is one of the top jobs in North America and puts the food on a lot of families’ tables. With 3D printing the work of maybe 20 people has now dropped down to a group of 3. This can cause a lot of loss of jobs which could intend have the standard of living drop, which could hurt the whole community. This also opens doors to jobs in constructing the new machine and maintaining it, so a lot of tests have to be run I believe before implementing this way of living and 3D printing of houses.

The House of 2025

You've read a considerable amount of research on what will make a house of 2025. You've also read about what new tech these houses might contain and these new technologies will evolve to fit a house of the future. Amidst all of the information presented, it is important to take away one very important fact: earth's resources are rapidly going and we are consuming far too much for it to recover. Our research was primarily based on the thorough scientific research and we propose that the house of 2025 will have evolved to sustainable building and maintenance.


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