Auckland's Jessop Architects has developed plans for passive houses with extremely low energy consumption.
Darren Jessop said he wants to raise awareness about the concept and a $160,000 Titirangi house, about to be built, was a good example, he said.
"It's a 24sq m one-bedroom crib-style retreat, with a bathroom and kitchen and it's how to get all the main functions into one small space, and make it low energy," he said.
The small place in a cool bush setting was for a client who wanted a retreat from the bustle of the city.
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Passive houses are well insulated and virtually airtight and the main form of heating is via passive gain.
"This means that the building's interior climate can be maintained at a comfortable level without active heating and cooling systems," he said. "A passive house combines high-level comfort with low-level energy consumption using ... insulation, thermal windows and heat recovery."
Take a look at more Coolhouse designs by Jessop Architects: