Big picture - Huff'n'Puff Haus - a straw bale passive house

If you were choosing how to build in a bushfire-prone region of Australia, you could be forgiven for skirting over the possibility of packing your walls with straw. Talina Edwards of Envirotecture describes an extraordinary off-grid passive house which uses straw and a range of low embodied carbon building materials to blitz regulatory requirements on fire, while delivering year-round comfort levels that the neighbours can scarcely believe.

Big picture - New Zealand rural passive home

In the first installment of a brand new photo essay feature, in which we profile passive houses and other eco-buildings from around the world, architect Joe Lyth writes about how the aesthetic of simple backcountry cabins inspired the design of his rural home on New Zealand’s North Island.