Keeping occupants safe and sound when the power goes out 

Whether caused by storms, wildfires, or something else, power outages are a fact of life. While the majority are inconvenient, extreme events can sometimes knock electricity out for weeks. Building homes for passive survivability helps keep occupants safe and comfortable during periods of power outages. 

A remodeling project is an opportunity to counsel clients on features that improve the home’s resiliency and stays comfortable for days without power. “It’s called passive survivability,” says Alex Wilson, president of the Resilient Design Institute in Brattleboro, Vt. “It’s about designing and building homes that remain habitable if they lose power.” 

The basics aren’t complicated. They include a super-efficient envelope with good insulation and air sealing. High-performance windows that take advantage of passive solar gain and natural ventilation are key to resilient homes built for passive survivability. Solar panels and home batteries further improve a home’s resilience during an outage.

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