Passive design is architectural design that eliminates the need for mechanical heating and cooling of a building through the use of smart, time-tested heating and cooling strategies such as natural ventilation, solar heat gain and solar shading and efficient insulation. Around 15,000 passive houses have been built around the world in a few short years, yet few are cropping up the United States. Scandinavian and German-speaking countries are sweeping the industry and streamlining the modern family’s heating bill in the process. Passive homes seem to be the next logical step in, well, logical design - German Bauhaus style coupled naturally with Scandinavian modernism, later exploding into what we now know as mid-century modern. Now with 2009 well underway, the world’s budding designers are leaning on the shoulders of sustainability, while passive design is planting its feet in the homelands of Alvar Aalto and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.