A Passive House is a "very well-insulated, virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, etc." Passive homes are gaining popularity since they are easily built and are allowed everywhere, as evidenced by the new first passive house in South Carolina reported in April 2013 in foundation stage in Honea Path. Other environmental alternatives such as earthships and cob and strawbale homes are slower in being accepted by local building departments.
Although the passive home idea originated in the United States, nearly all certified passive houses are in Europe. Europe has about 20,000 such single and multifamily residences, schools, factories and office buildings, many extensively monitored by the Passiv Haus Institut in Darmstadt, versus less than 100 currently certified in the U.S.
The closest completed passive house to Greenville, South Carolina is the one in Asheville, North Carolina. See the link to the article about it below. View the list for the methods of making any home passive and pictures of some passive solar homes.