Energy efficiency is one of the main issues discussed in the context of sustainable buildings today. However, as people spend up to 90% of their time inside buildings, it is also imperative that there is a stronger focus on indoor comfort and human health. The Active House principles adopt this holistic approach, with a focus that balances comfort, energy and environmental aspects of residential buildings. This paper discusses the need for such a holistic approach and presents a number of design aspects from existing projects based on the Active House Guidelines within Comfort, Energy and Environment. The guidelines give specific focus to the design process and examples that show how daylight conditions can be optimized in buildings and how indoor climate can be optimized in warm climates using passive technologies, shading etc.