Germany is building world’s largest passive housing complex with 162 green units

Aug 23, 2016 by


by Lacy Cooke   INHABITATHeidelberg-Village-Passive-Housing-Complex-Full-Width-1580x391
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In Germany, the world’s biggest passive housing complex is currently under construction. The solar-powered Heidelberg Village designed by Frey Architekten will comprise 162 units and a host of sustainable features, including rooftop and vertical gardens.

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Frey Architekten founder Wolfgang Frey designed the complex so a wide variety of people could live on the property. There’s a range of one bedroom apartments to apartments that can house families of four or five people. Each apartment will have its own balcony. Solar power and modern ventilation systems will allow the complex to be energy efficient. Vertical gardens and roof gardens will add beauty, fresh air and other benefits. According to the complex’s website, even the “wall color” will make the building sustainable by oxidizing greenhouse gases nitrogen oxides “into harmless nitrates.” Through the process, oxygen will be released into the air.

Related: Belgium’s largest passive office building breaks ground in Brussels

Heidelberg Village is being built according to Frey’s “Five-Finger-Principle,” which views sustainability holistically, including “ecology, affordability, integration, innovation, and profitability” as part of the process. The ultimate goal is “building a home environment to last a lifetime,” according to Frey Architekten. Heidelberg Village will likely be finished in 2017.

The architects also announced plans to provide construction workers and future residents with food, a lunch program designed to connect the people who will live in Heidelberg Village to those who built their homes. By bringing together these two groups that otherwise may never have met, Frey Architekten hopes to foster a deep sense of community and belonging.

In a press release, Frey Architekten founder Wolfgang Frey said, “Our idea is to build a strong community identity by inviting potential residents to our weekly soup kitchen to meet the construction workers and learn more about the people behind the scenes. Through consistent interaction the entire complex will bond over food and friendship.”

+ Frey Architekten

+ Heidelberg Village

Images courtesy of Frey Architekten

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First Certified Passive House Ever in the Western US!

under Architecture, Green Building

by Bridgette Meinhold
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(photo credit: Amanda Nelson Photography)

The first certified Passive House in Salt Lake City also happens to be the first certified Passive House in the Western US. The Breezeway House, designed by Brach Design Architecture and Illinois-based Passive House Institute was recently completed in December of 2009, and is now only 1 of 10 houses in the US to be certified under this super efficient green building certification program!

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The Breezeway House, located in Millcreek just outside of Salt Lake City, is a 2,800 sq foot, 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home. The modern residence relies on super tight insulation, solar passive design and a mechanical ventilation system for super efficient control of the indoor climate. Operable windows are also available as another means of ventilation during the more moderate times of the year in Salt Lake City. The home also includes a 2.2 kW solar system on the roof and is so energy efficient that that system can provide about 75% of its energy needs.

The Passive House Standard was originally developed by Bo Adamson along with German Physicist Wolfgang Feist, who built the first passive house in Germany in 1990. Feist created an open source software program to perform energy modeling for building in order to optimize the design for energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Dave Brach, the only Passive House consultant in the Utah area, said, “We need to start relying on smart design and low-energy passive solutions that assure comfort… It doesn’t make sense to rely on expensive and energy guzzling mechanical equipment to heat and cool our buildings anymore.”

+ Brach Design Architecture

+ Passive House Institute

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