News Media

2017 World Changing Ideas Awards

2017.04.05

Bold, visionary projects are leading the way toward improving how we live, eat, and learn. There are 192 finalists in the 2017 World Changing Ideas Awards, in categories from health to urban design to food. They run the gamut from internet-connected wells that collect water data to vegetable-based hamburgers that bleed like real meat.

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Germany engineers a new housing model

2017.03.10

In the city of Heidelberg, a relic of German romanticism on the banks of the river Necker, people are being interviewed to live in a special kind of house. This is not Germany’s version of Big Brother, though in some respects it is a kind of residential social experiment. Heidelberg Village is the largest passive housing complex in the world. Set on 6,100 square metres of land, it takes the principles of sustainable Passivhaus design and expands it to include a social perspective. The result is a prototype for multi-generational living that encourages a sense of community.

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A Passive Challenge

2017.03.02

Asia’s Largest Passive House development is currently under construction on a site covering almost 200 acres in Qingdao, China. Patrick Kingsland spoke to Germany-based architect Wolfgang Frey, who previously designed the world’s largest passive house settlement, about the challenges and benefits of passive house design.

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Electrifying architecture

2017.01.18

Hi-tech batteries enable a German tower block not only to store solar energy but redistribute it across a wider network.

A 16-story tower block in Germany looks set to push the boundaries of solar power generation by using a high capacity battery to store and intelligently distribute energy to an entire neighbourhood. The 15,000m2 (gross floor area) Smart Green Tower in Freiburg is designed by German practice Frey Architekten, in partnership with Siemens and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. It will feature commercial office and residential space, with construction planned for the second quarter of 2017.

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Energy Self-Sustaining Smart Green Tower Interacts Intelligent Within The Smart Green City

2016.12.23

This battery-operated office and apartment complex is not merely a paper tiger

The concept of Smart Green Tower goes along with the objectives of the Green City and offers much more than just energy self-sufficiency. Furthermore, this battery-operated office and apartment complex is not merely a paper tiger – it is planned to become reality in the German city of Freiburg im Breisgau. Designed by Frey Architekten, with support of Siemens and Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), the energy concept of Smart Green Tower differs from other self-sustaining buildings producing clean energy for own needs.

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Wolfgang Frey and Heidelberg Village on Chinese television

2016.12.21

On September 22, 2016 a groundbreaking ceremony took place for Asia’s largest passive house settlement in Qingdao (80 hectares) that has been developed together with Frey Architekten (a member company of the Frey Group) and its Chinese partners. As a result of the kick-off, a Qingdao camera team visited Freiburg to interview the idea generator and urban planer Wolfgang Frey. The journey took the journalists then to a part of Heidelberg called Bahnstadt, the world’s largest passive house settlement that acts as a role model for the Chinese counterpart. Wolfgang Frey introduced the criteria and solutions for German passive house construction as exemplified through his own construction project “Heidelberg Village”.

(for subtitles please activate CC)

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EFA Magazine: First Look – Heidelberg Village

2016.12.19

Heidelberg Village is part of a large sustainable development project in the new urban district, Bahnstadt, on the site of a former freight yard in Heidelberg, Germany. With 162 units, Heidelberg Village will accommodate people from all walks of life: from single households to disabled residents to seniors. Construction started in 2015 and is expected to be completed in spring 2017.

Residential units will range from one- to five-room apartments and many units are being built to accommodate residents who need nursing care or special needs, including handicapped-accessible bathrooms.

Architecture firm Frey Group (Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) is also working together with outpatient care and domestic care services, which will have offices within the village.

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Inhabitat: Asia’s largest passive house settlement breaks ground in China

2016.11.12

Following their award-winning holistic living project at Heidelberg Village, German architectural firm Frey Architekten, in collaboration with Rongen Architekten design studio, unveiled their design for one part of a large passive house settlement in Qingdao, China. The pilot project, Asia’s largest passive house settlement to date, will provide various types of housing which will cut carbon emissions by 2.376 tons and save 12.72 million kilowatt hours of electricity.

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CNN: Building a green oasis in the heart of a city

2016.11.02

By Kieron Monks, CNN

(CNN) – The Bahnstadt campus in Heidelberg, south-west Germany, is one of the largest and most ambitious urban developments in Germany. Two billion euros have been invested in converting a freight train terminal into a cutting-edge eco community. The 116-hectare campus is entirely powered by renewable energy, which is regulated by smart metering. Every one of the 2,000 homes is a “passive house” that efficiently retains energy and does not need a heating system.

The Bahnstadt experiment is now going a step further with the arrival of Heidelberg Village from Frey Architects, a 162-apartment block covered with green facades and rooftop gardens, which opens in early 2017.
The development is expected to offer significant environmental benefits, but the architects have a more ambitious vision of sustainability.

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