Chinese Passive House Delegation at Frey Architekten2016.06.15

An Excursion for Chinese Experts to Freiburg During the International Passive House Conference 2016

The 20th Annual International Passive House Conference ended on April 23, 2016 in Darmstadt. Thereafter a group of business leaders and representatives from China began a European tour to view various passive hours. On April 28, 2016 the group visited Freiburg, Germany’s „capital ecocity“ and on April 29, 2016 they went to Heidelberg-Bahnstadt, one of the world’s largest passive house settlements, including Frey Architekten’s „Heidelberg Village“ project.

die Öko-Hauptstadt Deutschlands – Freiburg

Germany’s capital ecocity – Freiburg


Ever since the city of Freiburg was named Germany’s capital ecocity in 1992 due to its exceptional achievements in the areas of early warning systems for air pollution, pesticide bans, trash recycling and strict traffic laws, it has won an award nearly ever year, including the “European Prize for Urban Mass Transit and Commuter Railway Systems,“ „the German Solar Prize“, the „German Prize for Urban Sustainability,“ and first place in the competition for „quarter planning“, which was awarded by the DGNB and the German Environmental Association.

The world-renowned Green City of Freiburg is viewed by many cities as a role model. Since 2011 the city of Freiburg has set the overall standard for energy consumption for new construction at the level of passive houses. It is the only city in the world that has completely transitioned to a citywide passive house energy standard.




The first stop for the group, consisting of high-ranking Chinese passive house representatives, was Frey Architekten in the green city quarter of “Rieselfeld” on April 28, 2016.

Jürgen Heller von Frey Architekten stellt das Projekt Smart Green Tower vor

Jürgen Heller von Frey Architekten stellt das Projekt Smart Green Tower vor


The CEO of the DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen) Johannes Kreidig spoke about the DGNB certification system. Wolfgang Frey, owner of Frey Architekten, rounded out the presentations by introducing his so-called five finger principle that refers to a holistic notion of sustainablility resting on five principles (ecology, economy, society, vision and motivation) as a contributing factor to the development of passive houses in Germany.

Johannes Kreißig, Geschäftsführer der DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen), referiert über das DGNB-Zertifizierungssystem

Johannes Kreißig, CEO of the DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen), speaks on the DGNB certification system.

Wolfgang Frey von Frey Architekten über das Fünf-Finger-Prinzip des nachhaltiges Bauens

Wolfgang Frey of Frey Architekten about the five finger principle for sustainable building


At the end of the presentations, Wolfgang Frey took the participants on a tour through the urban district of Rieselfeld. Using the planned and existing buildings from Frey Architekten, he showed the group the green technology’s notable structural engineering. The Woodhouse was exhibited as a showcased model building for sustainability at the EXPO Shanghai 2010. The special feature on the building is that its entire aboveground structure is made of wood. Adopting to its local environment, the house expressed the connection between the wood as eco-building material and sustainability itself.

das Musterbeispiel der städtischen Nachhaltigkeit – das Holzhaus

A prime example of urban sustainability — the Woodhouse.


Die chinesische Delegation besichtigt das Holzhaus

The Chinese delegation views the Woodhouse


„pro scholare“ is a residential building with 82 apartments and a commercial section on the ground floor. It is a passive house that uses a photovoltaic installation also on the sun-facing facades of the building. It also has a small windmill on its roof to cover the building’s energy needs. The surplus energy can be stored in the city’s supply. The combination of “passive” and “active” shows the trend the passive house is taking.

Gruppenbild vor dem Haus „pro scholare“

Group shot in front of the „pro scholare“ house


On April 29, 2016 the Chinese seminar group visited one of the world’s largest passive house settlements – Heidelberg-Bahnstadt. There they toured Frey Architekten’s project „Heidelberg Village“, which is currently under construction.