Co.Exist Ideas: This Will Be The Largest “Passive House” Apartment Complex In The World2016.09.01

The 162 apartments of Heidelberg Village all will use just a tiny fraction of the energy necessary to heat and cool “normal” houses.

Sitting on a piece of land roughly the size of a football field in a former freight yard in Heidelberg, Germany, a new 162-unit apartment complex called Heidelberg Village will soon be the largest passive house development in the world.

To meet the exacting “Passivhaus” standard, buildings can only use a tiny amount of energy for heating and cooling. Even with cold German winters, the complex will never use more than 15 kilowatt-hours of energy for heating per square meter in a year; a “normal” building might use 100 to 300 kWh.

The scale of the development actually made it easier to save energy. “The reason is the volume to surface ratio,” says Wolfgang Frey, head of Frey Architekten, the sustainable architecture firm that designed the complex. The buildings—one five stories high, and the other ranging from five to eight stories—are plastered with energy-producing solar panels on the facades, not just on the roof.

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