Modus Magazine UK: Passiv Scale2018.01.18
Passivhaus might be a great way to build super- efficient, eco-friendly homes, but its exacting standards are too expensive to work for volume housebuilders, right? Wrong, says Andy Pearson.
Bahnstadt in the city of Heidelberg, south- west Germany, is one of the most ambitious urban developments in Europe. More than €2bn is being invested in converting a 287 acre (116 ha) former freight-train terminal into a pioneering eco-community of around 5,500 people. The site is a mix of residential and commercial buildings, schools and shops. When completed in 2022, this new district is expected to produce less than half the carbon dioxide emissions of a conventional city district. The reason? Bahnstadt is being built entirely to Passivhaus standards.
One of the blocks under construction on the campus is the 162-home Heidelberg Village, designed by Frey Architekten. It is one of several large Passivhaus projects that the Freiburg-based architect is currently working on; the other notable examples being in China. These include a 198 acre (80 ha) site at Qingdao on the east coast that will be Asia’s largest Passivhaus development, and a project to redevelop 21 acres (8.5 ha) of Zhuhai, in southern China, to Passivhaus standards. “The scale [of the Zhuhai scheme] is the biggest Passivhaus scheme our office has done,” says chairman Wolfgang Frey.