Freiburg's Sustainable Districts: Vauban / Solarsiedlung

Watch the CNN report from Freiburg: "Germany's model green city"

The Solar Siedlung (settlement or subdivision in German) and its accompanying Sonnenschiff (solar ship) were built by Rolf Disch, Freiburg's noted solar architect.
What is significant for North Americans is that while we continue to talk about "zero" energy houses as the epitomy of social and environmental consciousness, German designers such as Disch have gone well beyond that stage. The row houses in Disch's Solar Siedlung are "plus" energy houses. That is, they produce more energy than they consume. By using full benefit of passive solar heating, more insulation than even the typical German home, and an extended roof of solar photovoltaics, the houses in Disch's development produce more electricity than they use. First consider that the average electricity consumption for the homes is only 2,200 kWh/year. That's one-third the average of the typical California home, one-fifth that of the typical Ontario house, and one-sixth that of the typical Texan. The roof top solar panels produce 6,300 kWh/home per year or three times more than each home consumes! (That's an average yield of 940 kWh/kW/year, fairly typical for southern Germany.) Similarly, the commercial building produces more electricity than it consumes, but by less of a margin (1.1 times its consumption).


Model Urban District Freiburg-Vauban

Sustainable Urban Development: The Freiburg Model
(Description and Technical Data)

English Introduction on
most links lead to German-only pages

Overview / History of the Vauban development

Read the article "The Vauban District in Freiburg: Living in a Holiday Destination" by C. Cerfontaine
In: Public Transport International Magazine 2007-5

Powerpoint Presentations by Carsten Sperling, Vauban: here and here

(some parts of this web site are available in English)

Architect Rolf Disch:

Plus Energy House



S.U.S.I. Co-operative (selbstorganisierte, unabhängige Siedlungsinitiative)

Citizens' Association (NGO) "Forum Vauban"

Vauban: Sustainability Level A

Vauban: scinexx Dossier