In Germany, the world’s biggest passive housing complex is currently under construction. The solar-powered Heidelberg Village designed by Frey Architekten will comprise 162 units and a host of sustainable features, including rooftop and vertical gardens.
Frey Architekten founder Wolfgang Frey designed the complex so a wide variety of people could live on the property. There’s a range of one bedroom apartments to apartments that can house families of four or five people. Each apartment will have its own balcony. Solar power and modern ventilation systems will allow the complex to be energy efficient. Vertical gardens and roof gardens will add beauty, fresh air and other benefits. According to the complex’s website, even the “wall color” will make the building sustainable by oxidizing greenhouse gases nitrogen oxides “into harmless nitrates.” Through the process, oxygen will be released into the air.
Heidelberg Village is being built according to Frey’s “Five-Finger-Principle,” which views sustainability holistically, including “ecology, affordability, integration, innovation, and profitability” as part of the process. The ultimate goal is “building a home environment to last a lifetime,” according to Frey Architekten. Heidelberg Village will likely be finished in 2017.
The architects also announced plans to provide construction workers and future residents with food, a lunch program designed to connect the people who will live in Heidelberg Village to those who built their homes. By bringing together these two groups that otherwise may never have met, Frey Architekten hopes to foster a deep sense of community and belonging.
In a press release, Frey Architekten founder Wolfgang Frey said, “Our idea is to build a strong community identity by inviting potential residents to our weekly soup kitchen to meet the construction workers and learn more about the people behind the scenes. Through consistent interaction the entire complex will bond over food and friendship.”