Architects around the world have escalated efforts to buildenergy-efficient buildings that make the most of natural resources forenergy and water. While some building rely on the use of solar energy to reduce grid electricity consumption, designers at Rolf Disch have created a net positive city in Freiburg, Germany that produces up to four times the amount of energy it consumes.
Christened the Sonnenschiff (Solar Ship) and Solarseidlung (Solar Village) the mixed-use buildingsinclude a series of large rooftop solar arrays that double as sunshades. The buildings are built to Passivhaus standards that reduce theamount of energy needed for heating and cooling. The developmentincludes 52 homes with space for commercial facilities as well.
In addition to the use of large solar arrays, the building featurestechnologies like phase-change materials and vacuum insulation thatboosts the thermal performance of the building’s wall system. Thedevelopment also includes penthouses that have access to rooftopgardens. Moreover, the rooftops feature rainwater recycling systems that help irrigate the gardens and also supply gray water for use intoilets.