Single family houses with surplus energy

Freiburg-Vauban „Solar settlement at Schlierberg “



The settlement at Schlierberg is in direct vicinity of the Vauban area, approx. 3 km from the city centre of Freiburg. On the site of the former French Vauban barracks, a new, mixed use urban neighbourhood with a total of 2,000 flats and community needs facilities for approx. 5,000 people has come into existence since 1997.

On the 38 hectare area, housing and living space for different social groups is being created in compacted construction. Among the main measures of the so-called “Model Urban District Vauban” are: mobility concept reducing the number of cars, sustainable water management, energy-conscious construction, building waste management, promotion of joint building projects and cooperative building and the design of a cooperative planning process.


Project description

The energy-optimised new settlement has been in development on the former sports area of the Vauban barracks since 1999.

“In the solar settlement at Schlierberg, the future of solar building and living in harmony with nature is already reality” - this is the slogan of the building and project organiser “Solarsiedlung GmbH” (Solar Settlement GmbH) for this settlement which produces solar energy. The measures include 58 surplus energy houses. 43 of these had been built by the beginning of 2003.

The solar settlement is a trend-setting pilot project for solar building and living. The 2 to 3-storey wood construction buildings are in rows aligned to the south and are built in accordance with the high requirements of passive house standards. An individual design, the use of natural building materials and striking colours give the settlement a distinctive look.

The project organiser speaks of a “Surplus energy house” construction, since photovoltaic facilities on the buildings’ roofs generate more energy than the inhabitants of the houses consume. The surplus energy is the fed into the general electricity network.

The optimised passive house standard and the additional power generation lead to a reduction of the supplementary expenses for the users. Energy saving costs of at least 500 euros/year in comparison with a conventional house are aimed for.

According to the information from the project organiser, the houses are not more expensive than houses in a comparable location in Freiburg, despite the additional efforts. Half of the houses are occupied by their owners, the other half is rented. An exclusive real estate investment fund, the “1. Freiburger Solarfonds” (1st Freiburg Solar Fund) with 15 terraced houses of the settlement as fund property, was founded as an incentive for this capital investment.

To shield the settlement from the main road, the so-called “Sonnenschiff” (Solar Ship), a living and business house, is planned (begin of construction in the spring of 2003). The heat supply is currently covered by the wood chip fuelled power plant of the urban district Vauban. With the erection of the “Solar Ship”, heat generation through solar panels and a combined heat and power unit fuelled by biomass is planned.


Project chronology

Year Event
March 1994 Statutes for the urban planning development measure "Vauban"
1996 Set-up of the legally binding land-use plan with ecological criteria
April 1998 Foundation of Solarsiedlung GmbH
1999 Start of construction
2000 Key project of the EXPO participation of the solar region at the Upper Rhine
2005 Planned completion of the whole settlement


  • Implementation of solar architecture of the latest generation in environmentally friendly construction
  • Reduction of supplementary expenses for the inhabitants
  • Surplus energy houses (Plusenergiehäuser®) as source of income through payments for energy in accordance with the Renewable Energies Act (EEG, as of 1st April 2000)

Types of measures

  • Use of environmentally friendly materials (wood construction from regional forests, PVC-free installation, environmentally friendly insulating material)
  • Especially windproof and insulated thermal building shell (heat requirement: 11-14 kWh/m² and year)
  • Active ventilation with heat recovery
  • Photovoltaic facilities on the roofs
  • Setting up a solar fund (“1st Freiburg Solar Fund”) as an investment form for investors and prospective tenants


This solar settlement supplies the proof for the feasibility of a “Surplus energy house settlement” - an ecologically oriented, energy-efficient construction in modern solar architecture enables a positive energy balance. Passive house standards and the most modern energy technology are combined with the commercial operation of solar power plants.



  • http://www.solarsiedlung.de
  • http://www.freiburgersolarfonds.de
  • http://www.rolfdisch.de
  • Rolf Disch (2002): Ihr Plusenergiehaus. Wohnen mit der Sonne - Solararchitektur der neuen Generation (Your surplus energy house. Living with the sun - Solar architecture of the latest generation). Without place
  • Rolf Disch (2001): 1. Freiburger Solarfonds. Immobilienfonds für zukunftsfähiges Bauen und Wohnen (1st Freiburg Solar Fund. Real estate fund for sustainable building and living). Without place
  • fesa e.V. (ed.) (2002): Die SolarRegion, Zeitschrift für Ökologie und solare Energien (The SolarRegion, Magazine for ecology and solar energies) 3/2002, in this: Janzing, Bernward: Wohnen mit der Sonne - die Solarsiedlung am Schlierberg (Living with the sun - The solar settlement at Schlierberg). Esslingen

Further information

Größere Kartenansicht

The projekt site ist to be found at postal code: 79100 - town: Freiburg - street: Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 13.




Record inserted on 01.02.2003 by Lehrstuhl für Planungstheorie und Stadtplanung, RWTH Aachen and updated by theFederal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR).

Last update: 12.03.2012