Germany Builds World’s Largest Green Community

Germany seems determined to take steps in reducing its carbon footprint. The country’s latest project currently under construction in Heidelberg will be the world’s biggest passive housing complex.

Heidelberg Village will be a solar-powered ecological inspiration, comprising 162 units and featuring rooftop and vertical gardens.

The village was designed by Architect Wolfgang Frey, founder of Frey Architekten, whose designs revolve around the ability for a wide range of people to take up residents within the village.

The apartments will have its own balcony and range from one bedroom to sizes that could cater to families of four or five.


The key to Heidelberg Village’s uniqueness is the approach Frey is taking to ensure the overall design responds to his view on holistic sustainability, and what he refers to as his ‘five-finger-principle’.

The principle, as part of Frey’s process, includes:

  • ecology

  • affordability

  • integration

  • innovation

  • and profitability

The village will be energy efficient thanks to the incorporation of solar power and modern ventilation systems. The vertical and rooftop gardens will also help contribute to add beauty and a sense of environmental savvy with its vegetation and benefits to the air.


Technical Characteristics Of The Residential Units

Handicapped accessibility pursuant to DIN 18025 is guaranteed for the most part. Given that wheelchair users and other individuals with unique support needs do reside in the entire complex. Given the diversity of the psychic or physical impairments the use of flexible and intelligent solutions is mandatory.

Accommodation In “Nursing Home-Like” Residences

The building is not a nursing home in compliance with the German Nursing Home Construction Act. The individual residents are housed individually in independent units whose occupants change variably on an as-needed basis. Entry conditions, such as those of a nursing home due to the nursing care rate charged, do not exist. Nevertheless, the sum total of units occupied by individuals represented the defined groups of people does represent a nursing home like environment.

The Living Community Approach

The utilisation concept behind Heidelberg Village is based on the idea of a living community as a social policy vision. In the English language, the term “living” is frequently used to consolidate the definition of the German words “wohnen” (dwelling) and “leben” (living, being alive) and to describe the phenomenon of “human existence.” Being human in one’s own individual and personal evolvement as part of the urban metropolitan community is a different process these days.


According to the complex’s website, even the “wall colour” will make the building sustainable by oxidising greenhouse gases nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrates.

Frey’s ultimate goal is to build “a home environment to last a lifetime,” with further plans to provide construction workers and future residents with 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.

Frey said in a press release that the idea is to build a strong community identity.

He is keen to invite potential residents to lunch where they can meet the construction workers and learn more about the people behind the scenes. It’s a plan to see the plans grow from an environmentally friendly village to nurturing community of friends and family.

The lifetime community ideal is also bolstered by the proximity of local facilities, amenities and infrastructure, making it what Frey believes to be be the perfect urban environment.

Heidelberg Village is projected to reach completion in 2017.



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