Solar Energy Housing Estates: 11 Steps towards Sustainability
Together with several building companies, the city of Cologne has so far established a total of 11 energy efficient housing estates with some 900 residential units that utilise solar energy. They were funded by the "Building with the Sun" programme involving 50 solar housing estates that is run by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
On the one hand, the aim of the project is to achieve significant reductions in energy demand through appropriate solar construction methods (max. 15 kWh/m²a) and on the other, it is to meet most of the remaining energy needs with solar energy (60% of energy requirements) or with energy from other renewable sources.
Most of the projects are in existing buildings, as is the case in Cologne-Bocklemünd, a project area with buildings of up to ten floors where large photovoltaic panels have been integrated into the façades or attached to the balcony balustrades. The most recent project, in Cologne- Ossendorf, included improvements in thermal insulation by 80%, central heating with wood pellets, 150 m2 of solar thermal collectors and a 200 m2 photovoltaic system.