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Net positive solar-powered development

by Geoffrey on August 11, 2011

Check out this solar-powered development.


The article reads: Sonnenschiff Solar City

“in Freiburg, Germany is very much net positive. The self-sustaining city accomplishes this feat through smart solar design and lots and lots of photovoltaic panels pointed in the right direction. It seems like a simple strategy — but designers often incorporate solar installations as an afterthought, or worse, as a label. Designed by Rolf Disch, the Sonnenschiff (Solar Ship) and Solarsiedlung (Solar Village) emphasize power production from the start by smartly incorporating a series of large rooftop solar arrays that double as sun shades.”

Sonnenschiff roof scape

Sonnenschiff plan

Let’s call this project a pioneer, pointing towards the possibilities for smart development. Definitely next time I’m in Germany I will want to visit this project.

Still: a comment is that it is one thing to be net positive (that is supplying energy back to the grid) but I can’t help but look at the site plan and think that other values, such as the character, utility, and amenity of urban open space has been sacrificed.  The multicolour scheme of the building panels also makes the entire development, to my eye, look uneven and unresolved – or like something out of a children’s play structure catalog.

Sonnenschiff facade

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