Low energy consumption: Vauban, a sustainable district model

Vauban, in Freiburg - Germany, was built as "a sustainable district model " on the site of a former French military base. All houses are built to a low energy consumption standard, with 100 units designed to the Passivhaus ultra-low energy building standard. Other buildings are heated by a combined heat and power station burning wood chips, while many of the buildings have Solar collectors or photovoltaic cells.

Perhaps the best example of sustainable building is the Solar Settlement in Vauban, a 59 PlusEnergy housing community. It is the first housing community world wide in which all homes produce a positive energy balance. The solar energy surplus is then sold back into the city's grid, generating profits.

Within Vauban, citizens move primarily by foot or bicycle. Vauban is connected to the Freiburg city center by a tramway, and it is laid out linearly along the tracks, and all homes are within easy walking distance of a tram stop. Since  2009 about70% of the inhabitants have chosen to live without a private car. The level of car ownership has fallen over time.

Earlier recent survey shows that less than 50% of inhabitants owns a car; of those living carfree, 81% had previously owned one and 57% gave up their cars when or immediately after moving to Vauban.

Sustainable district model - Vauban