On picture the Solar- Fabrik AG. Freiburg city in south-west Germany have more than 1,800 sunhours a year and are one of the sunniest city in the country. Solar panels are found on several buildings in the city, for example the Badenova Stadium with solar power plant on the roof which heat the shower water and are used to run the powerful lights over the arena in the night.
Heliotrop is a rotating sun-house which moves after the sunlight. The buildning can be used as a public house as restaurang, hotel, offices, doctor's practice or company headquarter. The Heliotrop near the Vauban neigbourhood have a 77 squaremeter basement, 180 m2 in the "tree house" and 60 m2 in the roof terrace which is covered with vegetation. The buildning is a "surplus" energy house, which generate four to six times the amount of electrical energy consumed in it. The buildning also have a evacuated tube collector that provides active solar heating and hot water. See more at Rolf Disch homepage.
The Vauban district is an urban development area with ecological awareness. As much as possible, the trees and old buildnings have been left. From the beginning barracks of the French military forces, now a beautiful area to live in for families. They have their own tram line, situated in the middle of the neighbourhood, covered with grass to reduce the sound. Most of the people living here, doesn't own a car.
The Black Forest are close and the hills around Freiburg are to steep to build at.
Next to Hauptbahnhof, main train station, you can find the bicycle station "Mobile". Café, bicycle shop where you can leave your bike to be fixed in the afternoon, and safe bike parking. 9,000 parking sites for bikes can be found in the city.
Ökostation, right in the seepark, have been an educational center for both children and adults since 1986. The station have contract with the school to educate the children in different subject, classes are held specially for kids in ecology, gardening, cooking and environmental consciousnesses. The nearest school can go here in the breaks and play with different tools.
The station is runned by funds from the City of Freiburg, the state and the Environment & Nature Conversation League (BUND). See more about the ecostation at their homepage, found here.
Close to the Eco-Station there was a schoolyard where we found the "butterfly effect"; water runs the weel which move the wings of the butterflies, or was it sunpanels on the wings that runs the water, that runs the..? We argued but were not sure.
Rieselfeld is the state's largest neighbourhood project and are famous for it's solar energy system that the residents can invest in and make money from. In the picture, one of the houses with solar panels and special architecture, but also a nest for birds- the whole house were singing!