Europe’s largest Efficiency Plus House ready for tenants

The largest apartment building in Europe that produces instead of consumes energy was inaugurated last week in Frankfurt. The building has over 330 photovoltaic panels on the façade and around 1,000 high efficiency panels on the roof.

Called the Aktiv-Stadthaus (active townhouse), the apartment building with 74 residential units is the first multi-family home in Europe to meet the Efficiency Plus House standard. Using photovoltaic panels, the building produces its own electricity, which it can then store underground in batteries for use at night. Water and air is heated by a heat pump that uses a nearby sewer tunnel as a heat source.

These features allow the building to achieve a negative annual energy requirement, making it an Efficiency Plus House or Plus Energy House. As such, the building is part of a network supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) to receive scientific support. The network currently consists of more than 30 residential pilot projects.

The building even exceeds the new building standards set by the European Union to come into force after 2021, says federal environment minister Barbara Hendricks. Such buildings enrich Frankfurt’s innovative cityscape of new buildings while also creating much necessary affordable housing. According to Frankfurt mayor Peter Feldmann, Frankfurt is positioning itself both as a city of the energy transition and one of scientific progress.

The future tenants will have access to a car sharing programme, and electric cars will be able to charge using the building’s own battery system. Tenants will also be to control their electricity consumption using a display that compares currently consumption with electricity production. As IWR reports, the demand from potential tenants is extremely high according to BMUB and ABG Frankfurt Holdings, the building’s owner.


Photo credit: © ABG Frankfurt Holdings

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