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Solar Housing Estate Soest "Wohnen am Ardey" (Living on the Ardey)

For the "am Ardey" solar housing estate, the town of Soest developed an urban framework plan with ambitious energy standards. In 2013, this resulted in the construction of a highly efficient solar estate with around 20 new buildings, which has become part of the federal state’s "50 solar estates in NRW" project.

They comply with the same standards but are still individual properties: the "am Ardey" solar estate houses in West Soest. The 20 families who built their houses in the residential quarter between 2006 and 2012 were able to choose energy concepts, forms and materials themselves within the framework of the guidelines. Right at the beginning, the town of Soest involved the Wortmann & Scheerer engineering firm and the families building the properties in the planning process – in the form of intensive individual consultations.

Engine for progress:

  • the town ensures the energy efficiency of new buildings
  • one-third of the annual electricity requirement is covered by solar energy
  • the heat requirement is lower than required by law by about a half
  • advice and support from the town
  • the town is planning a multi-storey climate protection housing development

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Photo: Stadt Soest

In future, when preparing local development plans, the solar energy specifications of the solar estate will be complied with insofar as possible or taken into consideration alongside all other planning aspects. The orientation of the buildings, the distances between them, as well as the building heights will be optimised in regard to solar energy use.



The heat requirements are about half as high as prescribed, solar energy covers one-third of the electricity requirement

The solar estate consists of two south-facing rows of houses on 22 individual plots for semi-detached and detached single-family houses. Most of the houses were built to 3-litre standard (energy requirement of around 35 kilowatt-hours per square metre and year [kWh/m2a). The heat requirement is therefore significantly less than that prescribed by the German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV 2009) applicable at that time of around 65 kWh/m2a. The buildings cover about one-third of the annual electricity requirement using solar energy and about two-thirds of the hot water requirement. The solar estate is part of the federal state’s "50 solar estates in NRW" project, which is manged by EnergieAgentur.NRW.

City encourages efficiency testing, integration and exchange between the homebuilders

In the planning process, the town of Soest ensured the quality and efficiency of the buildings – through strategic support and exemplary communication. In order to get the families building the properties involved, the city paid for the homebuilders to have individual consultations (drafting of the energy concepts) with the contracted Wortmann & Scheerer engineering firm. The "Blower Door Test", which checks the air-tightness of the building envelope, was also paid for by the town on behalf of the families building the properties.

The city also encouraged regular neighbourhood exchanges: It brought the homebuilders together on different dates and ensured that they were able to share ideas and plans. Some of the homebuilders made their homes available as show properties during the construction phase and beyond. This allowed other homebuilders to familiarise themselves with the technical solutions and learn from the experience of their future neighbours.

The town invited specially selected prospective buyers for later phases of construction to the opening of the solar estate. In this way, they were able to contact homebuilders who already had some experience.

Soest examines solar energy-efficiency in development plans

In future, when preparing local development plans, the specifications of the solar estate will be complied with insofar as possible or taken into consideration alongside all other planning aspects. The orientation of the buildings, the distances between them, as well as the building heights will be optimised in regard to solar energy use. 


"The am Ardey solar estate in Soest sets new standards. The houses here are energy-optimised and produce electricity and heat using solar power. But the homebuilders also have some leeway for individual plans. The result is a charming housing estate that unifies individual solutions within a homogeneous overall picture."

Maria Kroll Fiedler, Environmental Consultant for the town of Soest



Partners and sponsors


Partners:
  • Stadt Soest
  • Wortmann & Scheerer
  • Planungsbüro Pesch und Partner
  • Sparkasse Soest
  • Umschalten in der Energieversorgung Soest e.V.
Sponsors:
  • Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Natur- und Verbraucherschutz (MKULNV)
Counselling centers:
  • EnergieAgentur.NRW