Last Thursday students from the ABK Stuttgart, the Transsolar Academy Fellows and interested Transsolar engineers went on a field trip to visit implemented "passive" solutions generating heat, cleaning water or creating a common space without active heating:
We visited first the community solar thermal system in Crailsheim. Solar thermal energy is collected from the residential rooftops and nearby grassy hillsides. The energy is stored seasonally underground and provides 50% of the heating needs for the 2000 residents. The homes are also connected to a district heating system. We saw the two thermal buffer tanks, the technical room containing the heat pump, and the geothermal field.
We moved on to the constructed wetland, where we saw how black water could be transformed by natural means into clean water.
The last stop was the Earthship at the off-grid and intentional community, Tempelhof. Approximately 15 residents live around the Earthship, which contains shared facilities (bathrooms, kitchen, living room, greenhouse). The Earthship has no active heating or cooling; it does this by leveraging climate-responsive, passive architectural design. In its first winter, after three weeks of cloudy weather, indoor temperatures remained above 14°C.
Thank you Christian Degenhardt for organizing this!