The Weissenhof Estate near Stuttgart was a focal point for avant garde architecture in 1927, when Mies van der Rohe and Corbusier created a collection of houses for a public exhibition. Today, in that same space, Werner Sobek has developed an active house that powers not only itself and 2 electric cars, but also the house next door. Read on to see how the house produces twice as much energy as it needs—without fossil fuels, emissions or waste.
At first glance the B10 Aktivhaus stands out by virtue of it’s simplicity. The white-walled 914 square-foot box with glass frontage hides impressive technology that allows the house to learn and adapt. The intelligent energy management system is controlled via smartphone or tablet and only heats as necessary—responding to movement and adapting to the residents habits. At night, insulating panels roll down to cover the glass to prevent energy escaping.
The photovoltaic system on the roof of B10 produces around 8,300 kilowatt hours of solar energy per year, roughly twice as much as required for building operation and to run the two electric smart cars donated to the project by Daimler. The excess energy is used to power the listed building next door, a house built by Corbusier now home to the Weissenhof Museum.
The house, named after it’s location at Bruckmannweg 10, is a part of the research project e-mobility showcase funded by the German government. Throughout the entire life of the project, a large spectrum of data relevant to building research will be measured continuously and scientifically evaluated at the University of Stuttgart. Werner Sobek architects has cleverly registered the term ‘Aktivhaus‘ as a European Trademark.
At the end of the research project, the building may be deconstructed and reconstructed elsewhere. Or in the unlikely event that no-one lays claim to the groundbreaking home, it can also be fully recycled.