Plus-Energy House – A House That Generates More Energy Than It Consumes

The smarter E Podcast Episode 163 | January 25, 2024 | Language: German

A house that generates more energy than it consumes. It sounds utopian, but it has long been a reality. Back in 1994, architect Rolf Disch built the world's first energy-plus house. The basic principles of the plus-energy house are south-facing orientation, ventilation with heat recovery, "ventilation" of the house, hot water and electricity generation using solar energy as well as sustainable e-mobility and car sharing. Can this concept make a contribution to climate protection and help reducing housing shortage and energy price crisis?

We talk about this with Rolf Disch, a solar architect from the very beginning. Disch graduated in civil engineering and architecture in 1969 and has been working with his own planning office for sustainable architecture with innovative energy concepts ever since.


  • 04:46 How does the sustainability concept of plus-energy houses work?
  • 07:36 What contribution can plus-energy hous developments make to achieving climate targets in the building sector?
  • 12:38 Keyword sector coupling: How do the heat, electricity and mobility sectors interact?
  • 17:26 What factors are currently hindering the increased use of plus-energy houses?

About The smarter E Podcast

The smarter E podcast is all about the current trends and developments in a renewable, decentralized and digital energy industry. Our moderators Tobias Bücklein and Zackes Brustik welcome and interview personalities who shape our industry and drive developments forward. A new episode is published every Thursday.

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About Rolf Disch and the Rolf Disch SolarArchitektur

Rolf Disch, Solar architect

Rolf Disch SolarArchitektur has a wealth of experience in residential and housing estate construction, as well as in the planning of commercial properties, office buildings and social facilities. The company also realises its own projects with Solarsiedlung GmbH. This means that developers can draw on the office's extensive expertise and services: know-how in innovative financing models and citizen participation, marketing and image campaigns, as well as a comprehensive network of innovative specialist companies, research institutions and supporters in society and politics.

Rolf Disch was born in 1944 and founded his own planning office in 1969 after completing an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker and bricklayer and then studying construction technology and architecture. In 1994, he achieved the breakthrough with the Heliotrope, the world's first plus-energy house, and in 2006 he built 60 plus-energy buildings in the Solar Settlement in Freiburg. Rolf Disch's work has been recognised with numerous awards, including the Utopia Award (2009), the World Energy Globe (2003) and the European Solar Prize (2002).

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