The Villa Kogelhof ($NFS) may be the coolest completely self-sufficient house on the planet. This self-sufficiency is due to a number of cool innovations as well as some old ones. It’s heated using a combination heat pump and central air. The water is heated via a biomass pellet stove and Electricity is generated from PV-cells on the roof and in the future, a planned windmill.
The Villa was built on a site setup by the government to connect regional ecological zones. The site is a protected habitat and a major tourist draw. The only way the owner could get the house built was to guarantee that it would be returned to its pre-agricultural state. Meaning some 71,000 six-year-old trees planted in 2006 will turn this Villa on a vast plain, into the Villa In The Woods.
The Villa Kogelhof itself is made of two rectangular stacked volumes. The one underground consists of the main entrance, parking, storage, and a workspace that over looks the pond. The upper span features the main living area, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, and patio.