Scharnhauser Park in Ostfildern is located on the site of a former US military base, which became available after the American military forces left the area in 1992. It covers 150 ha in the municipality of Ostfildern, a town with a population of 35,000. Combining places of work, residential areas and green spaces, the approach in Ostfildern followed an integrated living and transportation concept that combines high comfort and low-energy consumption.
The district has been developed through an innovative and co-operative process. The basis for its development was an urban plan stemming from a town-planning competition, which defined the residential, commercial and industrial sections of the site. Detailed zoning plans were developed gradually for each block which also incorporated ideas from invited investors and architects.
The buildings represent a combination of refurbished old buildings, multi-storey buildings and terraced houses that are being constructed according to a low-energy building standard that was specified as 25 % below the national standard of the 1990s energy legislation. Three public buildings form part of the new building activities, namely the town hall, a youth centre and a school that includes a sports centre. A biomass Organic Rankine Cycle co-generation plant supplies heat to the 7,500 inhabitants of this district via a 13 km district heating network that covers their entire heating demand, including domestic hot water.
Its electricity production accounts for over half of the residents` electricity demand. Smart metering has become reality in Ostfildern. The use of energy, electricity and water is monitored, providing feedback on the efficiency of energy saving measures. An energy manager is responsible for the financial and environmental analysis, offering a great degree of transparency in the real energy consumption. He plays a pivotal role, driving the energy agenda within the local council and within the CONCERTO project, and has since gone on to develop a biomass strategy for the whole municipality