Solar Architecture

The EU directive on the energy performance of buildings requires member nations to introduce energy performance certificates for all buildings by January 4th, 2006. One result of this is that solar architecture will become increasingly relevant to all architects and enjoy renewed interest. 
The latest issue of DETAIL “Solar Architecture” shows that even star architects, like Herzog & de Meuron with the university library in Cottbus and Behnisch and Behnisch with the Genzyme Center in Cambridge US, are applying low-energy principles to their buildings and making them fundamental in their design concepts. That low-energy design must not automatically be expensive is demonstrated by small projects in the Vorarlberg region, with revolutionary facade concepts challenging the traditional image of single family dwellings and dogmatic constructional sciences. 
But what exactly are the regional differences between, for example, a passive energy dwelling in Germany and the “Minergie” P-Certificate in Switzerland? Exactly which measures are sensible, in order to achieve the lowest possible CO2 levels?
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