Some weeks ago I visited “fertighauswelt” near Köln/Cologne, Germany. A exhibition area with real demonstration houses ( turn key delivered concepts), some 24 in total. (http://www.fertighauswelt-koeln.de/) 10 (!) of these houses are delivered as plus energy houses . Some interesting observations: all houses are wood construction based! ; Solar panels on roofs is mostly add-on PV, in a few cases roof-tile style panels ; The amount of installations in energy plus houses is exploding, as we experienced ourself in two constructed 0-energy houses.
But one of them had a very innovative approach: Data centers are huge consumer of energy, and produce a lot of heat due to the required cooling capacity. The concept of the “Streif house” is, that a combination is made with the creation of a decentralized data center: They place a standard data unit in your house, the size of a big refrigerator, and take care of all the running costs. The waste heat is for the house owner, who will receive no energy bill for heating in the next 15 years. And the data center , based on hundreds of decentralised units, runs anyway, without having to built a huge facility. And its not just an idea, its already practiced. ( “STREIF Heat Server heizen zum Nulltarif “)