As is the case with many European countries, Germany’s cities suffer from a lack of decent, affordable and eco-friendly housing stock. This is the challenge an international team of students from Germany and Turkiye took on with their project ‘Deeply High’, that will be presented at Solar Decathlon Europe – the world's largest building competition for universities – in Wuppertal next month.
Identifying social housing blocks built between the 1950s and 1990s – a familiar feature of many German cities and towns – as their target, the team from the Technical University of Applied Sciences Lübeck (TH Lübeck) and the Technical University Istanbul (ITU) developed a concept for an eco-friendly, bolt-on extension. They have built a full-scale, working model for the show that will be retained as accommodation for local university employees.
In the exhibit they blended established building techniques with novel, sustainable ideas including using straw to insulate the building. The extension’s energy needs are supplied by organic photovoltaics and captured waste heat. A complex water recycling system will also be put in place that relies on algae for treating greywater, which is then repurposed for laundry, toilet flushing and watering plants and vegetables in an attractive winter garden on the roof.
The student team met in Morocco at Solar Decathlon in 2019 where they were competing against each other. Since then, they have joined forces to provide a practical and attractive residential housing solution. "This is a clear message for sustainable planning and building," commented Professor Heiner Lippe from the TH Lübeck at the topping-out ceremony.
From 10 to 26 June, over 1,200 students from 11 countries will showcase their ideas for climate-friendly urban living at Solar Decathlon, which has gained a reputation as the ‘Olympics’ of sustainable urban building.