The competition, which originated in the United States, took place in Germany (Wuppertal) for the first time this year. This year, the event with the title Under the name Solar Decathlon Europe 2021/22 ...goes urban! not only focused on the building itself, but also on the future life in our cities. We supported the LOCAL+ team of the FH Aachen with our software solutions and stood by the team to give advice during the course of the project. We are very pleased that the work of LOCAL+ succeeded in several categories and in the end, the team took the 5th place in the overall ranking.
How exactly does the competition work?
Over a period of approximately 2 years, 18 teams from 11 countries designed, planned and then in June constructed their building concept in Wuppertal. The teams competed against each other in the following 10 disciplines:
- Building services & building physics
- Energy efficiency
- Practicability & socio-economic context
- Communication & education
- Urban mobility
Both the overall building concept for the Design Challenge as well as the prototypes set up in Wuppertal on the Solar Campus for the Building Challenge are evaluated. Depending on the contest, this is done either by measurements or by an international jury of experts. In total, the teams have to master 7 submissions in the course of the competition, in which they document the progress of their project and the implementation of the tasks defined in the SDE 21/22 rules. These are taken into consideration for the overall evaluation. The team with the highest final score wins.
The FH Aachen was represented by the LOCAL+ team, which consists of more than 20 creative and ambitious students of architecture who were supported by professors, scientific staff from various departments and cooperation partners such as the Forschungszentrum Jülich. Cooperating closely, they aim to put the goal of a sustainable city into a comprehensible context and encourage both businesses and society to develop and implement new sustainable solutions. LOCAL+ has developed a working structure in which all tasks are divided into work packages. These packages were assigned to several small groups so students could work intensely on the topics. The small groups were led by team leaders who structured the ongoing tasks and ensured that the small groups achieved their set goals. The teams were divided as follows:
dealt with the thematic framework of the competition. This included sustainability and urban context but also affordability and viability of the project. The team members developed concepts and methods that could be implemented in the design.
dealt with all communication measures LOCAL+ designs to increase awareness and popularity among target groups. This ranged from corporate design, press releases, social media and website content to the design of other materials and merchandise.
dealt with all energy-related components of the project. In collaboration with the Solar Institut Jülich, they developed energy-efficient systems with a focus on utility, innovative materials and sustainability.
Team Architecture and Construction
was primarily responsible for visualizing the layout for the Design Challenge (DC) and the House Demonstration Unit (HDU). In addition, members took care of all structural requirements of the building. Starting with the review and adaptation of the requirements, they elaborated all specific details.
was responsible for the coordination, control and financial aspects of LOCAL+. The team was in contact with the SDE21/22 organizers and the different departments of the FH Aachen. It also provided support for the students during the competition.