The second generation of VIRTUe is now participating with a whole new team in Solar Decathlon Europe 2022! Our team has a strong affinity toward urban design and realistic social solutions, which makes the SDE21, set in urban Wuppertal, a perfect ground for us.

Solar Decathlon Goes Urban!

SDE21 is focused on urbanisation and development of urban areas. Wuppertal is an industrial city, much like Eindhoven, which allows VIRTUe to garner inspiration from its direct surroundings in terms of urban renewal and technical innovation and apply it to create a strong, innovative concept for the competition.

We will be judged based on 10 contests and challenged to build an architecturally attractive building with innovative engineering and sustainable practices.

Come visit us during the Solar Decathlon Europe 2021/2022! Register your visit here completely free of charge.

Solar Decathlon Europe 2021/2022 Schedule

Do you want to have a look at our amazing project yourself? Come visit us during the Solar Decathlon Europe 2021/2022. Keep on reading if you want to know more about our solution!

Architecture

Architecture

Not Yet Awarded
Engineering

Engineering

93/120
Energy

Energy

Not Yet Awarded
Affordability

Affordability

65/100
Communication

Communication

76,27/80
Sustainability

Sustainability

85/100
Comfort

Comfort

Not Yet Awarded
Function

Function

Not Yet Awarded
Urban Mobility

Urban Mobility

Not Yet Awarded
Innovation

Innovation

Not Yet Awarded

VIRTUe believes that the most effective route to sustainable cities is one with combined efforts of the industry as well as the users. The industry designs habitation spaces that provide a sustainable framework for its users, while the users are also influenced to align their living habits to the efforts of the infrastructure around them.

VIRTUe aims to activate users to adopt an environmentally-friendly mindset and normalise sustainable living by designing an attractive built environment, and to create an adaptive, future-proof design approach for the built environment.

Ripple logo

With our concept ripple, we propose an improved design solution for the built environment, encouraging a sustainable mindset in the process, as well as in the result.

ripple in inspired by the Ripple Effect. Like a drop, in water, our project creates a ripple of influence. Our aim is to introduce our contextually-adaptable ‘drop’- a modular extension for flat-roof buildings, along with a new urban concept- in various existing contexts in order to create our ripple and influence the general public to participate in sustainable urbanisation.

Our aim is to create a proposal that can be adapted to fit the needs and situations of various Northern European cities.

We focus on setting an example for the industry, as well as influencing the user to live a more sustainable lifestyle. We do this by creating a framework which makes a sustainable lifestyle attractive and easy for users. We can inspire each other and spread this influence from neighbour to neighbour, to a larger scale.

FUTURE PROOF OUR BUILDINGS

The concept behind ripple stimulates design in layers. Introducing wood as primary building material, the building is designed in three layers: fixed, flexible, and free.

The design in layers, together with the use of bio-based and recycled materials makes the building demountable and hence almost completely circular.

FIXED

The fixed layer consists of the load bearing core and columns, which are made of high-quality timber, giving the building an almost similar lifespan to concrete and steel, without the negative emissions.

FLEXIBLE

The flexible layer, such as the facades, bathroom- & kitchen-modules, are easy to dismount, making the building ready to change function in the future, or replace the recycled wood in the façade, without touching the fixed layer.

FREE

Together with the free furniture, the building is easy to maintain and adjust for future demand.

FIXED

The fixed layer consists of the load bearing core and columns, which are made of high-quality timber, giving the building an almost similar lifespan to concrete and steel, without the negative emissions.

FLEXIBLE

The flexible layer, such as the facades, bathroom- & kitchen-modules, are easy to dismount, making the building ready to change function in the future, or replace the recycled wood in the façade, without touching the fixed layer.

FREE

Together with the free furniture, the building is easy to maintain and adjust for future demand.

The façade also houses a part of the solar panels in the so-called Solar Belt. The combined PV an PV Thermal panels (generating electricity and warm water) are custom made in a colour that matches the recycled wood, to show that solar panels can be attractively integrated in our architecture. Besides, in an ever-busier city, less garden space becomes available, which impacts humans and animals. Ripple therefore wants to reclaim this space to promote biodiversity and social interaction, using green, communal roofs.

NORMALIZE LOW-IMPACT LIVING

We can only decrease our collective environmental footprint if we do so together. We therefore activate people by creating smart communities. The design of ripple steps away from the common building block by replacing corridors by common rooms and stimulates sharing appliances, tools, and activities.

The modular unit houses two small apartments and a communal room, where residents share a washing machine, dishwasher, fridge, and oven. Through this, neighbours can interact and collaborate, or extend their tiny living, for example when inviting friends. The space in the apartments is therefore used very efficiently to promote smaller living without compromising on comfort, as this is the most effective way to save on energy and material use.

The common room also introduces a new dimension in smart living. EQUI is an interactive display that can help residents gain insights in their electricity production and consumption. With an increasing number of households relying on solar power, we see an increasing gap between production peaks (during the day) and consumption peaks (during the evening). The batteries of the house can cover some of this, but EQUI can also help to bridge this gap by suggesting and scheduling appliances at the best time of the day based on sun forecasts. Leaving home in the morning and want the dishwasher finished when you get home? EQUI will schedule it at the most economical time to get the most out of your solar panels and move towards a fully self-sufficient building.