VIRTU/e ● Eindhoven, Netherlands
University ● Eindhoven University of Technology
Task ● Renovation & addition of storey, mirke district, Wuppertal
About the team
VIRTUe is a multidisciplinary student team from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, comprised of 54 students from 15 nationalities. VIRTUe previously participated in the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 in Dubai, and now takes on the Solar Decathlon Europe 21/22. With a broad international background, VIRTUe is an enthusiastic team that blends professionality with a playful, down-to-earth and fun approach to the project.
A strong intrinsic motivation makes all members competitive and purposeful. The booming innovation hub we work in, Eindhoven, combined with the cultural variety of our background, inspires VIRTUe to strive for change. We introduce an innovation that involves people and their habits, as well as the built environment industry and its design process.
An essential element of VIRTUe’s approach is having a story as a central guideline. A story which is not simply about facts and figures, current issues and solutions, but also about people and communities, with real problems and real emotions. We want everyone to get genuinely enthusiastic about the project at the Solar Decathlon, and truly understand it, no matter their field of expertise. A less technical, more empathetic approach helps VIRTUe achieve this.
‘Feeling personally called in for action and playfully engaged to make small changes, in addition to being invited to share with and learn from the surrounding environment is the spark that leads people to a ripple of change.’
● Marianna Angelini, Communication Manager, VIRTUe
Climate change is a complex subject. It requires attention and effort which are often perceived as uncomfortable, expensive, or even useless on an individual scale, so that people are reluctant to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. VIRTUe believes in the huge potential of human actions, especially when integrated with technical innovations and cooperation. We believe designers of the built environment can be agents of sustainable behaviour by initiating change and bringing people together.
By proposing an improved design solution for the built environment that stimulates both sustainable building and living, we aim to:
- Activate people to adopt an environmentally-friendly mindset
- Normalise sustainable living
- Future proof the design approach of the built environment
Our concept is called ripple. Like a drop in the water, our concept creates a ripple of influence by proposing a way of thinking rather than a fixed design. This starts from an ambitious building transformation in Wuppertal, spreading across the city to other places in Europe and eventually the world.
The initial drop is created with three principles in mind: to create a design that is Active, Attractive and Adaptive. VIRTUe strives to activate people towards a more sustainable mindset, create an attractive design to make sustainable living more exciting and make sure it is adaptable to different functions & scenarios for the future.
ripple at SDE 21/22
At SDE 21/22, ripple is translated into a lifesize house demonstration unit (HDU) which is designed in layers to maximize circularity and adaptivity. A fixed, load-bearing core containing all the installations is controlled by the residents through a smart system with gamified recommendation stimulating the sustainable mindset of the user. Finally, shared communal spaces and a green roof encourage eco-friendly activities to share ideas and resources. The attractive facade hosts a customised solar belt and space for biodiversity. Our urban concept is represented in the HDU through collective solutions, such as urban farming and shared mobility.
The texts were written by the teams themselves and will be updated during the competition.