VIRTUe ● Eindhoven, Netherlands
VIRTUe • Eindhoven, Netherlands
University ● Eindhoven University of Technology
Task ● Renovation & Addition of storey, Café Ada, Wuppertal
VIRTUe is a multidisciplinary student team from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, comprised of 63 students from 16 nationalities. VIRTUe previously participated in the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 in Dubai.
The concept of team VIRTUe is called ripple. Like a drop in water, the project aims to create a ripple of influence. Using the example of Café ADA in Wuppertal, the team intends to spread sustainable change in existing situations with a renewed urban plan and a design proposal for vertical extensions, both of which are adaptable to various scenarios. Introducing wood as the 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. 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. The flexible layer, such as the facades, bathroom- & kitchen modules, is easy to dismount, making the building ready to change function in the future. 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 and PV Thermal panels (generating electricity and warm water) are made in a colour that matches the recycled wood, to show that solar panels can be attractively integrated into the architecture. Besides, in an ever-busier city, less garden space becomes available. Ripple, therefore, wants to reclaim this space to promote biodiversity and social interaction, using green, communal roofs.
The design of ripple steps away from the common building block by replacing corridors with 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. 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 into their electricity production and consumption. EQUI ensures that the electricity consumption is distributed as economically as possible throughout the day. The system tells you the best moment to start the washing machine or run the dishwasher. Is there a little less sun? Then it is wise to charge your car later. EQUI can control these devices itself and thus ensures that the batteries of the house are used most efficiently. ●