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 63 students from 16 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.
VIRTUe is fully student-based and highly independent from the faculty institutions. 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 requiring attention and effort on all levels. The built environment is a key player in reaching global sustainability goals. Designers of buildings and cities, therefore, have the power to stimulate habits through careful design.
Currently, we are stuck in a status quo where the industry does not stimulate a sustainable mindset to its users, who in turn do not provide an incentive for the industry to change the production process. We want to break this destructive loop and introduce an integrated approach to sustainable building and living.
VIRTUe believes in the potential of human actions, where the issue should be tackled from both ends: the industry and the individual. With our integrated solution, we aim to: activate people to adopt an environmentally-friendly mindset; normalise sustainable living and future-proof the design approach of the built environment.
Our concept is called ripple. Like a drop in the water, our project creates a ripple of influence by proposing a way of thinking rather than a fixed design. We aim to spread the sustainable change in existing situations with a new renewed urban plan and a design proposal for vertical extensions, both of which are adaptable to various scenarios. We are currently using Wuppertal as an implementation situation.
VIRTUe strives to make people active towards an environmentally friendly mindset with an attractive design that is adaptive to different situations. We believe that together, we can make sustainable living fun and easy for everyone, everywhere.
ripple demonstration unit
At the SDE21/22, ripple is translated into a life-size Ripple Demonstration Unit (RDU) 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. Moreover, shared spaces and a green roof encourage eco-friendly activities to share ideas and resources. The attractive façade hosts a customised solar belt and a bird hotel for biodiversity.
Our urban concept is represented on the platform of the RDU through collective solutions, such as urban farming and shared e-bikes.
The texts were written by the teams themselves and will be updated during the competition.