team RoofKIT ● Karlsruhe, Germany
University ● Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Task ● Renovation & addition of storey, mirke district, Wuppertal
The texts were written by the teams themselves and will be updated during the competition.
About the team
RoofKIT is a collaborative thinktank, which will grow over time and include more people and organizations along the path. Founding members are among others the Department of Architecture, KIT, the Department of Economics, KIT, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, KIT and the Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg.
The city of today will be the resource for the city of tomorrow. In the light of a worldwide climate crisis, we need to shift our architectural way to think, act and build. With a share of around 40 percent, the building sector is one of the largest energy consumers in Europe and is responsible for around 36 percent of CO₂ emissions. The aging building stock of the EU (approx. 35% of the buildings are 50 years or older) contributes to the fact that approx.
75% of all buildings are classified as energy inefficient [European Commission, 2019]. In addition, the EU provides that in the near future, green areas or agricultural areas for urban and municipal expansion areas will no longer be converted into building land. This is why we are demonstrating with RoofKIT how we can already change the way we build, dwell and live together today.
With RoofKIT we will showcase new construction systems, new materials just emerging from research and into an innovative industry and we will show how newly developed solar energy harvesting systems will follow our believe: Sustainable architecture must be breath-taking beautiful!
We believe, that our current cities have a huge overlooked potential of building ground and energy harvesting areas: rooftops. Moreover, we believe, that with the current boom of prefabricated houses, those two questions could and should be combined: how to design module-based prefabricated light-weight housing structures for roof top settlements? Here we see with our project partners a huge potential for the future. And an impact not only in a technical sense, but also in a social sense: providing housing in inner cities for all levels of society.
Future economic and ecological development is closely linked to the question of where our resources come from. Our already built environment plays a key role here. It must be viewed as a depot and future resource supplier, a new mine: the urban mine. The quantitative potential of the existing urban mine as a material supplier is gigantic. The challenge is to develop new technologies in order to convert these materials into a new generation of qualitatively sustainable building materials. The project RoofKIT will proof, that this is 100% doable already today.
New construction principles
At the same time, RoofKIT will develop new design principles in order to make the reuse technologically possible. However, we will not be able to meet the demand for resources from the urban mine alone due to the non-existent technologies for 100% transformation of the materials. We increasingly have to close this gap with a shift towards regenerative cultivation, breeding and cultivation of future building materials, instead of continuing to rely on finite fossil, mineral and metallic deposits.
RoofKIT will therefore work with traditional biological building materials such as wood (which is especially important in the black forest area we are settled in) and new innovative new materials coming directly from our laboratories. Our concept comprises the application of state of the art prefabricated lightweight timber construction modules, which guarantees maximum flexibility for different rooftop situations and functional requirements and reduces the problem of additional loads on the existing structure.
New energy harvesting systems
The energy concept of the unit will be a self-evident part of the architectural design process from the very beginning: a synthesis of passive measures (e.g. use of solar energy and daylight, natural ventilation, passive cooling) for high indoor environmental quality and innovative solutions for energy supply yielding carbon neutrality over the year.