about the sde21

sde21, the first urban edition

why go urban?

In the 21st century, humanity is at a turning point: we are crossing planetary boundaries while humanity’s move to the cities is in full swing. Buildings generate around 40 percent of EU’s energy consumption. Furthermore, around 75 percent of the building stock in the EU is energetically inefficient. The construction sector alone generates about 50 percent of waste in Germany.

If current building practices based on concrete and steel are not altered, the two-degree climate target will not be reached. There´s one thing we can be sure of: The future of the city is the future of the planet. That’s why we have to act now! As part of the SDE21, 18 teams from universities all over the world come to Wuppertal to build sustainable buildings at the former Mirker railway station.

sde21 in wuppertal, germany

The SDE21 combines urban architectural challenges with social, economic and ecological aspects, providing blueprints for sustainable urban transitions. It will maintain the Solar Decathlon project’s long-range objective of developing and demonstrating cost-effective, highly energy-efficient solar-powered dwellings.

In Wuppertal, the SDE21 will take a new turn. Instead of planning and designing buildings from scratch, Decathletes will work with existing building stock and implement efficient and sustainable living solutions into specific urban situations.

architecture of the future

The scope of the competition centres around the value-added renovation, transformation or reuse of existing apartment buildings for densifying cities.  While solving specific architectural tasks, Teams are also providing real-world solutions. They are welcome to address specific urban issues, such as urban mining, gentrification, energy poverty or ways of sharing living space.

Moreover, the Teams create solutions that go beyond specific buildings; for example, strategies for sustainable urban mobility will be developed. This 2021 edition of the Solar Decathlon Europe truly ‘goes urban’, offering Teams an exciting opportunity for long-lasting impact through an envisioned post-competition Living Lab.

focus: revitalisation of the urban building stock

Drawing from social scenarios and existing building stock from the Teams’ city of origin, or imaging solutions from the the vibrant Mirke neighbourhood, the heart of Wuppertal will be the focal point, a hub to imagine the modern, sustainable city of tomorrow, a city where we all want to live.

Don’t hesitate: Join the SDE21 and raise awareness for sustainable architecture. Together we can …

✓ investigate ways to reduce waste and be more energy-efficient!
✓ share concepts for a better urban life with efficient living spaces!
✓ show how we can share, comfortably, in our ever-changing world!
✓  be the voice for our transition toward urban sustainability!

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