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Celebration later on in the evening: the Berlin students of the Rooftop team successfully installed the hinged facade of their energy-plus roof pavilion.
© Team Rooftop Berlin
Solar Decathlon Europe 2014

Fitted with solar panels, the facades are foldable and track the sun.
© Team Rooftop Berlin

Visualisation of the energy-plus residential units: they are placed onto existing buildings to expand living space.
© Team Rooftop Berlin

Section through the hinged facade equipped with solar panels.
© Team Rooftop Berlin

Modular roof pavilion with solar active facade

Last Friday was the day: Berlin students celebrated the construction of their roof pavilion Rooftop. This building concept allows existing town houses to be upgraded with energy-plus housing units. Several night shifts were necessary to install the hinged solar facade on schedule. Later this month, the prototype building will enter the international university competition Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 in Versailles, France.

With their Rooftop entry for the international university competition Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, the Berlin team wants to offer a solution for resource-saving and energy-efficient urban densification. Unused space in the attic trusses, often only scantily constructed in Berlin at the turn of the century, is to be converted into energy-efficient residential units. With their solar panels, the new penthouses generate so much energy that a part of it can be passed on to the underlying residential units or businesses.
A full-scale copy of the innovative building module is being built for trial purposes in the Peter Behrens Hall in Berlin-Wedding. Gas turbines were manufactured in this hall just a few years ago. Today, the historic industrial building is part of the Technology and Innovation Park Berlin. With its good natural lighting and powerful lifting equipment, it was the perfect place to construct an innovative building prototype for testing purposes.

Facade control via smartphone app

The Rooftop concept was developed in a co-operation between Technische Universität Berlin and the Berlin University of the Arts. The goal is a modular energy-plus residential unit that can be placed on existing buildings. These modern residential units benefit from their elevated position and an existing building infrastructure. The new attic storeys will not dominate, but rather emphasise the existing building subtly. Therefore, the design is low-key with a high level of transparency. Solar panels on roof and facade provide power for the entire building.
With the facade elements, light passing into the attic storey can be dosed precisely. “The hinged facades are our central innovation,” said Raphael Haupt of the Rooftop team. “They automatically orient themselves towards the sun using a special tracking system – or are adjusted to meet personal requirements via a smartphone app,” he added. When closed, the facade elements outside of the insulating glazing trap an additional layer of air that further reinforces thermal protection. This way, the roof module can be adapted to daily and seasonal weather changes.
A technical and functional core of the roof pavilion shall serve to shorten construction time. This so-called core module is entirely pre-assembled, and then lifted to the attic storey with a crane. The module serves as a kitchen, bathroom and installations room at the same time. Many parts of the interior fitting can be accommodated in a space-saving manner.

Off to Versailles for the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014

In the coming days, the Rooftop house will be disassembled and brought to France, where it will be reconstructed and exhibited at the international university competition from 26 June to 14 July 2014. A total of 17 universities in Europe, America and Asia are competing for the best plus-energy house, and will present their building prototypes in the historic castle complex. Three student teams from Germany are attending the competition: the Berlin Rooftop team, a team from Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, as well as a German-American team under participation of the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports the university projects as part of the EnOB research initiative – research for energy-optimised construction.



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