The buildings designed as part of the “Solar Decathlon” clearly demonstrate that sustainable architecture does not have to be boring: the international student competition is regarded as one of the most important of its kind in the field of sustainable architecture. In 2007, 2009 and 2010, German high-school teams were right at the forefront – as were sustainable bathroom products by Duravit.
The Plus-Energie-Haus generates its own energy
The 2007 winners were students from the TU Darmstadt led by Prof. Manfred Hegger. Their “Plus-Energie-Haus” was a prototype for a building that meets all its own energy requirements. The building façade of the single-storey building constructed in Washington DC (USA) is as aesthetic as it is efficient: the oak planking is fitted with photovoltaic elements that use solar power to generate electricity. In the sanitary area, product quality and durability, water consumption and barrier-free properties played a key role, which is why the prize winners chose products from the Duravit Starck 3 Vital range.
- Outstanding, sustainable architecture: almost the entire façade area of the “surPLUShome” is covered with photovoltaic elements that use solar power to generate electricity.
In 2009, the team from the TU Darmstadt clocked up another success. Once again, the students focussed on solar power: in the “surPLUShome”, almost the entire façade surface is covered with photovoltaic elements, arranged in the traditional shingle construction style. The entire architecture and interior design are harmonious, with the consistently rectangular Vero bathroom range by Duravit providing the ideal complement to the classically simple room layout. The prototype was also built in Washington DC (USA).
Living Equia: living in the solar-powered one-family house
A team of three Berlin universities (HTW, BHT, UdK) entered the first European Solar Decathlon 2010 with “Living Equia“, a prototype based on the traditional one-family-house style that was constructed in Madrid (Spain). Black is the colour that unites the charred-wood curtain façade and the solar panels on the roof. The surprisingly spacious bathroom is impressive on the strength of its simple, enduring forms and its efficient water consumption. The prize winners chose to furnish the bathroom with products from Duravit’s Starck K, Vero and Duraplus ranges and selected a DuraPlan flushmounted shower tray.
- Relaxation in the midst of glorious nature: Theiner’s Garten Bio Vitalhotel.
This example demonstrates that sustainable architecture not only works at competition level but also in “real life”: designed as a terraced vineyard, the four-star “Theiner’s Garten Bio Vitalhotel” is situated in Europe’s largest continuous fruit-growing region. The hotel was built in strict compliance with the principles of building biology as a solid timber structure without the use of nails or glue. Clayrendered wall heating and the use of natur al materials throughout the building ensure a healthy indoor climate. The large wellness area offers complete relaxation for the eyes, body and spirit and features Duravit products, namely the D-Code range and the Fizz urinal.