Hochschule Düsseldorf
University of Applied Sciences
Institut für lebenswerte und umweltgerechte Stadtentwicklung
Institute for Sustainable Urban Development

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Project​ MI-MO
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With the headline “MINIMAL IMPACT – MAXIMUM OUTPUT (MI-MO)“ our contribution is based on the following fundamental ideas: 

  • Developing a resilient building structure that is exemplary for the topics of densification and affordable and sustainable housing. 
  • Establishment of shared areas and infrastructure offers (energy and mobility) within the project to increase the quality of life in the neighbourhood. 
  • Involvement of the entire district in the actual building task and, consequently, the understanding of the new building as part of a holistically conceived urban development. 
  • Designing a consistently sustainable material and design concept that reduces on-site construction time with a modular approach, pre-fabricated components and the benefits of digital planning and production techniques, minimizing the emissions associated with construction. 
  • Careful integration of technical building technologies for using renewable energies on-site and their logical interaction with the building structure or the quarter under the constant consideration of the appropriateness in the field of tension of effort, benefit and (energetic) yield respectively stress of the neighbourhood. 
  • Avoiding energy demands as much as possible including an adequate mix of low-tech strategies and appropriate technical options. The use of technological innovation is always balanced against passive measures in the context of sufficiency and the creation of affordable housing. 

​According to the principle of ‘only build, when using it to improve the location’, the addition of stories should offer added value to the immediate surroundings and contribute to the sustainable development of the entire city district. The structural and programmatic solution of Team HSD should involve the importance of the social environment and be based on a corresponding analysis to make the neighbourhood more liveable for the residents. The newly conceived offer of apartments is thought across the district and all generations. In addition to an analysis on the demand for residential space, affordable housing for elder, already living in the neighbourhood will be created through cross-financing models in the sense of a housing allocation. 

Around 20 students from the Faculty of Architecture are currently working on the further development of the existing building in the Mirke district, at Wiesenstraße 6 in Wuppertal. The locations are easy to reach both by public transport and by car. The existing building is a corner building with a total of two floors and a shed roof. There is also a large open area north of the existing building, which is included into the project.


The addition of stories is made by modules that are stacked on top of each other. The offset and rotations of these modules create gaps that are used for access. In addition, these spaces provide common spaces that should be available to all residents of the complex. The modules are individually, as a couple or in a combination of three adapted to the size of the resident and thus offer the optimal living space for different uses. The centre of the modules is a functional core, which includes bathrooms, kitchens and access roads.
Figure 1: Explosive isometry
Figure 1: Explosive isometry

​The isometry shows how the new concept of stacking can be implemented statically. The former shed roof of the existing building will be removed. Instead, a new steel carrier grate is placed on the existing structure to guarantee sufficient load-bearing capacity. The modules are statically independent and can be stacked on top of each other. Last but not least, a hanging facade is put over the upper floors (Figure 1). From the outside, the extension appears to be covered with a coat of glass and photovoltaics. The individual modules made of beech wood or spruce can be seen through the facade. The cross-laminated timber walls are mechanically pegged instead of glued. 
In order to achieve high solar profits, the facade is provided with photovoltaic modules in addition to the roof. For this purpose, thin-film modules are designed as movable slats. The slats can be aligned differently depending on the time of day, heat or fresh air requirements.

In summer, with high solar altitude, the slats can be aligned at an optimal angle for maximum profit. The same applies to the roof, according to the natural airflow. At night when the outside temperature cools down, the slats can be closed. The view with the slats closed is provided by the arrangement of the solar cells (Figure 2). 
The intermediate zone provides a special kind of ventilation. Cold air can enter the intermediate zone because it is not completely closed. As soon as the residential units are to be ventilated, this is done with pre-heated air. The effect is enhanced by integrated window fans with heat recovery, which also ensure constant ventilation of the modules (Figure 3). 
A heat pump using geothermal energy heats it. Outdoor collectors transfer the heat generated in the ground to a heat pump via a heat transfer medium (ethylene-glycol-water mixture). This is located on the ground floor of the building. The individual modules are heated by underfloor heating (Figure 4). 
The dissemination of scientific information to the (professional) public is a central idea of the competition. For this reason, an official homepage and pages on social media have been set up as a communication and presentation platform. All target groups such as experts, the public, sponsors and companies, as well as family and friends can thus participate in the current events of the team and its project status. Our Team located in Dusseldorf has a direct relation in distance to the venue in Wuppertal. We expect feedback from the general public, especially the people from the Mirke district, and are looking forward to sharing our project with them.

pictogram photovoltaic system
Figure 2: Photovoltaic system
pictogram ventilating system
Figure 3: Ventilating system
pictogram heating system
Figure 4: Heating system









Responsibility for the information and views set out in this report / study / article / publication lies entirely with the authors.