UT and TUM students visit Rosenheim Solar Decathlon House from the 2010 European Solar Decathlon stationed in the City of Wood.
On one of their recent travel excursions, UT’s Studio Munich students visited the “City of Wood” a small complex in Bad Aibling, Germany. The city of wood is a modern housing development that aims to be entirely self-sufficient and features modern wood construction to house workers and families as well as offer tourist retreats.
The complex was originally a German airbase during World War II, but was later taken over by allied forces where an American base had been located well into the 21st century. In 2004 the area was bought by company B&O for new
development to begin, serving as a prototype for zero-net cities. The original buildings that remained were restored and others retrofitted with improved wall assemblies that would significantly improve the energy efficiency of the structures. Efficiency being one of the main goals, all the housing projects meet, or exceed passive house standards. The master plan also brought all new wood construction that is relatively cheap and very efficient due to prefabricated wooden elements. Powering this complex is a combination of systems: a wood- chip boiler, photovoltaic panels and a hydroelectric plant. The system undergoes very strict monitoring and the project is still largely a prototype that is constantly upgraded and has plans for further improvement. The development also serves as the current location of the Rosenheim Solar Decathlon House that took overall 2nd place in the 2010 European Solar Decathlon. Seeing the house in person allowed students to see the final result of a two year effort and its realization.
Additionally, the trip was also an opportunity to meet with the Technical University in Munich teammates. Having recently started their semester, the students will follow through with the project and continue working on it well into February. The excursion was a successful bonding experience and left the UT contingent feeling confident that the possibility of completing the project by October is within reach.