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We, the team levelup are proud to be a part of the Solar Decathlon competition.

As an interdisciplinary team of 100 students, we are tackling the most pressing issues of urbanity for the first time: creating affordable housing, transformation to a climate-neutral building stock (by 2050) and sustainable use of resources. With the help of cooperations with partners from business and research, we will plan and realize the building of the future within the next two years.

The competition takes place from 10th - 26th June 2022!


The competition started!

Our vision: 
levelup ... your living

To create sustainable, climate-neutral and affordable housing that adapts to different building types and sizes, as well as to the individual lifestyles and needs of different population groups (social diversity) through flexible use of standardized modular construction.

Allow the details of interior design and technology to enhance daily lives and the environment!
Add storeys on top of buildings so that undeveloped land can remain “green”.
Improve the energy efficiency of entire buildings and enhance German city centres architecturally, aesthetically, and socially.

Our vision also includes these additional ​focal points:

levelup ...

... your building

Our adaptable modular system creates new living space without sealing land by upgrading existing buildings and transforming them into a climate-neutral building stock with the help of a simultaneous refurbishment.

... your sustainability

Sustainability is ensured by using renewable wood and recycled materials that can be sorted by type and recycled at the end of their life cycle, as well as by the green spaces and facades.

... your comfort

Innovative and barrier-free interior design with adaptable furniture to different situations enables lots of convenience and high functionality in lighting design and living and bath areas.

... your community

Residents in different phases of life live together and form a community that supports each other by sharing services and goods. Green community areas on the roof and sharing concepts strengthen neighbours’ feelings.  

... your technology

We achieve the goal of creating a climate-neutral building through the use of renewable energies such as solar thermal, photovoltaic, district heating and more.

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What is the Solar Decathlon Europe 21/22?

Solar Decathlon is a technical, interdisciplinary, and student competition in which each international student team designs and builds a house that covers its own energy needs entirely with solar power. The competition entries are judged on the basis of ten disciplines (=Decathlon). The aim is to find innovative construction solutions for the most pressing challenges currently facing our cities: the creation of affordable housing, transformation to a climate-neutral building stock (by 2045), and the sustainable use of resources.

Video: The SDE21/22 in Wuppertal: Our competition briefly explained

Spanning a project period of over two years, the teams develop and build a so-called House Demonstration Unit (HDU). Then, the competition will culminate in Wuppertal between the 10th - 26th of June, 2022, marking a premier for Germany as a host country. In Wuppertal the houses will be judged by a jury of experts and presented to the public.

Video: SDE21/22: Your event for sustainable cities

The competition is divided into two main portions; the first one being the “Design Challenge”, in which a design and energy concept is developed for a chosen urban scenario and a specific building. Following this comes the “Building Challenge” that foresees the 1:1 construction of an archetypical unit from the design challenge, a so-called House Demonstration Unit (HDU). The HDU, which is only a portion of the whole building concept, must be separately designed, built, and placed into operation for exhibition in Wuppertal. The final stage of the competition foresees that the HDU be evaluated in ten different disciplines (Decathlon) according to its developed concepts.

How is the competition structured?

Our competition entry will be evaluated on the basis of ten contests or disciplines (Decathlon).                                                                                                                                             These may vary depending on the venue and focus chosen by the individual teams. SDE 21/22’s focus lies on sustainable housing and living in the city.                     Therefore, five disciplines target urban challenges, complemented by five core disciplines:

  • Architecture
  • Engineering & Construction
  • Energy Performance
  • Affordability & Viability
  • Communication, Education & Social Awareness
  • Sustainability
  • Comfort
  • Functionality
  • Urban Mobility
  • Innovation

The awarding authority announced three competition scenarios or “Urban Situations”:

  • Urban situation 1: renovation & extension
  • Urban situation 2: closing gaps
  • Urban situation 3: renovation & addition of storey

Each team had to single out one of these at the beginning of the competition. The common urban situations available for selection represent real and current challenges of urban building stock, and mirror present urban situations in the Mirker neighbourhood in Wuppertal, Germany.                                                                        The levelup team chose urban situation number 3 for a specific building in Nuremberg that represents typical buildings from the 1950s - 70s, which make up the largest building stock in Germany.

What is levelup?

We want to reshape the future of cities. We believe that our competition entry can create concepts and solutions for sustainable and climate-neutral living spaces by renovating existing buildings and adding new storeys onto these to increase living area. In this way, inner cities can be upgraded not only architecturally and aesthetically, but also in terms of affordability, energy performance, and viability, which present a higher use for society. Our team’s name is derived directly from our objective to add additional storeys or “levels” onto existing buildings.

We are students, employees, and professors of the Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences that have joined together from different programs of study and faculties. We are characterized by many curious minds with a healthy mix of visionary ideas, engineering expertise, creativity, and interdisciplinary drive.                  

In 2010, we participated for the first time at a SDE competition in Madrid, Spain. Our team IKAROS Bavaria reached 2nd place, finishing as the leading German team and even the best European team! Now, we would like to continue this success story at the SDE 21/22 competition.

Video: levelup Image-film

Which teams are participating?

A total of 18 teams from eleven countries are taking part:

  • AuRA – Grenoble National School of Architecture (ENSAG) – France
  • Azalea – Polytechnic University of Valencia – Spain
  • coLLab –Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences – Germany
  • Deeply High – Istanbul Technical University / Lübeck Technical University of Applied Sciences – Turkey / Germany
  • EFdeN – Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism – Romania
  • FIRSTlife – Czech Technical University in Prague – Czech Republic
  • levelup – Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences – Germany
  • local+ – Aachen University of Applied Sciences – Germany
  • Lungs of the City – University of Pécs – Hungary
  • MIMO – Dusseldorf University of Applied Sciences – Germany
  • RoofKIT – Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – Germany
  • SAB – Bangkok University – Thailand
  • SUM – Delft University of Technology – the Netherlands
  • TDIS – National Chiao Tung University – Taiwan
  • Team Sweden – Chalmers University of Technology – Sweden
  • UR-BAAN – King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi – Thailand
  • VIRTU/e – Eindhoven University of Technology – the Netherlands
  • X4S – Biberach University of Applied Sciences – Germany
How do I get up-to-date information?
How can I support levelup?

In order to be able to finance student participation and the construction of the House Demonstration Unit (HDU), we are being supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, as well as the Bavarian State Ministry for Housing, Construction and Transportation. In addition, industry and research partners and sponsors are providing us with building materials, financial resources, and consulting services. We are very grateful for your support!

A list of our partners can be viewed here .

We are looking for sponsors who are willing to support us either financially, with materials, with know-how, or all of these. By doing so, you will position and present yourself as an innovation partner. Experience has shown that a very large response can be expected from a university competition of this scale. It is also very important to us to recognize the commitment of each and every donor throughout the course of the project. We want to make sure that your support as benefactor will be rewarded. Your participation also strengthens and promotes Germany’s role as a leading nation for technology and innovation.