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SUM prototype – Team SUM

Solar Campus, Wuppertal - Germany


Competition: Solar Decathlon Europe 21-22
Student team: Team SUM - Symbiotic Urban Movement
University: Delft University of Technology
Prizes: 1st place Affordability and Viability; 2nd place Energy Performance; 3rd place Sustainability; 3rd place Urban Mobility.
Out of competition awards: 1st place Green BIM award; 1st place Building for Future award; 2nd place Timber Construction award; 3rd place German Sustainable Housing award.
Result: 3rd place
Surface area: 17,76 m2
Active area: 3,29 m2
Active panels: 6 pieces
Passive area: 14,47 m2
Passive panels: 25 pieces
Number of sizes: 11
Number of designs: 31
Total output: 321 Wp
Color technology: ColorBlast® Design
Delivery date: November 2021
Completion date: Prototype opening March 2022 - Final competition June 2022
Phase: Completed
Glass and passive elements: Steinfort Glas
PV manufacturer: Kameleon Solar

In a nutshell

Team SUM’s prototype features a beautiful solar façade, which Kameleon Solar delivered. The traditional Delft Blauw design portraying the city of Delft in the 17th century was accurately translated in-house and then spread onto PV panels of different sizes, each with a unique design. The customized ColorBlast® Design solar façade not only is aesthetically satisfying, but also helps make the SUM house energy-neutral.

The jury stated, “The building-integrated PV system provides an innovative addition to the building and together with bio-based materials contributes to reducing the carbon footprint.”

SUM’s building task was the renovation and addition of a story of rental housing in The Hague. The SUM prototype is designed to be added on top of existing tenement flats that are energetically inefficient and demonstrates how a solar façade can improve the energy performance of a whole building.


Team SUM – Symbiotic Urban Movement

Team SUM from TU Delft won the 3rd prize in the Solar Decathlon Europe 21-22, which took place in Wuppertal, Germany, from 10 to 26 June 2022. SUM aims at achieving a mutually beneficial relationship between the user, community, and environment: a symbiosis that happens via renovation and top-up strategies. During the contest, the SUM prototype distinguished itself for the living environment’s viability, affordability, sustainability, and energy performance.

Team SUM’s mission is to help the existing housing stock become more sustainable while densifying our cities in a future-proof way, rather than demolishing the urban building stock or building around cities, causing land consumption. The SUM project for SDE 21-22 focused on refurbishing and extending rental flats in The Hague. Team SUM has designed a concept for renovating, expanding, and making existing portico flats energy neutral, which is a complex task. SUM has created a generic solution with which all tenement flats across the globe can be topped up with extra apartments and renovated. They included a beautiful solar façade in their design that makes the building look special and generates all the energy the flexible interior needs to function.

The Delft University of Technology is the largest and oldest Dutch public technical university in the Netherlands. The fact that TU Delft is an internationally oriented university is reflected well in SUM; its members originate from more than 19 different countries.


SUM prototype

Targeting outdated housing stock in the Netherlands, their design proposes to transform 847,000 underperforming post-war flats by adding an ‘energy-positive topping’: a module that not only creates two new layers with extra homes, but also makes the flat energy-neutral. In addition, the communal area on the ground floor is designed to strengthen the social cohesion in the neighborhood. This design by SUM is a critical contribution to the ongoing challenge to build a million residences over the next ten years. With this innovative plan, SUM impressed the jury and won the Affordability and Viability Award. SUM’s ambition is to use a circular approach to offer a solution for renovating all porch homes in the Netherlands rather than demolishing them due to excessive energy consumption.


Beautiful BIPV façade

SUM’s house is not just efficient, but thanks to the colored solar façade, it also looks beautiful. BIPV (Building-Integrated Photovoltaics) is exploited at its maximum design potential, with a PV integration spreading a design onto the whole façade, with each of the 31 panels showing a unique colored design. These PV panels enable us to create a suitable facade aesthetic within every post-war urban context.

Kameleon Solar accurately translated the typical Delft Blauw design from the 1600s onto the custom-sized colored PV panels, for an aesthetically satisfying result provided by the ColorBlast® Design innovative color technology. The energy transition in cities is made possible by generating energy on a surface that is too often passive; the façade.

Read more about the benefits of solar façades here.


Solar Decathlon

The Solar Decathlon is an international competition at university level for resource-responsible and energy-efficient architecture and engineering in the building sector. Student teams from all over the world design, build, and operate sustainable solar-powered houses. It is an intensive learning experience for consumers and homeowners who experience the latest technologies and materials in energy-efficient design, clean energy production, smart home solutions, water conservation measures, electric mobility, and occupant comfort.

During the final phase of the competition, the teams assemble their houses in an expo area and open them to the general public while undergoing ten different contests (decathlon). There are three ways to earn points in the competition: Jury evaluation, Task completion, and Monitored performance.


Solar Decathlon Europe 21-22

The Solar Decathlon Europe 21-22 in Wuppertal, Germany, focused on sustainable building and living, developing innovative housing ideas, and realizing these designs as fully-functional residential houses.

The SDE 21- 22 was a great success, with 16 university teams from Europe and Asia participating, and a record number of over 115,000 people visited the Solar Campus in Wuppertal over the twelve event days. Noticeably, almost all buildings achieved a positive energy balance during the competition.

PV Details

Type 1

Size: 740 x 740 mm
Weight: 14,5 kg
Cells: 16 pieces (4 x 4) monocrystalline 6'' cells
Average power: 53,6 Wp
Technology: ColorBlast® Design


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