Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 ? Schüco backs the zero energy house of RWTH Aachen

The Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 is an international competition among students, taking place from 14 – 30 September this year in Madrid (Spain). The aim is to raise awareness of the benefits of solar energy. Also attending is a 50-strong team from RWTH Aachen, which has designed and already constructed a zero energy house for two people for test purposes in the German town of Jülich. The house, which is operated using only renewable energy, has a Schüco photovoltaic installation, as well as highly insulated windows and doors. A new frame construction for the Schüco ASS 77 PD.SI sliding system has been specially developed for this purpose. It allows the floor-to-ceiling sliding windows at one corner to be opened and closed without the need for supports.

The 50-strong "Counter Entropy Team" at RWTH Aachen is tasked with achieving energy-efficient living for two people, energy optimisation over the lifetime of the building and environmentally friendly construction. To do this, they are building a one-storey building with flowing transitions between the inside and outside. The 144 m2 cantilevered flat roof supports a photovoltaic installation from Schüco. The entire building management system is largely automated. It is controlled using newly developed iPad and iPhone Apps. The Schüco DoorControl System also plays an important role. It is a profile-integrated and flush-fitted door management system which optimises the operation of the Schüco ADS 90.SI entrance door. In addition to the highly insulated Schüco AWS 90.SI windows, the Schüco ASS 77 PD.SI sliding system is also used. The floor-to-ceiling, easy-access sliding units provide maximum transparency with their narrow frames, as well as outstanding thermal insulation.

One special feature has arisen from the desire of the architecture team to be able to open and close the sliding units in the corner of the living space without the need for supports. To be able to do this, Schüco developed a completely new profile, which is a reliable, energy-saving, yet elegant solution.

Team member Björn Teutriene, colleague of Prof. Peter J. Russell in the CAAD department of RWTH Aachen, explains why Schüco was chosen as the leading partner for the building envelope: "Our concept would not have been possible with any other supplier on the market." It is not only the special corner solution for the sliding units, but above all the combination of energy efficiency, solar energy, automation and design, which provides the concept with a competitive advantage.

The enthusiasm of the team from Aachen is palpable. When asked how the team's chances in the competition are rated, Teutriene responded: "We are very confident, because we have also amassed a great deal of knowledge of mechanical engineering and expertise in air conditioning technology in our Counter Entropy Team." Seven trucks from Jülich will soon be travelling down to Madrid to get things started. Everything must be assembled and set up by 14 September. Then 20 teams from 15 countries will be battling it out in a total of 10 categories.

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Posted by Gloria Llopis | 2012-09-10