Solar Decathlon Europe 21/22

X4S ● Biberach, Germany


Biberach University of Applied Science


renovation & addition of storey, Café Ada, Wuppertal

The team

Team X4S

The interdisciplinary team X4S (Extension for Sustainability) consists of energy and civil engineers, project managers and architects from the Biberach University of Applied Science (HBC). Students work on the project with the support of professors. Different institutes of the Biberach university contribute to the progress of the project with profound expertise, innovative approaches and practical experience. These include the Institute for Timber Construction, the Institute for Applied Research, the Institute for Education and Transfer as well as the University PR and Marketing Team.

The project

To create more living space within the city without sealing more land, team X4S has developed a concept to extend the building of Café Ada in Wuppertal by adding four additional floors. The project’s innovations aim to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions from buildings in urban neighbourhoods while maintaining or improving the socio-cultural environment.

The design focuses on residents who are interested in social participation. With floor plans of different sizes, the building provides living space for the growing demand for one or two-person households as well as for families of up to four people. Essential for that concept is to reduce the floor area per person and to offer common areas for flexible use like co-working or shared urban gardening. This reduces emissions and creates community.

Cost-effective and fast to build constructions can be achieved by solid timber elements. A great share of prefabrication, minimal loads and separable components are advantages of this construction. Also, solid timber constructions enable the high fire protection that we need for multi-storey extensions. 

The engineering and construction concept is aligned along with the following principles: Reducing heat losses by a highly insulated building envelope that is optimized for solar passive gains. Next, active use of solar energy on façade and roof to produce heat and electricity. Also, a grid friendly operation is enabled by storage systems in combination with an intelligent management system.

The exterior of Café Ada is being sustainably integrated into the city and thus influences the urban transportation network in a positive way. Private parking spaces are minimized to create green areas and recreational spaces. A mobility hub offers a small DIY workshop, a garage and a bike rental service. The offer is being supplemented with car sharing.

Virtual tour


M. Sc. Marie-Lise Hofstetter, Communications Coordinator & Sponsorship Manager
Phone: +49 163 9219318

social media

Facebook: TeamX4S

Instagram: team_x4s


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