TU Dresden RWTH Leibniz Institut

Design competition 2023 "Tiny House made of carbon concrete" of the SFB/Transregio 280

Call of tenders

The competition is organized by the Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 280 "Design Strategies for Material-Minimised Carbon Reinforced Concrete Structures—Principles of a New Approach to Construction, which has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since July 2020.

Competition theme

The rapid growth of the world's population is increasing the demand for built structures with a wide variety of functions. In large cities, housing shortages are the norm. On the one hand, there are simply more people in need of living space, and on the other, each person is taking up more and more living space. Whereas in 1965 there was 22 m² available per capita in the Federal Republic of Germany, in 2021 the average was just under 48 m². But "more and more, bigger and bigger" is neither reasonable nor sustainable. Limiting ourselves to the essentials, for example with tiny houses as a form of living, can be an effective contribution to greater sustainability in the construction and use of buildings.


Why carbon concrete?

For more than a hundred years, the majority of our built environment has been constructed from mineral-bonded, reinforced concrete. Concrete is easy, quick and inexpensive to produce and extremely durable. It can be poured into almost any shape and is the only building material that is also used extensively in developing and emerging countries. Concrete is by far the most important material for the construction of living space and infrastructure. But: we consume too many raw materials in concrete construction and emit too much CO2. One alternative is carbon concrete. This combines filigree, flexible, high-tensile reinforcement elements with high-strength fine-grain concrete. This opens up enormous scope for design and construction, but this has only been used to a limited extent so far.

Competition goal

The competition is intended to inspire students and doctoral candidates to explore innovative forms, design concepts and production methods of and for carbon concrete. We are looking for designs for Tiny Houses as student accommodation or to house visiting academics at universities. The main load-bearing elements and parts of the opaque building envelope of the Tiny Houses should be made of carbon concrete. The houses are designed for one person and do not have to be independent.

Design objectives are:

  • maximum material efficiency based on the principles of form follows force and form follows function
  • Inclusion of current research and development approaches from the SFB/TRR 280, but also other national and international projects, e.g. with regard to innovative structures and manufacturing processes.

The use of synergies with areas of knowledge outside the construction industry, for example by adapting load-bearing ideas from nature or other technical disciplines, is expressly desired.

The key criteria for evaluating the entries submitted are:

  • Creativity and innovation,
  • material suitability and efficiency,
  • design and buildability,
  • integration of current research and development,
  • Special features.


Who can participate?

The competition is aimed at students and doctoral candidates in the fields of civil engineering, (interior) architecture, landscape architecture, but also related disciplines such as art and design. Interdisciplinary teams are expressly welcome!

Awarding authority

Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 280 - Design Strategies for Material-Minimised Carbon Reinforced Concrete Structures—Principles of a New Approach to Construction
Webside: https://www.sfbtrr280.de/

Speaker: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Manfred Curbach
TU Dresden, Institut für Massivbau, 01062 Dresden

Deputy Spokesman: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Josef Hegger
RWTH Aachen University, Lehrstuhl und Institut für Massivbau, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Str. 1, 52074 Aachen

Conditions of participation

1. Paricipation

Eligible to participate are:

  • Students and doctoral candidates in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, design, interior design, art, landscape architecture, urban planning and related subjects at universities of applied sciences, colleges and universities
  • Individuals and teams of up to 3 people from one or more disciplines

In addition to designs created on their own initiative, students may also submit designs created in seminars or as part of a student project.

2. Language

German or English

3. Documents to be submitted and anonymity

Presentation of the design on 2 anonymized digital posters per team:

  • DIN A1 format (vertical), width = 59.4 cm, height = 84.1 cm
  • File format: pdf, resolution: 300 dpi, file size max. 30 MB

Additional documents per participant :

  • Printed and signed declaration of participation and copyright (Annex 1 and Annex 2 of the invitation to tender)
  • Copy of the certificate of enrollment valid at the time of submission of the draft or a confirmation of the status as a doctoral candidate (e.g. by the main supervisor of the thesis)

The content design of the posters is optional. In principle, your design and its special features as well as the possible construction/installation should be understandable without further explanations or the addition of literature. Please also refer to the use of current research results, developments and innovations. All elements must be created by the participants themselves and thus be free of third-party rights. Possible design elements are (selection):

  • Texts,
  • Sketches, photos, renderings,
  • Representations of floor plans, sections, views, process sequences,
  • details of materials and design solutions.

Please add important key data for your design in a suitable manner, such as:

  • enclosed space and usable area,
  • Type of materials mainly used for the supporting structure and building envelope and their quantities,
  • Self-weight of the construction (without finishing).

It is also possible to submit anonymized models or video clips. These media can support the presentation of your idea.

The competition entries will be reviewed anonymously. You should therefore specify a code number for your entry, consisting of two letters and two numbers, e.g. AB12. The code number must be clearly visible in the bottom left-hand corner of the poster. Avoid any reference to your name, your university affiliation, your supervisor or any additional models or videos you have sent.

Data transmission (see point 7 for addresses):

  • Digital data: Download or USB stick by mail: Designation of the files with the anonymous code number
  • Documents by mail: sealed A4 envelope
  • For the return of a data carrier, a self-addressed and sufficiently stamped envelope must be enclosed.
  • The return of models will be organized by the awarding authority.

4. Dates

Submission of the complete documents by: Monday, August 28, 2023.

The date counts:

  • the provision of the digital documents
  • the postmark
  • personal submission by 14:00 on 28.08.2023 at the secretariat of the Institute of Concrete and Masonry Structures at TU Dresden (address see point 7)

Jury meeting: beginning of September 2023

Award ceremony: 15th Carbon and Textile Concrete Days on September 19/20, 2023 in Dresden
Webseite: https://www.carbon-textilbetontage.de/

5. Rights, data protection and public relations

The copyright remains with the author(s) of the design.

The submitters grant the awarding authority the right to use and store all submitted content free of charge and without restriction in terms of time, space and content for storage and publication in printed works, on the Internet and social media, in exhibitions and presentations, on data carriers and in the context of competition-related communication, press work and publication in the trade press. Authorship will be clearly indicated by naming the submitter.

The personal data collected from participants will be deleted after the competition process has been completed. This does not apply to the personal data of the award-winning participants. These will be stored beyond the end of the competition procedure for the legally prescribed period of time.

6. Prices

The submissions will be evaluated by an independent jury in an anonymized procedure. The decision cannot be disputed. The jury will probably consist of members of the SFB/Transregio 280 board and up to three other independent experts.

1st prize: The first prize is a trip to a national or international symposium and includes the conference fee, accommodation costs and travel expenses for each member of the winning team of up to 2,500 euros. This trip must be settled with the awarding authority by mid-May 2024 at the latest. If the prize is not claimed, it will be forfeited. The winning team will also be invited to the award ceremony at the 15th Carbon and Textile Concrete Days in Dresden on September 19/20, 2023.

In addition to the first prize, the awarding authority reserves the right to award honorable mentions for up to three further submissions in the form of high-quality specialist books.

7. Further information

All necessary information is available here: https://www.sfbtrr280.de/wettbewerbe/

For further information please contact:

Dr.-Ing. Silke Scheerer
TU Dresden, Institut für Massivbau, 01062 Dresden

Phone: +49 351 463 36527
E-Mail: silke.scheerer@tu-dresden.de
Webside: https://tu-dresden.de/bu/bauingenieurwesen/imb

Please submit documents as follows:

Digital posters

E-Mail/Download: silke.scheerer@tu-dresden.de oder claudia.seifert3@tu-dresden.de


Mailing address: TU Dresden, Institut für Massivbau, 01062 Dresden

Packages and parcels

Parcel address: TU Dresden, Institut für Massivbau, Helmholtzstr. 10, 01069 Dresden                       

Personal delivery

Visitor address: TU Dresden, Institut für Massivbau
August-Bebel-Straße 30/30A (Gebäude ABS 30),
Secretariat: Room 05-010, Ms. Claudia Seifert,
01219 Dresden

Webside: https://tu-dresden.de/bu/bauingenieurwesen/imb/das-institut/kontakt