Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies

CampUS exponent i – The smart CampUS - Intelligent and user-orientated planning processes for climate-neutral buildings and districts in the case of the campus Vaihingen, University of Stuttgart

CampUS exponent i is a real-world laboratory focussing on climate neutrality by investigating sustainable planning processes using intelligent control systems for buildings

Project Funding

Ministry of Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg

Project Duration

March 2021 - February 2024

The University of Stuttgart aims at achieving climate neutrality by the year 2040. The building sector (encompassing new buildings as well as existing ones) is of high relevance for this target. Unfortunately, only minor achievements have been documented in this sector in the past years. One reason for that has been a lack of participation of users as well as insufficient coordination between involved actors during construction and use. The development of innovative building materials as well as intelligent control systems now offers new possibilities. The CampUSi research team investigates these possibilities following a participatory approach for technology development. This encompasses co-design as well as co-creation in the tradition of real-world laboratories meaning the participation of relevant actors (e. g. scientists, students, employees of the university, stakeholders) in processes of development, implementation and practice. Within this approach, the demands, preferences and behavioural change of (potential) users are equally important as the technical opportunities and requirements with respect to artificial intelligence and innovative building materials.

The real-world laboratory is located at the campus Vaihingen of the University of Stuttgart. There are many building projects planned on the campus Vaihingen in the near future. In addition, the connected project MobiLab will deal with the development of a new mobility structure. The CampUSi research team will develop as well as demonstrate participatory processes for (potential) users with respect to typical examples of new and existing buildings, respectively. The participatory processes for (potential) users shall ideally represent a new standard and be transferable to other locations (e. g. a campus of another university) or actor constellations. The target of the project is a promising model for participative planning and implementation processes in the field of climate neutral building and living.

We also want to effectively communicate the steps and results of the process by developing a so called „climate barometer“ which enables progress tracking on the way to climate neutrality. Additionally, the technologies and materials used in the project will be presented and demonstrated in a kind of showroom (e. g. a pavilion or innovative building) at the campus Vaihingen. We call this a „Bauhütte“ (site hut) following the idea of huts near the construction sites of cathedrals in the middle-age which had the function of spreading knowledge about the art of building. Our showroom will be teamwork of project and practice partners and enables us to easily share our experiences and results with stakeholders and multipliers (e. g. architectural association) as well as educate practitioners (e. g. craftspeople). The project also supports the establishment of a „Green Office“ at the University of Stuttgart to enhance efficiency of the measures for user integration.

The project focus of ZIRIUS lies on participation, knowledge production and communication. First, relevant actors have to be involved to be able to take their different perspectives, viewpoints, attitudes, and behaviours in the development and implementation of the real-world experiments into consideration. The real-world experiments must especially consider the technical aspects of innovative materials and intelligent control systems for buildings on the one side and the social aspect in form of the user perspective on the other side, both altogether under the concept of participatory technology design. Second, systematic knowledge about the different roles of actors on the campus with respect to the construction and operation of preferably climate neutral buildings has to be generated. Third, project results have to be communicated in accordance with university officials over different channels (e. g. website, press releases, social media).

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