Solar Decathlon Europe 2014

Solar Decathlon 2014: OnTop, an intelligent house… built on an existing roof!

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Project data

• Team OnTop
University of Applied Sciences - Frankfurt - Germany

  • • Serge Ferrari flexible composite material
    Soltis W96

  • logo solar decathlonThe OnTop project focuses on building additional homes on the roofs of existing old, vacant buildings. OnTop gives as an example an installation at the heart of Mousonstraße in the centre of Frankfurt.


    Live from Solar Decathlon:

    The extra floor is composed of five segments interspaced by flat roofs. Intentionally lightweight, these structures have been designed around timber frames and imitation roof slates.
    In symbiosis with the old building fabric, these new housing units provide thermal protection and an energy generation area. The new double pitched roof comprises a north-facing slope reduced to a minimum in order to increase the area exposed to the sun on the south-facing slope (40 kWc will be installed on the five project segments).
    One of these is exhibited at Solar Decathlon 2014: the capacity installed on this prototype is limited to 4.7 kWc of monocrystalline modules.
    This innovative, intelligent symbiotic concept called “Symbiot” allows surplus energy to be redistributed to the host building.

    Soltis W96: waterproof solar protection screen
    Installed on the flat roof, Soltis W96 100% waterproof screen combines watertightness, thermal comfort and excellent translucence to ensure exceptional luminosity.
    Durably resistant to UV radiation, Soltis W96 also proves to be efficient in protecting against adverse weather. This composite screen receives an antifungal treatment and is 100% recyclable through the Texyloop process.

    With Soltis W96, the flat roof is transformed into a living room and dining room extension in both good weather and under a less clear sky. A truly decorative external component, this manually operated canopy also contributes effectively to the housing unit’s thermal control.
    Readings taken inside have shown that the temperature never exceeded 26 °C.

    © photo Team OnTop


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    The French manufacturing group Serge Ferrari is a leader in the flexible composite material sector.

    As the inventor of Précontraint Serge Ferrari technology, we design and manufacture flexible high performence composite materials for architecture, yachting protection, industry, furniture, equipment protection, health, environment and visual communication sectors.

    Précontraint Serge Ferrari patented technology


    This technological leap forward enabled the fledgling company to very quickly make a name for itself in the field of composite materials.

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    Serge Ferrari composite materials are specified by major international architects because their lightness, low physical density and performance characteristics all contribute to a sustainable approach to construction. These materials combine insulation, translucence, lightness, strength and stability. In particular, Précontraint technology provides them with the best weight/performance ratio and long-term stability, enabling them to be fully in phase with mankind’s natural resources challenge: to do better with less and for longer.

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