The Next Phase

SUM has undergone an internal transformation in recent months to become SUM+, scaling back to a core team of experts actively engaged in knowledge dissemination on the topics of biobased top-ups, renovation, and sustainability.
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Optoppen de Nieuwe Norm
6e Bestuurlijke Verstedelijkingsconferentie
Renovatie de Nieuwe Norm
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Learn more about our design
Learn more about our team

Our prototype is open to the public

The prototype might still be in Wuppertal, but that doesn't mean you can't visit it! Welcome to the online tour of SUM's prototype. In this video series, you will be taken on a journey through our prototype design.

Discover Online Tour

A renovation & densification strategy for 847,000 underperforming tenement flats

With our tenement flat repurposing strategy we would like to make a world where diversity, innovation and social interaction are stimulated. Where clever design solutions can tackle social, economic and environmental challenges.

About SDE 21/22

The Solar Decathlon Europe Competition: A once in a lifetime experience

Initiated in 2002 by the United States Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon (SD) is a university-level student competition for resource-responsible and energy-efficient architecture and engineering in the building sector. The competition challenges universities from all over the world to design, build and operate a solar-powered and energetically self-sufficient home equipped with advanced technologies, and designed to the highest standards of sustainability.

The 10 Contests

Who gets the highest score in all 10 contests, wins the competition!

Get the highest score and win the competition! The Solar Decathlon Europe competition consists of 10 contests. The student team that achieves the highest combined score will win! In this edition, 5 of the 10 contests focuses on the urban challenges. The other 5 contests focuses on the Architecture, Communication, Comfort, Sustainability and Energy Performance. Click on one of the videos below and find out what each contest is about!

About the Team

We are SUM.
The Symbiotic Urban Movement.

In an already complex world, where the ever-increasing technological advances impose hectic daily rhythms and contribute to the detachment of human from the environment, there is an urgent need for humans to return to nature, to its simplicity and reconnect with it.

SUM wants to cross this boundary and create a new environment where humans, plants and animals all flourish; an environment where each of the groups benefits from the presence of the other. This is what we call:


2 Challenges

1 Million Home Challenge

To facilitate the population growth in the Netherlands and the enormous housing shortage, 1 million extra homes are needed by 2030.

Climate-Neutral by 2050

To combat climate change, the Dutch government wants to become climate neutral by 2050. There are 1,5 million homes that should become more sustainable.

1 Million Home Challenge

To facilitate the population growth, 1 million extra homes are needed by 2030.

Currently, the population of the Netherlands is growing and society is becoming even more individualistic, which is most visible in the regions of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. The Netherlands is undergoing an enormous housing shortage. In 2019 there was an estimated shortage of 263,000 homes. To facilitate this growth, more than 1 million residences are needed by 2030.

Housing Shortage


49% less emissions

The Dutch Government wants to reduce the gas emissions by 49% by 2030.

1,5 million homes

1,5 million homes should become sustainable and net-positive in order to omit the emission of 3,4 megatons of CO2 by 2030.


95% less emissions

The Dutch Government wants to reduce the gas emissions by 95% by 2050.

Climate Neutral by 2050

To combat climate change, the Dutch government wants to become climate neutral by 2050.

Europe aims to have a climate-neutral economy by 2050. Therefore, the Dutch Climate Agreement aims to reduce the gas emissions by 49% before 2030, and 95% before 2050. This means that there is a need to omit the emission of 3,4 megatons of CO2 by 2030. Therefore, 1,5 million homes should become more sustainable before 2030.

In order to overcome these challenges, SUM will tackle the alarming state of Dutch post-war neighborhoods by focusing on tenement flats constructed between 1945-1974. In the Netherlands, there are 847,00 tenement flats, which represent 11% of the total housing stock.

By addressing this typology, this integrated design will create a platform that strengthens the local community and encourages young adults to adopt new and sustainable habits. We aim to create a symbiotic breeding ground that leads to affordable, living communities, and a sustainable environment.

A framework that can be used across the Netherlands

By addressing the tenement flats, SUM will create a system that can be used across post-war neighborhoods in the Netherlands. This will not only ensure greater social, environmental, and economical impact, but will also provide the Netherlands with multiple strategic scenarios of implementation.

Meet our sustainable partners