Join the Movement!

Everyday, we make choices that affect the environment. However, we believe we have the ability to make a significant change. Our behaviour and the development of sustainable habits are the key to tackling climate change. Symbiotic Urban Movement (SUM) aims to achieve a mutual and beneficial relationship between people and their environment: a symbiosis. This symbiosis will be the answer to a sustainable future.

SUM, from TU Delft in the Netherlands, is participating in the Solar Decathlon Europe; a university competition focussed on putting innovative ideas for sustainable architecture into practice. For this competition, SUM aims to craft resource-responsible and resilient neighbourhoods. There are 847,000 tenement flats in the Netherlands, which represent 11% of the total housing stock in the country. By addressing this type of housing, we have the opportunity to create a system that can be implemented across the Netherlands and even Europe, making the world more sustainable and symbiotic with each home addressed. Tackling this type of building creates the opportunity to contribute to Dutch nationwide goals of becoming energy-neutral in 2050 and adding one million homes by 2030.

In addition to the focus on modularity, circularity, and sustainability; SUM also looks for solutions that contribute to the urban and social living environment. According to SUM, creating a community based on new and sustainable habits is an opportunity to create a major impact on our social life and environmental footprint. Through this a strong and resilient community is created, which is the basis for a better life.

Currently, SUM consists of 63 enthusiastic students from 24 different nationalities and covers 11 different disciplines within the TU Delft. SUM aims to grow as an international and interdisciplinary team, and our passion and dedication to become successful as a team unites us. SUM is supported by faculty advisors from TU Delft, as well as multiple sponsors and stakeholders who are offering advice and expertise throughout the project phase and beyond.

SUM aims to host workshops, events and presentations during the project to encourage sustainable habits and increase awareness regarding the climate crisis both online, and offline at the university of TU Delft, the site location in The Hague and Wuppertal. In addition to this, SUM’s social media channels are used to provide updates on the team’s progress and reach a diverse audience.

The chosen case study of several tenement flats, located in De Dreef, in The Hague, are underperforming on environmental, social and economic aspects. Our project aims to tackle these issues, creating net-positive redevelopment, using this to create symbiotic solutions and sustainable habits, while providing accomodation for the generation of 20-35 year olds. Our motivation to participate in SDE21 is to show that major issues, as described above, can be resolved, creating a new environment within the next 50 years, where everybody lives together in a sustainable way. SUM’s vision for the renovation is to reach the highest impact with minor interventions. With our interventions, we aim to make the project feasible for social housing. Modular, prefab structures will be used to add extra apartments and communal spaces, and reduce construction time. Biobased materials will be incorporated to achieve SUM’s eco-friendly goals.

To SUM it up, the integrated new design will create a platform that strengthens the local community and encourages people to adopt new and sustainable habits. SUM aims to craft a symbiotic framework which makes affordable living, stronger communities and a sustainable built environment more accessible. By combining each of these elements SUM will provide a solution for the future.