Small but smart — NHW wants to test living in a micro house

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Small but smart — NHW wants to test living in a micro house

The Nassauische Heimstätte I Wohnstadt (NHW) group is launching a competition for “Smart Micro Housing”. They are looking for a prototype for a small, mobile house with smart technologies that will offer additional living space in the open spaces of the NHW.

Hessen’s largest housing association relies on unconventional ideas. Since Tuesday, September 1, 2020, inventors and creative minds can take part in an international competition for “Smart Micro Housing”. The participants should design a house with a maximum of 20 square meters of living space, which is not only transportable and energy self-sufficient, but also equipped with smart technology inside.

“We are countering the housing shortage in the Rhine-Main area with many new construction projects, but at the same time we want to use the potential of our undeveloped areas as optimally and sustainably as possible,” explains Dr. Thomas Hain, Managing Director of NHW, the idea behind the competition. “We see an additional possibility in the temporary installation of transportable microhouses that are equipped with sustainable and smart technology. We are therefore launching this special appeal with which we want to develop innovative strength — in our company, but also in the housing industry itself.” The best idea should be turned into reality at the end of the competition process. “Then we would like to test in a field test whether the house is ready for series production”, says NHW managing director Hain.

Locations with ideal conditions

The NHW has already selected possible locations in Frankfurt for the four-meter-high house: its settlements on Melibocusstrasse in Niederrad and on Albert-Schweitzer-Strasse in Nieder-Eschbach. Here, the NHW managing director responsible for property management, Dr. Constantin Westphal the best conditions for the planned test operation of the prototype: “The settlements offer a lot of free space, but cannot be easily expanded — maybe in a few years. Until then, their potential will remain untapped. The small houses could close this gap.” As temporary living space, the barrier-free Micro Houses are ideally suited to the needs of older people, singles or students. “Once the gap begins, the building can move to a new location,” says Westphal.

Energy efficiency, sustainability and smart living in one house

The building method of the future Micro House should be as innovative as possible, emphasizes the NHW regional center manager Holger Lack, who is responsible for Frankfurt: Design of individual parts is created. “ A prerequisite is also a self-sufficient energy supply, for example with its own fresh and waste water tank and through the use of photovoltaics. “It is important to us that efficient energy use, sustainability and smart living are brought together,” explains Lack. “Inside, we don’t want the magic of a hut, but the greatest possible integration of the latest information,

First participation, then planning competition

Before the first tenants can move in, however, a lot of ideas and a two-stage competition process are needed. Virginia-Annabelle Andres oversees this as the responsible project manager: “With its complexity and the requirements from different disciplines, the task is ideal for working groups. We look forward to joint applications from various professional groups, for example from architects, engineers and software developers.” These can be viewed from September 1, 2020 on the specially set up website www.smart-microhousing.deRegister for the competition, here you will also find the conditions of participation and application documents. Applications to participate may be submitted until November 17, 2020, and an internal jury will then review them. Then the best participants are invited to a planning competition, in the course of which the competition work is specifically worked out and then evaluated again. “If all permits are given in time, we could start building our prototype in the summer of 2021,” says Andres.


Small but smart — NHW wants to test living in a micro house was originally published in FrankfurtValley on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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