ECO+: Toward positive environmental impacts of neighborhoods

Project duration
01.10.2022 – 30.09.2024

Funding organization
The German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU)
Stiftung Bayerisches Baugewerbe

Project partners
Technical University of Munich, Professorship for Green Technologies in Landscape Architecture
TU Dortmund University, Junior professorship in Resource-Efficient Construction
Öko Bau GmbH

Given the burning ecological issues of our time, we can no longer be satisfied with minimizing the negative impact of our building activities. Rather, it is a matter of pursuing the fundamental and visionary goal of positive buildings and neighborhoods and accelerating ecological change in the building sector. The ECO+ research project is based on the concept of "Regenerative Design". This is characterized by a more flexible planning approach with the aim of achieving positive environmental impacts and seeing buildings as part of the surrounding nature. We understand "Positive Building" and the concept of Regenerative Design in particular as a way of thinking that goes far beyond the shifting of system boundaries and is based on a fundamentally different worldview, where in a holistic approach humans and their actions are seen in relation to nature.

Against this background, the ECO+ research project will demonstrate how existing implementation strategies for positive building can be affordably implemented as part of a new residential construction project. In this context, the term ECO+ encompasses ecological, economic and social aspects. In the project, the fields of action material, energy, water, green, society and mobility are considered and their interactions are critically evaluated. Existing implementation strategies will be analyzed, and new, innovative approaches will be developed and evaluated for their suitability in the context of the planned neighborhood development. To this end, the research project will be linked to a concrete practical project, a new neighborhood near Bamberg, and implemented with practical partners. In close coordination between the researchers and the planning participants of the practical project, implementation strategies for building with positive environmental impacts for the above-mentioned fields of action will be integratively elaborated, developed and prepared with regard to transferability to other projects, so that they can be applied and used for similar follow-up projects. The research project thus contributes to the implementation and further development of regenerative design at the building and neighborhood level with the aim of identifying strategies for the implementation of environmentally and socially positive construction methods. 

Kathrin Theilig, Michael Vollmer