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Jülich „Solar Campus of Technological High School Aachen“

(North-Rhine Westphalia)

Solar construction for housing, employment, research and education

A student hostel and two institute and seminar buildings have been created on the expansion site of the higher education institute Fachhochschule Aachen (FH). All buildings comply with solar architecture and are equipped with the latest heating, cooling and ventilation technology. The realization was optimized using new planning methods.

This project has been put into the archive. The project details will not be updated anymore.


Solar Campus JülichSource: Robert Schmell, BBSR im BBR

Jülich, a town north of Aachen with approximately 34.000 inhabitants, has two important supraregional facilities: the Research Centre Jülich and a department of the FH Aachen. The extension of the FH at the beginning of the 1990s created a need to construct new administrative and institute buildings as well as student housing. The previously mono-functional higher education location could therewith be augmented by other uses.

Project description

Auditorium-RundlingSource: Robert Schmell, BBSR im BBR

The idea to create a demonstration object on the FH expansion site measuring 14 ha in total was conceived. Since 1997, the „Solar Campus“ is being created by combining the construction of residential, office and school buildings with the presentation and testing of current solar technology concepts. All the buildings have been optimized in line with solar-architectural perspectives and the median heating requirement of all the buildings was set to 40 kWh/m² per year (relating to 2,50 m ceiling height). The heating is provided via a comprehensive system including a short-distance district heat grid, solar collectors and an underground heat accumulator.

The housing complex for 136 students was realized in five building rows featuring various architectures, insulation standards and domestic engineering concepts.

A circular auditorium – the „Roundling“ – with two seminar rooms and a library run by the Solar Institute Jülich (SIJ) was constructed according to low energy principles. The cooling is performed via an air/earth heat exchanger.

The seminar room of the two-storey office, laboratory and seminar building for natural and engineering science is equipped with an innovative combination of daylight and artificial light called “fusion lighting”, which illuminates building sections far removed from the façade, improves the light climate and also saves energy. Rainwater collected in the roof area is used for toilet flushing.

A research project running in parallel with the construction process and during the initial years of operation logs and documents the systems, their qualities and deficiencies, the interactions between construction methods, heating, ventilation and control engineering and user behaviour, as well as the economic efficiency from economic and business management points of view.

An “integral planning” method was used to facilitate the effective execution of this complex, demanding construction task involving numerous participants. In contrast to handling the project in line with the fee hierarchy of architects and engineers, which dissects the planning process into individual stages, this planning model involved the objective of creating a mutually networked and parallel planning process structured as a team effort of all parties involved with superordinated project steering and controlling.

Project chronology

Approx. 1990Planning of and decision on the FH expansion
1993-1998“Solar Campus” conception and planning phase
1994Urban design ideas competition
1996-2000Construction of the auditorium “Roundling", student apartments and “natural sciences” institute
1997-2002Research project: measuring and parallel analysis of the buildings on the Solar Campus Jülich
1997-2002Research project: planning and coordination


Blick auf das Gebäude der NaturwissenschaftenSource: Robert Schmell, BBSR im BBR

  • Construction of office and school buildings as well as housing for students
  • Demonstrating the broad range of solar construction options available for various building uses
  • Quality assurance with the help of a research project

Types of measures

StudentenwohnheimeSource: Robert Schmell, BBSR im BBR

  • Superordinated, „integral“ planning and coordination of construction processes
  • Heating provided via clocked low temperature short-distance district heat grid
  • Room cooling via operation of an air/earth heat exchanger
  • Parallel research, evaluation and documentation
  • Public relations work on solar construction and performance of advanced training for experts (architects, skilled craftsmen, technicians, engineers)


Eingang zum Gebäude der NaturwissenschaftenSource: Robert Schmell, BBSR im BBR

The project provides a successful example of possible uses the latest technologies can be put to in a broad usage spectrum (living, working, education). In addition, a new, cooperative planning approach, the so-called “integral planning”, was tested in the development process. The research running in parallel determines the efficiency of the solar technology as well as the planning procedure. The targeted public relations measures lead to multiplier effects.


  • (layout plan and project description)
  • Fachhochschule Aachen, Solar-Institut Jülich, Dr. J. Göttsche a.o. (2001): Measurement and Parallel Analysis of the Building Project Solar-Campus Jülich (Vermessung und begleitende Untersuchung der Gebäude des Neubauvorhabens Solar-Campus Jülich). From:
  • Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Mittelstand,Technologie und Verkehr, Landesinitiative Zukunftsenergien (Ministry of Trade, Medium-Sized Businesses, Technology and Transport, State Initiative Energies of the Future) (n. y.): Leitprojekte (Key Projects). n. p.
  • Zentrum für Lern- und Wissensmanagement (Centre for Learning and Knowledge Management); RWTH-Aachen (1998): Passivhäuser. Besuch des Solar-Campus der Fachhochschule in Jülich (Passive Houses. A Visit of the Solar Campus in Jülich). Aachen.
  • Backes, Klaus; Solar-Institut Jülich (2002): Solar-Campus. Dokumentation und Bewertung der Integralen Planung (Solar Campus. Documentation and Evaluation of the Integral Planning). Jülich. In:

Further information

The projekt site ist to be found at postal code: 52428 - town: Jülich - street: Heinrich-Mußmann-Straße.

Poject site on Google-Maps: Jülich Solar-Campus

Last update: 12.03.2018

Additional Information


  • Fachhochschule Aachen, Jülich Department, Ginsterweg 1, 52428 Jülich, tel. 0241/6009-0, fax 0241/6009-53189, email:
  • Solar-Institut Jülich, Heinrich-Mußmann-Str. 5, 52428 Jülich; Dr. Joachim Göttsche, email:, tel. 0241/6009-53525
  • Stadtwerke Jülich (Jülich Department of Works), tel. 02461/625-0, fax 02461/625-130, web:
  • AG Solar NRW, Landesinitiative Zukunftsenergien NRW (State Initiative Future Energies NRW)
  • Diverse ministries (including the NRW Science and Research Ministry (Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung NRW)
  • Staatliches Bauamt (State Planning Department)
  • Student organization „Studentenwerk Aachen“


Record inserted on 17.09.2004 by Lehrstuhl für Planungstheorie und Stadtplanung, RWTH Aachen and updated by theFederal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR).

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