Stage 3 – CUBITY 2.0

Resource and energy efficiency are the topics that will determine energy-efficient building in the future. The current research and development project CUBITY 2.0 therefore pursues two main objectives on the basis of the realised student housing project CUBITY, which is being researched as LivingLAB: The energetic optimization of CUBITY as a lowest energy house within the “house in a house” principle and the development of CUBITY into a completely networked urban building block in the neighbourhood context.


The mentioned core objectives include the holistic further development of CUBITY in technical, energy, architectural, urban development and economic dimensions. This is directly linked to the analysis of the market potential for modular construction in an optimised CUBITY building system.

The elaboration and development of standardised and transferable solutions on the basis of resilient benchmarks and usage profiles is integrated into the process. The flexibility and adaptability of possible solutions will be intensively considered. In particular, the topic of resource and energy efficiency is in the foreground.

As a climate-neutral building, CUBITY addresses a wide range of sustainability issues and will become an exemplary demonstration project. As an individual object and in an urban context, CUBITY is to become a robust and standardised building block of the energy turnaround, which stands for maximum transferability.

With regard to the market potential for CUBITY 2.0 to be investigated, the analysis will focus on student housing and special forms of housing that can be derived from it (e.g. boarding house for young professionals etc.) as well as innovative working environments in the state of Hesse (co-working etc.). The spatial focus here is primarily on typical urban development quarters in Hessian cities with university locations (including Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Gießen, Wiesbaden), which come into consideration for redensification strategies.


As a networked component of a sustainable supply, buildings are becoming an integral part of an infrastructure based on renewable energies and will thus make an even more active contribution in the future. Networking at the site plays a fundamental role and is always considered in the development of system solutions. In the context of urban structures, variants are made possible that promise higher energy efficiency and profitability. For the feed-in, storage or conversion of energy from renewable sources (power to heat or power to gas etc.) the necessary scale is achieved, which cannot be implemented at the building level. CUBITY is developed as such a building block open to technology and enables the implementation of climate neutrality through the approach of a holistic view beyond the building boundaries. The energy potential is taken into account by the approach of buildings as energy producers and energy service providers in the supply network. Variants up to a maximum solar self-supply are investigated and evaluated.


In the context of the cost analysis of the optimization phase (Living LAB & Founder LAB), in the sense of the desired cost-effective realization, it is exactly evaluated which used components and systems cause costs and in which amount. On the basis of the cost determinations, optimization potentials in all areas (building shell, construction, building services engineering, planning, etc.) are examined and interpreted in terms of cost changes while maintaining the energy and constructional standards and without changing the prototypes.

The cost analysis is fed back into the technical dimensions of system optimization. This goes beyond the usual cost optimization in demonstration projects, since in this project it is embedded in a “learning system” and supported by impact and cost sensitivity analyses. The core of these activities is the realization that only a product that is convincing and competitive in its costs will provide a solution for the goals of low-cost construction and affordable living in the AktivPlus standard.

The systematic development of technically and economically viable models for post-compaction is in itself an innovative technology, which is being targeted in current urban development, but whose systematic and strategic implementation in cities is still in its infancy. This is especially true when this post-compaction task is carried out with the help of the cost-effective modular construction method.

Optimization phase

In the optimization phase, the CUBITY prototypes “Living LAB” in Frankfurt / Main and “Founder LAB” in Würzburg are analysed and optimised under urban development, architectural, usage-specific, energy and technical aspects. The optimised solutions are documented by means of a mathematical illustration and compared with the simulation results. The actual energy consumption is used as a reference value and is used for further validation of the simulation models. This optimisation is fed back into the economic system dimension on the basis of a review of the energy concept as well as a cost analysis and an examination of the price-benefit relations in order to ensure cost-effective and energy-efficient construction.

The optimization phase comprises the following work steps and services:

  • Prototype optimization – geometry and floor plan
  • Prototype optimization – Construction
  • Prototype optimization – design and facade
  • Prototype optimization – energy concept, building physics, building services engineering
  • Prototype optimization – urban development cost analysis (including cost determination and savings potential)
  • Analysis of the price – benefit – relation
  • Best Practice – investigation related to the building typology
  • SWOT analysis

Development phase

CUBITY’s optimised prototypes form the basis for the investigations in the development phase of the project. The aim is to develop CUBITY 2.0 on the basis of demand and potential analyses in Hessen.
The aim of the research project is on the one hand to determine how CUBITY can be further developed in technical, energy, architectural, urban development and also economic dimensions. The elaboration and development of standardised and transferable solutions on the basis of resilient benchmarks and usage profiles will be integrated into the working process. The flexibility and adaptability of possible solutions will be intensively considered. On the other hand, research is being conducted into the market potential for modular construction and for an optimised CUBITY building system.

The development phase includes the following work steps:

Optimization of the development variants

  • Development CUBITY 2.0 geometry and floor plan
  • Development CUBITY 2.0 Construction
  • Development CUBITY 2.0 design and facade
  • Development of CUBITY 2.0 energy concept, building physics and building services engineering
  • Exploratory – qualitative investigation
  • Study on redensification strategies in the urban context (urban development and energy)
  • Market potential study
  • Business and financing models – Risk analysis