Multicomfort house student contest

Contest Task 2008

The task of the international MULTICOMFORT HOUSE STUDENT CONTEST 2008 was to design a school that combined classical school elements with modern learning facilities.

The school was intended for children from the age of 6 to 15, with a capacity between 200 and 230 students. In addition, the school should set a positive example in terms of ecology and sustainability.


1. Details of the task 2008


The school should fit to its surrounding natural and cultural environment while the choice of location is completely unrestricted. Emphasis should be placed on feasibility, which in turn requires structurally effective and cost-efficient solutions.


The school's outside space could also be designed in an environmentally friendly way, including for example some pedagogical elements such as a bio-garden, biotope, playground, etc.

The premises can be chosen freely and must be represented on a plan of the site. For the purpose of better illustration, the premises or the surrounding natural and cultural environment can be photographed (the construction site does not need to be real in the legal sense).

Within the scope of the project, participants are free to design and propose all facilities of modern learning such as experimental laboratories, exhibition and performance rooms, a sports hall, a library, internet and communications room, etc. These facilities can be designed separately or combined depending on the individual concept.


Furthermore, safety aspects, e.g. fire protection and escape routes as well as practical issues such as a canteen, a cloakroom and access for handicapped people should also be taken into consideration.

In addition, the social and ecological benefits offered by the school can be further used as an evening school for adults and as a cultural meeting point for the neighborhood.


2. Type of construction, technical parameters:

Basically, the construction method (static system, wood, mineral or steel construction) can be chosen freely - ISOVER products shall be preferred.

The school should be designed by using the passive house construction method. In order to achieve the passive house standard, on the one hand there should be installed high-performance thermal insulation. On the other hand the principles of energy-optimized buildings should be taken into consideration.

Technical parameters for heat insulation:
The exterior structural components should have the following U-values:
U-value for all opaque external structural components U ≤ 0.15 W/ (m2K)
U-value for windows and doors U Wtotal ≤ 0.8 W/ (m2K)
In the case of very small volumes or a poor surface-to-volume ratio, the opaque structural components should have an U-value of up to 0.1 W/ (m2K).

Protection against overheating in summer:
The planning should include sufficient external protection from the sun for the east-, south-and west-facing windows.

Technical parameters for fire protection:
Fire protection requirements for structural components: The fire protection should meet the respective national standards.

Technical parameters for soundproofing:
Learning with all your senses requires excellent sound insulation and room acoustics to ensure perfect speech intelligibility. Reverberation time should therefore be around 0.5 seconds.


In order to assure a high quality of the learning environment the following soundproofing protection should be taken into consideration:

Exterior walls and roof - protection against airborne noise: Rw ≥ 55 dB
Protection against airborne noise between classrooms and corridors etc: Rw ≥ 63 dB
Footfall soundproofing for ceilings: Lnt,w ≤ 40 dB
In practice, sufficient soundproofing for windows and doors as well as for sanitary installations and ventilation systems should be fulfilled.


The most important factor for speech intelligibility is an excellent room acoustic. Therefore, reverberation time should be around 0.5 seconds


3. Competition requirements
The following minimum requirements should be observed:
Plan of site 1:200 or 1:500, according to requirements
Floor plan and cross-section 1:100
Views 1:100
Isometric representation or perspective of the building(s), or model photos
Horizontal facade cross-section 1:10
Vertical facade cross-section 1:10
View of the south facade 1:10
Construction details 1:5
List of extensions with U-values
Design report - description of the design concept
Description of construction


In addition, the following may also be submitted:
Description of the process of construction or assembly, with particular emphasis on the air tightness of the building
Representation of the possibilities for coupling or terracing of buildings - designing a compact development structure
Additional ecological installations, e.g. active use of solar energy, etc.
Use of rainwater for watering gardens and toilet flushing


Formalities for the submission:
For the competition's national stage projects should be submitted in any poster format (e.g. 79 x 120 cm). At the international stage of the competition, the projects will be presented on roll-ups. To fit perfectly, the roll-up presentation's maximum size should be 79 x 205 cm. In addition the projects are needed in a digital form for printing a brochure.

4. Assessment criteria
The general assessment criteria are:
70 % architectural design:
Structural arrangement, development of the property and creation of a perfect learning environment, usefulness of the floor plans, the attention paid to the surrounding natural and cultural environment.


30 % technical understanding and implementation of the MULTICOMFORT HOUSE Concept:
Basic suitability of the Passive House Concept, the constructional knowledge and compliance including technical parameters as well as feasible and cost-effective realization. 


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