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ECOlogical building enveLOPES: a game-changing design approach for regenerative urban ecosystems

Project description

Revolutionising eco-living in the urban space

The human-nature dichotomy imposed by the contemporary intense urbanisation is a crucial factor for decreasing liveability and human well-being in the cities. Aiming to drastically enhance the human-nature interaction in the urban environment, the EU-funded ECOLOPES project will introduce a radically new integrated ecosystem approach to architecture, equally focused on humans, plants, animals and associated organisms. The project will focus on providing the core technologies needed for transforming the building envelope into an ecolope, a multi-species living space for the aforementioned types of inhabitants. ECOLOPES aspires to contribute to the development of an information model ontology and a computational modelling and simulation infrastructure that will revolutionise future design.


Urbanisation constitutes a major environmental issue of the 21st century. Within cities, densification, the decrease of green open spaces, and a continued reliance on grey infrastructures result in increasing separation of people from nature and decrease access to ecosystem services. This decreases the liveability of cities and reduces human well-being. Current approaches fall short in providing breakthrough solutions, because they perpetuate the human-nature dichotomy due to anthropocentric design. We propose a radical change for city development: instead of minimizing the negative impact of urbanisation on nature, we aim at urbanisation to be planned and designed such that nature – including humans - can co-evolve within the city. This vision requires a radically new integrated ecosystem approach to architecture that focuses equally on humans, plants, animals, and associated organisms such as microbiota. In ECOLOPES, we propose to develop the technology that will allow to achieve this vision. We will focus on the envelope, the building enclosure. In ECOLOPES, we transform the envelope into an ecolope, a multi-species living space for four types of inhabitants, humans, plants, animals, and microbiota. ECOLOPES will develop the core technologies for designing ecolopes in a systematic way, considering the needs of all habitants. ECOLOPES will make biological knowledge available for the architectural design process, to find architectural solutions that enable synergies and limit conflicts between the inhabitants. The ecolopes designed by this multi-species approach will restore the beneficial human - nature relationships in cities. Key products of ECOLOPES are: (1) ECOLOPES Information Model Ontology that integrates ecological and architectural knowledge, data and models into a data-integrated design recommendation system; (2) ECOLOPES Computational modelling and simulation environment, that is based on the EIM Ontology, to make knowledge available for design.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 843 712,50
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (5)