As the end of the semester neared, everyone was focused and working towards a refined design for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition. At the same time, the UT Austin students were finishing their final projects for concurrent courses that further developed building analysis for the NexusHaus, Life Cycle Analysis and Climate Walks. These two courses along with an advance design studio were part of the Munich Study Abroad Program, which was spearheaded by Petra Liedl.
December second was the final presentation of our LCA course, co-instructed by Patricia Schneider and Martin Heissler of TU München and Petra Liedl of UT Austin. The course created a dialogue between students with various backgrounds to begin research and integrate cost and material analysis into the NexusHaus project.
That Wednesday (Dec 3rd) we had a design review. The guests were Werner Lang, Michel Kulik and Dorothee Maier. The review went very well, and all the students’ hard work paid off. The criticisms were few but extremely helpful. With this, the students felt capable of overcoming any hurdle and are able to begin detailing specifics of the project for the upcoming February deadline.
December the fifth was our very last Climate Walks presentations (both of the microclimate of Munich and climate analysis of a metropolis,) in addition to marking the official end of the Munich Study Abroad Program. Throughout that final week, you could overhear saddening conversations between TUM and UT Austin students saying their goodbyes. We had all been together since Mid-October, and immediately grew close to one another. I am sure I can speak for everyone when I say that we made friendships that will last a lifetime. We will be able to see a few of the TUM students when they visit in the spring in Austin, Texas.
Having said this, the blog will hold off posts until the visit is made, for the main purpose of this blog is to document the experience between the partnership and exchange of the two schools—to show the developments of the project and the experience of the students.
We will continue to develop NexusHaus and maintain heavy communications with TUM through online platforms. We are all quite excited for the next steps to come. We hope you will join us on this journey on the way to Irvine, California later this year.
Text written by Julian Debo, Photographs provided by Astrid Eckert