Macro Micro Studio is
a 50m2 Passivhaus
standard, off-grid demonstrator developed and built by the University
of Dundee’s Macro Micro research unit, a Department of Architecture
Masters Unit. The project is unique in itself, and also to
Kickstarter, in that it is completely student led and built with a
start date for construction in December 2012 and a projected
completion date in May 2013. A project like this is a rarity on
Kickstarter but we feel that the innovative and pioneering nature of
the studio design and build means that it sits well within the aims
and ethos of the Kickstarter website and those who use it. It will
forge new collaborations between researchers, designers and industry
professionals thereby generating new knowledge and solutions that are
affordable, self-build and net-zero energy.
design and technologies within the studio will be tested in
real-world scenarios over a period of four years, generating an
understanding of the relationship between user behaviour and
technical performance. The project has gained significant support
from industry in terms of in-kind expertise, direct funding, with
£140,000 worth of materials and components being contributed for the
construction uses an innovative Scottish manufactured timber system,
the Cullen Space Stud, which makes use of locally grown C16 structural timber. It gives
increased wall depth while minimising thermal bridging and increasing
the ability to self-build at low cost. The Studio also makes use of a
novel foamed concrete raft foundation slab, which has been
contributed by ProPump, which provides structure and insulation in a
single material reducing groundwork costs.
Micro Studio, aims and objectives
aim is to mainstream regional focused and contextually responsive
solutions for off-grid renewable energy buildings in order to address
challenges that the construction sector faces. The building will be
open to the public and will showcase these new strategies and their
wider applicability to the housing sector and home owners. It will
provide a seminar space for outreach activities to industry, the
professions, colleges and schools, studio space for the Botanic
Gardens artist in residence and a rentable office space.
objectives of the project are to go beyond the UK’s current and
future environmental legislation governing energy efficiency of
buildings. This is done by providing a Passivhaus compliant, off-grid
building that relies on renewable energy sources as the only means of
generating space heating, hot water and power. Preliminary modelling
has shown this can be achieved using a vertical axis wind turbine
and 24m2 array
of photovoltaic (PV) panels to run technical systems, LED lighting
and appliances. A 60kW/h lithium ion battery unit will provide three
days of energy storage at 56.45oN,
a latitude that creates a very specific approach to the generation
and management of energy in the Studio in order to meet demands
throughout the year. The building also incorporates 6m2 of
thermal panels, a composting toilet and a water harvesting system.
a new industry standard
self-build is being delivered by a multi-disciplinary team from
across the University comprising of the Macro Micro Studio, a Masters
Unit within Architecture in the School of the Environment working
together with researchers from the Department of Physics, Mechanical
and Civil Engineering at the University of Dundee, we are also
working in collaboration with Forestry Commission. The project has
gained significant support from industry in terms of in-kind
expertise, direct funding, with materials and components being
contributed for the build. Buro Happold Engineers are providing
expertise for the structural design and the Building Control
Department at Dundee City Council are advising on regulatory and
technical feasibility aspects of the project.
studio will be continually monitored post occupancy by the University
of Dundee to evaluate performance of the design and services which
will begin to inform future projects. Through an innovative and
education led design we feel that the project can
open up opportunities to inspire or inform the architecture
and construction industries and future student led projects. The
Marco Micro Studio is a student led project and so by opening it up
to a wider audience it will increase the educational possibilities
and industry interest which can only benefit the continual
development of the Passivhaus movement in the UK.
producing a professional published book we aim to situate the project
as an exemplar example of an ultra-low energy, affordable live/work
prototype. The book will reflect the innovative, pioneering nature of
the build and will be available for sale online. The final
publication will include project drawings, schematics, technical
information, and construction images as well a number of research and
analytical essays. Forwards are to be provided by Dr Neil Burford
(Architecture), Dr Rod Jones (Engineering), and Dr David Rodley
(Physics) and special mention will be made of all the major
published book will include a collection of essays written by the
Macro Micro Students about an area of the studio that interests them.
The ‘essays’ will be the main part to the thesis work of each
student must do to comply with the Masters curriculum. A broad range
of topics will be discussed in these essays ranging from the
theoretical assessment of the studio as a prototype or the detailed
analysis of the studios construction and performance as Passivhaus
nature of the project, a student led research project, means that it
is completely self-funded. We have been extremely lucky to receive a
large amount of in kind donations in the form of construction
materials or professional services. However there are certain items
which we have been unable source, such as transportation costs or the
cost of prototyping.
provides the perfect platform for us to reach out to design minded
people who are keen to a part of such an innovative and unique
project. The potential legacy and industry wide impact of this
project is huge, which is shown by the calibre of the collaborators
we have on board, and we are all extremely excited to be involved as
are all the different individuals who contributed their materials,
services or knowledge to this project.
If you would like to know more about the project before backing our project then please visit our web links below:
With an installation date fast approaching we are already working hard on final detailing of the structure, beginning to organise the delivery of materials, and starting to organise mock-ups. One of the final challenges we have to overcome is the raising of funds. But with a little help from the Kickstarter community we can raise the funds which will allow the project to really take off.
As student led project there are a number of risks involved in terms of our own industry and construction experience which we have mitigated these risks by having on board a range of highly qualified individuals from a number disciplines to aid us. The mock up will not only help us finalise the details and answer buildability issues but also allow us to perfect our construction skills in preparation for the final build.
Our final completion date of May 2013 has been locked in place by our Degree Show within the Architecture Department of the University of Dundee as well as the external examination of our work for our Master's Degree. Around these dates we will also be having an opening event for the public as well as a private event for all the major contributors. It will be a tight timescale but we are confident that with careful programming and planning we can meet all the major milestones successfully and have a completed studio by May.
The Works. For this you will get the complete package of rewards. Personalised thanks, MacroMicro foamed concrete objects, drawings, copy of the research book and an invitation to our launch event in Dundee, Scotland.