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Architecture / Re-Construction / Workshop / Research / Teaching  with TU Brunswick –  Kreuzberg in the Eifel, 2021 + 2022


In the night from July 14 to 15, 2021, the flood disaster struck the Ahr Valley in the Eifel region. The flood exceeded locally estimated 7.0 meters and led to the large-scale destruction of houses, infrastructure and nature.

For this project the TU Brunswick was asked to help with the reconstruction thanks to Sebastian Frenkel and the initiative "Potsdam hilft der Eifel" (Potsdam helps the Eifel). The ISU (Institute for Sustainable Urbanism), IBEA (Institute for Building Climatology and Energy of Architecture) and David Moritz (lecturer, earth building expert, workshop leader) organized two workshops to restore Christina's half-timbered house with traditional earth building techniques, which had suffered more than 4.0 meters of flooding.


After the drying period over the summer, the first workshop (Nov 2021) dealt with the restoration and repair of the essential parts of the building to make it weatherproof and protect it from the winter. In the process, washed out compartments were rebuilt with dried adobe bricks and damaged compartments were refurbished with antique straw clay mix. In addition, the main exterior wall on the ground floor was equipped with an interior expanded clay insulation layer. On the upper floor, after a clay levelling layer, wood fiber insulation boards were applied.

In addition, a survey of the house was made, the damage was documented and climatic measurements were taken in order to assess and prepare the work for the upcoming workshop in 2022.


On the basis of the measurements, the measurements and the damage assessment, a number of different construction methods were considered and designed over the winter. The goal was to restore the basic substance of the house while additionally strengthening the components and equipping them with integrated technology.

The ceiling to the first floor was renovated with a ventilated sub-ceiling construction, so that the original clay wraps (Lehmwickel) could be retained without having to take up loads from above or below. The insulated walls (expanded clay or wood fiber boards) were equipped with wall heating loops and plastered with clay. The compartments were built up inside and outside to their original cushion shape and prepared for the final fine plaster coating. 

On the last day, the group of hardworking students visited the Brother Klaus Field Chapel and enjoyed a Soli-Pizza served by Pizza-Master Ali, who was also severely hit by the flood.
In the evening, Christina's half-timbered house construction site was cleaned up, decorated, and for the first time since the flood, a crowd of happy guests danced at the workshop party late into the night.

Thanks to the great support of Claytec with advice and material donations, it was possible to test and discuss different clay building materials according to their application possibilities.


A publication with the institutes ISU and IBEA of the TU Brunswick is in preparation.


Online press release you find here:


Neue Braunschweiger


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