A tent HOUSE for every use

Frankfurt UAS team receives Hessen Ideen grant


A project is taking off: after Marius Mersinger from the Department of Architecture, Civil Engineering, Geomatics at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS) won second prize in the AppliedIdea ideas competition and many other prizes with his “zeltHAUS” project, he is now with a new team on the road to success: together with Fabian Hegner and Jonas Eiden, two intermedia designers from the design department at Trier University of Applied Sciences, he has now received a grant from the Hessen Ideen Initiative. There they prevailed against a total of 56 applicants and were selected as one of 17 start-up projects in a two-stage process. A six-month funding program has been running since July 1, 2020 to support the project in developing the business idea. As support, two members of the team receive a monthly grant so that they can fully devote themselves to the project. They also receive support from experts and personal start-up coaching. The Hessen Ideas Scholarship was financed from 2017 to 2020 by the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art (HMWK) together with the Hessian Ideas Competition.

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As the name suggests, the “zeltHAUS” combines the advantages of a tent and a house and, thanks to its properties, is very versatile. It consists of recycled PET material and foam and can be reused. Thanks to its insulation, it offers protection in both hot and cold climates, and thanks to its modular design, its size can be adapted to the respective needs. This makes the “zeltHAUS” the ideal temporary accommodation in the event of natural disasters or in refugee camps. Foamed, three-dimensional textile structures are used as building material. For this purpose, research is being carried out in parallel in the Textile Lightweight Construction Laboratory at Frankfurt UAS. The result is sandwich-like, fully recyclable panels with an integrated folding mechanism so that the “tent HOUSE” can be set up quickly and modularly.

“The idea for the zeltHAUS came to us through our experiences in the refugee camp in Idomeni, Greece, which we visited as part of a charitable rally. Most of the local people stayed in an ordinary igloo tent and were soaked for weeks. These circumstances preoccupied us all and moved me to find an adequate solution for the accommodations, ”explains Mersinger.

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“The enormous increase in interest in the Hessen Ideen Scholarship shows the innovative strength of the Hessen university landscape. The scholarship teams tackle problems that they have encountered in the academic field or in their everyday life at the university and offer solutions – very often these are also resource-saving and sustainable, “said Science Minister Angela Dorn.
The overall initiative Hessen Ideen is under the patronage of the Minister of State.

The program was advertised for the fifth time and is coordinated and implemented by the University of Kassel in cooperation with the Technical University of Darmstadt. The scholarship program runs until December 31, 2020. A maximum of three people can be funded per founding team. A corporation must not have been founded yet. In addition to the Hessen Ideas Scholarship, there has been a state-wide ideas competition under the label Hessen Ideen for four years, in which the best start-up ideas from all Hessian universities can take part.