In 1993, the state of Rhineland-Palatinate made the future-proof decision to establish the Environmental-Campus in Birkenfeld/Neubrücke as a new campus of Trier University of Applied Sciences. Up until 1992, the estate and facilities had been used as a reserve military hospital for the US army in Germany. The residential campus concept follows the modell of US universities, which combine living, learning and working in one place.
The University began teaching in the winter semester of 1996/1997. In the first year, approximately 175 new students were expected. In reality, more than 550 students enrolled in one of the five degree courses.