Introducing NEST

In the construction and energy sector, launching new products and technology on the market quickly is easier said than done. Low energy prices, long investment periods and no end of red tape make companies think twice about taking the plunge. Nowadays, there is often a sizeable gulf between technology that works in the lab and the market, which demands reliable, well-engineered products. NEST (Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies) expedites the innovation process by providing a platform where new developments can be tested, tweaked and demonstrated under realistic conditions.


NEST consists of a central “backbone” and three open platforms, where individual research and innovation modules can be installed based on the “plug-and-play” principle. People live and work in these units, which double up as bustling experimental laboratories. National and international research teams from universities, architectural firms and innovative companies from the building industry join forces in NEST. Together, research, industry and the public sector are paving the way for the future of the construction and energy sector.

The architectural concept was designed by Gramazio Kohler Architects.

The main focuses
  • Resource-conserving, lightweight construction – using less material for more sustainability
  • Modular structure – using a high degree of prefabrication for more efficiency
  • Natural form of construction – sustainable quality of life with natural resources and little technology (low-tech)
  • Renovations and extensions – sustainable concepts and technology to renovate the building stock
  • Urban mining/cradle-to-cradle approach – use of recycled and recyclable materials in construction
  • Office of the future – work environment for creativity and optimized collaboration
  • Fitness & wellness of the future – health and recreation with an optimized energy consumption from renewable sources
  • Glass architecture – intelligent use of glass as a building material
  • Digital living – intelligent technology for future generations
  • Digital construction processes from the planning to operational phase – building information modeling, digital production, computer-aided facility management
  • LowCost – minimum-cost construction for affordable, sustainable housing 
  • Decentralized versus centralized technology for energy production, conversion and storage
  • Optimization of water usage 

Here you find all the publications concerning NEST