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NEST – Exploring the Future of Buildings

NEST accelerates the process of innovation in the building sector. In this modular research and innovation building of Empa and Eawag, new technologies, materials and systems are tested, researched, honed and validated in realistic conditions. The close cooperation with partners from research, industry and the public sector helps launch innovative building and energy technologies on the market faster.

Our new roommate, the drone

As permanent residents, flying robots will soon make building maintenance at NEST easier. The autonomous drones are part of the new "NEST Aerial Robotics Hub" of Empa and Imperial College London.

The Solace unit starts operation

The Solace unit, driven by EPFL and opened on September 24, 2018, shows how maximum energy generation on the facade can work while at the same time providing optimum comfort inside.

Where structure and ornamentation merge

Researchers at ETH Zurich have fabricated an 80 m2 lightweight concrete slab at the DFAB HOUSE, making it the world’s first full-scale architectural project to use 3D sand printing for its formwork.

Great honor for Solar Fitness & Wellness unit

At the 28th Swiss Solar Awards Ceremony, the Solar Fitness & Wellness unit received one of the three "Norman Foster Solar Awards" because of its use of solar technology for a surprising application.

Building with waste and recycled material

On 8 February 2018, the Urban Mining & Recycling unit opened its doors. It is a residential module out of materials that can be fully reused, repurposed, recycled, or composted after deconstruction.

Topping-out ceremony of the DFAB HOUSE unit

A few days after the robotically prefabricated timber modules of the DFAB HOUSE were assembled, the researchers and craftsmen involved celebrated the topping-out ceremony together on 5 July 2018.

HiLo roof prototype passes field test

Researchers from ETH Zurich have built a prototype of the ultra-thin, curved concrete roof for the NEST unit HiLo using innovative digital design and fabrication methods.

Coloured PV modules for Meet2Create

What influence do printed images on photovoltaic modules have on the electrical performance? The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences investigates this question with coloured PV modules at Meet2Create.

NEST in the words of the Empa Deputy CEO

At the eco2friendly-DAY18 Peter Richner, Empa Deputy CEO, presented how research, industry and the public sector are paving the way for the future of the construction and energy sector (in German).

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The latest EmpaQuarterly:
Focus: Energy revolution