The week before last I headed across to Zurich for the day for meetings. During the afternoon I passed by the NEST building in Dübendorf – home of the DFAB House project – to meet with NEST’s Director, Reto Largo, and talk more about our plans to collaborate.
To learn a bit more about what’s happening with this fantastic building, it’s worth checking out this session from AU 2018 in Las Vegas delivered by both Reto and Thomas Müller from Mensch und Maschine Schweiz.
Our plan is to “Dasherize” the whole building, which has upwards of 2,000 sensors in it. In the spirit of openness, NEST has agreed to make the model available online at Dasher360.com as our new public-facing demo (it’s a continued point of embarassment to my colleagues and I that our current demo is of a building in Toronto that Autodesk no longer occupies… sigh).
Here’s a quick taster of NEST’s sauna and fitness room inside Dasher 360, to give you some idea of how it will look:
It’s not my first tour around NEST – the most recent previous one had been at Rob|Arch 2018 – but every time I visit there’s something new to see.
We started by discussing which sensors we should locate next in the Revit model of NEST. I thought it would be interesting to look at temperature and CO2 levels in this “green” meeting room, given the amount of glazing and foliage it contains.
The building isn’t currently fitted for audio capture – that’s also likely to be sensitive area, privacy-wise – but I do think it would be very interesting to use Dasher 360 to help understand the acoustics of the central presentation area.
NEST is really a multi-functional space, so it would interesting to include data from at least one residential unit: this one is a showcase for sustainable materials.
This space is very interesting: the aim is for it to be net-positive on energy creation.
This is apparently easy if you have roof-mounted photo-voltaic panels, but this space will manage it with a balcony-mounted, side-facing set of PV panels. It will partly do this by managing daylight to optimise for heat and light, reflecting flat winter sunbeams upwards into the ceiling (rather than blocking them with blinds) and filtering more highly angled summer sun back outwards.
Here’s the PV facade:
A highlight of the tour is always to see the progress of the “Smart Slab” ceiling project. Here’s a quick video reminder of how it was made and assembled:
It was great to see it basically complete.
The other highlight was the freshly-installed aerogel insulation. This is super-awesome (and very expensive) space-age tech that’s apparently the future of insulation. You can squirt it between layers of clear plastic – it lets in light , even if it’s opaque – and it can be reused on other projects, once it’s no longer needed.
Here it is from the inside:
Here it is from a window looking outwards:
And here’s the view from down below:
I’m really excited about the collaboration with NEST, and can’t wait to see the whole building inside Dasher 360. It’ll be amazing to see what we can learn with all that data!