On Wednesday I was back at the NEST building on Empa’s Dübendorf campus. I’ve posted about NEST lots of times over the last few years, but these are the main two tours in case you want to track its evolution.
I was there to meet Brian Glancy – visiting from Kingspan in Ireland – and Reto Largo from NEST. NEST and Kingspan are two of the main ongoing pilots of Dasher, so it was great to get everyone in the same place to discuss possibilities.
Reto started the tour in the media room in NEST, with it’s 16-screen media wall. This photo is slightly meta: if you look closely you can see the media room – with its large screen – on the 1st floor.
After this we headed to the Urban Mining and Recycling unit. Which is all about circularity of building materials, as you might guess.
After this we headed through the fitness area to see the saunas, which are fully powered by renewable energy.
There are so many interesting details in the NEST building. I try to capture a few more in each visit.
A highlight is always the DFAB House, which was really constructed using state of the art digital fabrication techniques. (i.e. robots!)
It’s hard not to be impressed by the DFAB House. It’s fantastic.
Here’s a view from the other side of the stairs.
It was interesting to see the way the DFAB House has been insulated, with its facade injected with aerogel.
There’s a window showing both sides.
From here we headed out towards the new construction: the HiLo roof. Via the main stairwell, which is also a nice space.
The roof’s formwork is in place.
Although construction has been halted until night-time temperatures are back up above 5 degrees Celsius.
From the roof we headed down all the way to the basement.
There’s plenty going on here.
I admit I very much like the water treatment area.
The urine is separated and fed down through special pipes to be processed into fertiliser.
That’s easy with urinals, but Laufen has helped develop a special toilet that does this for normal seated toilets. Here’s the first gen model currently installed in NEST:
The second generation is a bit more discreet – you wouldn’t spot the difference with a normal loo.
Here’s some info in German in why this is being done:
It’s not just urine that’s processed, either. What’s passing hands below has been thoroughly processed, and is now both odourless and free of anything icky.
The last stop on our tour was the unit that generates more energy than it uses – on balance for the whole year – without relying on roof-mounted PV panels.
The main reason for this is the balcony-mounted PV panels…
… but also the glazing on the windows, and the use of light-sensing cameras to automatically adjust the brightness of computer screens.
After this we all headed off towards the centre of Zurich.
Reto had another meeting to go to, while Brian and I followed his recommendation of lunch in zum Kropf.
It was a great chance to connect with Reto and Brian – thanks to both for a great morning! As Brian headed onwards by train to a meeting in Paris, I headed to the airport to fly to Berlin.
More on that in my next post!