Construction start of NEST unit "SolAce"

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Construction start of NEST unit

NEST is a happening place: As soon as the last unit "Urban Mining & Recycling" has been opened, construction of the next one is already underway. Since mid-February, the unit "SolAce" is being installed in the southwestern corner of NEST. Completion is scheduled for summer 2018. The star of the unit is the fašade, which is designed to ensure a positive energy balance of the combined living and working areas throughout the year.

Maximum energy generation through the fašade and maximum comfort inside the building: two needs that are often mutually exclusive. Not so in the latest NEST unit, construction of which has just begun. The aim of "SolAce" is to reconcile these two needs. The concept was developed by EPFL researchers in close cooperation with numerous business partners.

Colored glazed photovoltaic modules and solar thermal collectors are used to produce electricity and hot water via the fašade. A new type of glazing with integrated micro-mirrors directs daylight differently into the rooms depending on the position of the sun. This means that in winter the rooms are additionally heated by the sun and in summer the heat is kept out as much as possible in order to keep the need for cooling down to a minimum. At the same time, the glazing ensures that daylight is distributed evenly throughout the rooms. In the interior, a newly developed optical sensor system is used to measure the local glare effect in order to control the active facade elements. Dynamic lighting systems complete the unit.

The construction work for "SolAce" is expected to last until summer 2018. After completion, the unit will be used as a combined living and working area. During the day "SolAce" offers workplaces for up to four people, thereafter one to two people can live in the unit.