NEST (Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies) is the world’s first modular research and innovation building aimed at accelerating the innovation process in the construction sector. The building is owned by Empa and Eawag and is located on Empa’s campus in Dübendorf, 30 minutes outside of Zurich.

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. The NEST building of Empa and Eawag expedites the innovation process by providing a platform where new developments can be tested, tweaked and demonstrated under realistic conditions.

The architectural concept of NEST was designed by Gramazio Kohler Architects, Zurich. The building 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.

For more information about NEST and the individual research units, visit the project website of Empa:

Image credits:
Roman Keller