Swiss researchers have developed a dynamic demonstration platform, called NEST, which can assist green building designers with providing a real-world conditions for testing their latest innovations in the field of renewable energy systems and building modules. The construction of the NEST is starting very soon, and it is expected to be fully completed by 2015.
We often hear about a new green building that has emerged from the ground, wowing everybody with its amazing self-sustaining garden roofs or self-generating energy systems. Sometimes, the news reaches us just before the construction has started, or as it is in many cases in China for example, by the time we hear about a project, the building is already constructed and functioning. What we do not hear, however, is the fact that behind every green building project, there is quite a number of scientists and engineers, who spend years designing and testing new technologies.
To make things easy, researchers from ETH Domain, Switzerland, came up with the concept of NEST. Supported by Empa, Eawag, ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne, NEST is a joint initiative, which will serve green building designers, scientists and architects in their efforts to develop and test innovative technologies and systems.
Described as a future living and working lab, which will emerge right in the center of the Empa-Eawag campus, NEST will be able to accommodate around 50 living and office modules. The developers refer to the concept behind the NEST as “Plug and Play”. This essentially means that the face of the platform, or the modules, can be changed in accordance with the users needs.
For the construction of the project, the researchers propose the use of efficient and lightweight materials, which will optimize the resource consumption. In order to improve efficiency even further, the platform users can adjust the settings depending of the functionality of the modules.
And if this is not enough, once the project is completed, besides providing scientists with the all-that-needed testing facility for their green inventions, NEST will also serve as an accommodation facility for visiting.