HiLo Opens on NEST

The HiLo (High Performance, Low Emissions) module has been officially opened at the EMPA NEST. The project hosts office, research and innovation spaces in a 2 storey construct defined by an optimised funicular shell concrete roof.

The geometrically optimised roof and functional interior structural slabs in the building were developed within the NCCR Digital Fabrication to use the least amount of concrete possible, reducing the CO2 footprint considerably.

To reduce waste, the roof was cast against a flexible formwork consisting of a tensioned cablenet covered with a fabric membrane formwork, based on research completed in the NCCR's first phase.

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The unit features two approaches to digitally fabricated floor slabs:

The rib-stiffened funicular floor system developed by the Block Research Group (BRG) saves 70% of concrete and 90% of reinforcement steel compared to traditional reinforced concrete slabs, and allows for easy recycling at end of life.

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The Performance Integrated Digitally Fabricated Floor system is a collaboration between the chair of Architecture and Building Systems (Prof. A. Schlueter) and the Chair of Digital Building Technologies (Prof. B. Dillenburger). The floor combines integrated heating, cooling and ventilation systems in a lightweight 3D Printed cast concrete floor system.

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HiLo is the eighth module on the experimental NEST building, and the second module after the DFAB HOUSE featuring NCCR DFAB innovations. Through the development of such demonstrators researchers and industry partners test and advance new concepts and technologies under “real-​life” conditions.

Members of the NCCR DFAB are already working on projects for future modules.