NEST HiLo: Research & innovation unit for lightweight construction and building systems integration

Block P., Schlueter A., Veenendaal D., Bakker J., Begle M., Hofer J., Jayathissa P., Lydon G.P., Maxwell I., Mendez Echenagucia T., Nagy Z., Pigram D., Svetozarevic, B,, Torsing R., Verbeek J. and Willmann A.
Journal of Building Engineering

This paper presents HiLo, a research & innovation unit in the domains of lightweight construction as well as smart, integrated and adaptive building systems, and will be used as a living laboratory where occupants’ locations and needs for comfort are detected and used for control of building services. HiLo is a duplex penthouse apartment within the NEST building for visiting faculty of Swiss federal research institutes Empa and Eawag, in Duebendorf, Switzerland. HiLo seeks to address many challenges related to the building industry at large, including most prominently the issue of energy consumption and production, and the drastic reduction of materials required to build. The energy concept of HiLo targets zero emissions and net-plus energy in operation, simultaneously exploring lightweight, integrated structural systems. Several key innovations are introduced through HiLo: a lightweight, unreinforced funicular floor system; a flexibly formed, concrete shell sandwich roof; a soft-actuated, adaptive solar facade; and an automated, occupant-centred control system. HiLo’s final design was developed by a core team from the structural, architectural and energy domains. This allowed the design to satisfy the challenging brief of providing a high performance building and a platform for the unit’s research output.


    author  = "Block, P. and Schlueter, A. and Veenendaal, D. and Bakker, J. and Begle, M. and Hofer, J. and Jayathissa, P. and Lydon, G.P. and Maxwell, I. and Mendez Echenagucia, T. and Nagy, Z. and Pigram, D. and Svetozarevic, B, and Torsing, R. and Verbeek, J. and Willmann, A.",
    title   = "NEST HiLo: Research & innovation unit for lightweight construction and building systems integration",
    journal = "Journal of Building Engineering",
    year    = "2017",
    volume  = "",
    number  = "",
    pages   = "",
    month   = "",
    doi     = "",
    note    = "under review",

Related publications

Veenendaal D., Bakker J. and Block P.Structural design of the cable-net and fabric formed, ferrocement sandwich shell roof of NEST HiLo,Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium,Amsterdam,2015 (August).
López López D., Veenendaal D., Akbarzadeh M. and Block P.Prototype of an ultra-thin, concrete vaulted floor system,Proceedings of the IASS-SLTE 2014 Symposium,Brasilia, Brazil,2014.
Veenendaal D., Bezbradica M., Novak D. and Block P.Controlling the geometry and forces of hybrid cable-net and fabric formworks,Proceedings of the IASS-SLTE 2014 Symposium,Brasilia, Brazil,2014.


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