Module 3 - Integration & Demonstration

Integration of newly developed materials and technologies into the current environment requires joint efforts from the research and industry communities and can only be achieved through an understanding and acceptance by both society and regulatory authorities. This is the main objective of the module Integration and Demonstration.

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NEST – a modular building on the Empa-Eawag campus with a reinforced concrete backbone and interchangeable living / working units for practical R&D. Image: Zooey Braun - Stuttgart

Technology transfer to industry is fostered by large-scale demonstration projects. In both the construction and energy sector, it is nowadays extremely challenging to rapidly bring new ideas and products to the market. High investment costs in the construction business inhibit the companies’ risk propensity. Under the leadership of the two research institutes Empa and Eawag, the experimental building NEST has been built on their campus in Dübendorf. This new housing and working building aims at accelerating the market entry of new construction materials and technology innovations. It offers researchers and research-driven companies the opportunity to validate new technologies at full-scale; innovative materials and systems can thus be implemented and monitored under real-world conditions.

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"Building from waste" and "design for disassembly" in the living unit "Urban Mining and Recycling" – demonstrating a better use of our resources in the construction sector. Image: Wojciech Zawarski

The activities also include research devoted to creating a sustainable urban environment with the integration of renewable energies for our everyday needs. Novel insulation materials for low energy consumption buildings or recyclable materials will provide an essential contribution to the reduction of fossil energy use and will enable carbon neutral or even zero emission buildings in the near future.

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Renewable heat and cold supply for a fitness and wellness facility reducing energy demand by a factor of six with reference to state-of-the-art systems – the "Solar Fitness and Wellness Unit"