Solar Fitness & Wellness

Fitness and wellness constitute a growing need in our society – normally at the expense of energy and the environment. The Solar Fitness and Wellness unit demonstrates that this comfort is also possible without consuming fossil energy.

Physical exercise to generate electricity and a wellness area that runs on solar power: With the Solar Fitness and Wellness facility, NEST just goes to show that these needs can also be fulfilled sustainably – and boost the users’ health and quality of life.

The unit is being realized with the Swiss and Liechtenstein building services association suissetec and is due to open its doors in August 2017. Well-known solar architect Peter Dransfeld is in charge of the design. He has housed the three wellness areas in three “floating” ellipsoids, thereby creating an innovative solution with a great deal of transparency and a special spatial experience. Both the roof and façades have been optimized for energy production. As innovative wellness technology, a high-temperature CO2 heat pump is used in collaboration with the Interstaatliche Hochschule für Technik in Buchs (NTB), which is able to provide the heat for the sauna and steam room around three times more efficiently than conventional systems.


Innovation Manager and Managing Director NEST


The innovation objects in the Fitness and Wellness unit
Energy-efficient wellness technology

A CO2 heat pump is used to generate temperatures of up to 120°C. This allows the system to replace over 60% of the electrical energy needed for wellness areas with environmental heat. A newly designed heat distribution and steam generation system makes it possible to use heat of less than 100°C. Further savings are possible thanks to optimized insulation and ventilation with heat and moisture recovery. Saunas and steam rooms can thus be operated using solar energy without impacting on the environment. 

Partner: Empa, Suissetec, NTB Interstaatliche Hochschule für Technik Buchs, Hochschule Luzern, Scheco, Fit & Wellness Concept Gmbh, Migros

Water-saving tap

Swiss Eco Tap reduces water consumption when washing your hands by 90 per cent thanks to a spray technology. Also, it is not connected to the hot water supply, thus reducing energy consumption to zero.

Partner: Swiss Eco Tap

North-facing façades made from glass

High-density construction in cities often requires even north-facing façades to be put to maximum use. How is it possible to realize a transparent, cozy and energy-efficient north-facing façade? Together with Glas Troesch, Empa is testing the use of 8-meter-high quadruple glazing on the north-facing side of the Fitness & Wellness Unit. With an insulation value (U-value) of 0.3 W/(m2·K), this façade achieves a better thermal balance in the six-month winter period of the year than a highly insulated wall five times its thickness, and is offering in addition an excellent level of coziness and high amount of daylight.

Partner: Empa, Glas Troesch