After introducing their ultra-thin, curved concrete roof prototype in 2017, and successfully completing it in 2020, researchers at ETH Zurich have now unveiled their finalized innovative roofing in the new Empa and Eawag NEST research building located in Duebendorf, Switzerland.
Boasting an intricate, doubly-curved concrete roof, lightweight funicular floors, and self-learning building technology, the new structure illustrates nearly a decade of the team’s formative research in architecture and sustainable technologies.
2021年的成果 ©Roman Keller
Dubbed HiLo, the latest nest unit combines medieval building principles with futuristic construction methods. Hilo stands for ‘high performance – low emissions’. The unit allows researchers to test how the construction and operation of buildings can be designed to be as energy- and resource-efficient as possible, while at the same time ensuring an attractive architectural space and a high level of comfort.
The two-story building with its striking concrete roof and its novel funicular floor system draws influence from the architecture of the past, and is developed using ultra-modern computational design and fabrication techniques.
在该项目中，由建筑与结构教授Philippe Block、建筑与楼宇系统教授Arno Schlueter领导的科学家团队与工业合作方一起探索了如何将轻质结构、高效建造和智能、适应性建筑系统结合在一起。最终目标是减少建筑工业的隐含碳和运作时的碳排放。
For this project, a team of scientists led by Philippe Block, professor of architecture and structures, and Arno Schlueter, professor of architecture and building systems, together with industrial partners, explored how lightweight structures, efficient construction and intelligent, adaptive building systems can be combined all together. The ultimate goal was to reduce both embodied and operational emissions in the building industry.
The innovative roof takes its load-bearing capacity from its distinctive curved geometry, combined with a concrete sandwich structure. This structure is composed of two thin layers of reinforced concrete connected by a grid of concrete ribs and steel anchors. In order to save large amounts of formwork material, the roof was built using a flexible formwork consisting of a tensioned cable net covered with a thin membrane onto which the concrete was sprayed.
For the mezzanine floors, the researchers used as little material as possible in the structure itself. By employing a rib-stiffened funicular shell rather than a flat plate, the structure’s funicular system uses over 70% less material than conventional floor slabs in reinforced concrete. In addition, digital production methods allowed the integration of ventilation, cooling, and low-temperature heating systems into the floor structure, resulting in an even greater reduction of materials and volume.
The new unit is equipped with an adaptive solar façade, which consists of 30 photovoltaic modules that can be aligned with the sun. These flexible modules can also be used to control how sunlight enters the room to passively heat it or to reduce cooling requirements.