Futuristic DFAB HOUSE is digitally built with robots and 3D printers

July 15, 2020 by  
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The homes of the future could be built with robots — that is the narrative that DFAB HOUSE, an experimental “house” in Switzerland’s municipality of Dübendorf, hopes to promote. Set atop Empa and Eawag’s modular research and innovation building NEST, the three-story structure completed last year serves as a testing ground and showroom for cutting-edge smart home technology and robotic construction . Built largely with digital means, the inhabitable “home” is also smart in terms of energy consumption; it includes rooftop solar panels that supply, on average, one-and-a-half times as much electricity as the structure needs as well as heat exchangers that harvest hot wastewater from showers. <img src="//inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/DFAB-HOUSE-9-889×592.jpg" alt="large glass and concrete building topped with a white extension" class="wp-image-2274915" Researchers from eight professorships at ETH Zurich collaborated with industrial partners to not only digitally plan DFAB HOUSE but also make it habitable for academic guests and visiting scholars of Empa and Eawag. The innovative construction has created an otherworldly interior landscape — defined by curvaceous walls and a wavy concrete ceiling cast in 3D-printed formwork — that Empa likens to the Swiss artist H.R. Giger’s Alien film sets. Related: Robots weave an insect-inspired carbon-fiber forest in London The ground floor, which houses the common areas, is built mainly of concrete, while the two upper residential floors are characterized by wooden frames fabricated by construction robots. In addition to a home automation system that coordinates all energy consumption, guest residents also benefit from an intelligent multistage burglar protection system, automated glare and shading options and networked intelligent household appliances that even include a smart hot water kettle. 

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Futuristic DFAB HOUSE is digitally built with robots and 3D printers

Episode 135: Changing the narrative on consumption, Apple’s gang of four

August 10, 2018 by  
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In this episode, how the corporate world can get down to work on plastics, the science of behavioral economics, and how Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re are benefiting from Apple’s renewable energy procurement strategy.

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Episode 135: Changing the narrative on consumption, Apple’s gang of four

Episode 109: Coke and McDonald’s war on waste; Davos dispatch

January 26, 2018 by  
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In this week’s episode, the fast food industry’s war on waste, the end of natural gas and the sustainability scene in the Swiss Alps.

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Episode 109: Coke and McDonald’s war on waste; Davos dispatch

Building integrated solar panels from Dubai produce clean energy and color

October 31, 2017 by  
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The United States could obtain 40 percent of its energy solely from rooftop solar (with sufficient political will). But what if solar panels could also boost architectural aesthetics? Dubai -based Emirates Insolaire hoped to do just that with their Kromatix technology, providing an alternative to the blue or black panels that adorn many roofs. Plus, their solar products aren’t limited to rooftops — they can also be integrated in balconies or facades. Emirates Insolaire, a joint venture of Dubai Investments PJSC and SwissINSO , is changing our vision of solar with their Kromatix technology, developed with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology . Emirates Insolaire offers Kromatix solar glass in gold, green, or terracotta, with an opaque finish that hides the power-generating technology inside. Solar transmittance varies among colors, but Emirates Insolaire said it is always greater than 85 percent. They also offer Kromatix modules manufactured with their solar glass that have an average efficiency of above 15 percent. Related: Discreet new SolarSkin panels completely blend in with their environment The company doesn’t use pigments to color their solar glass, but rather “a complex nano-scale multilayer deposition by plasma process,” and say the color will remain stable as time passes. According to Emirates Insolaire’s website, “The colored appearance results from the reflection of a narrow spectral band in the visible part of the solar spectrum. The rest of the solar radiation is transmitted to the solar panel to be converted into energy .” The thickness of the solar glass is between 3.2 and eight millimeters. SwissINSO says the Kromatix colored solar panels can be integrated on facades and rooftops of all sorts of structures, from private homes to high-rise buildings. Electrek also reported the Kromatix products are affordable; they estimated a 5.5 kilowatt solar system would cost between $1,300 and $1,500 per home. They said not counting tax credits or incentives, the system would cover the cost of coloring in a little over one and a half years. Emirates Insolaire’s products have been installed across Europe, including at this school in Copenhagen . + Emirates Insolaire Via Electrek Images via Emirates Insolaire

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Building integrated solar panels from Dubai produce clean energy and color

To make ESG investing work, Swiss Re focuses on diversity

July 31, 2017 by  
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How Swiss Re, the world’s second-largest reinsurer, is shifting its entire $130 billion portfolio towards ethical indices.

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To make ESG investing work, Swiss Re focuses on diversity

Natural material palette brings warmth to minimalist Swiss home

December 12, 2016 by  
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Proving that minimalist design doesn’t have to sacrifice warmth, Wohlgemuth & Pafumi Architekten designed their latest project, Swiss Simplicity, to be a contemporary, yet comfortable family home. The architects incorporated basic elements of traditional Swiss construction, but broke away from the mold by using a variety of natural materials to bring a soothing harmony to the design. Located in Seltisberg, Switzerland, the home was designed as a comfortable haven for a family of four and their beloved cats. Keeping in mind the homeowners’ vision of “Switzerland style,” the architects used a sophisticated combination of wood, concrete, stone, steel, and glass throughout the design. Simple volumes and sharp angles pay homage to local building traditions, which, combined with some thoroughly modern twists, give the structure a unique character. Related: Branching addition cuts through existing Swiss farmhouse to increase structural integrity On the interior, a beautiful open floor plan was carved out for the living space, giving precedence to the communal family areas. The living room, kitchen and dining room are all seamlessly combined into one large airy space in order to create a strong sense of togetherness. Additionally, the simple color pallet of white walls and hard wood floors, along with the sleek industrial wooden and concrete staircase, creates a soothing living space. + Wohlgemuth & Pafumi Architekten Images via Wohlgemuth & Pafumi Architekten

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Natural material palette brings warmth to minimalist Swiss home

22 insurers seriously assess climate risk — does yours?

October 25, 2016 by  
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Munich Re, Swiss Re, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Prudential, Travelers and the Hartford are found to give high-quality assessment of climate risks. But most insurers do not.

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22 insurers seriously assess climate risk — does yours?

22 insurers seriously assess climate risk — does yours?

October 25, 2016 by  
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Munich Re, Swiss Re, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Prudential, Travelers and the Hartford are found to give high-quality assessment of climate risks. But most insurers do not.

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22 insurers seriously assess climate risk — does yours?

Is your company leaving value on the table?

October 17, 2016 by  
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Corporations need a 360-degree view on risk and opportunity. Leaders like SwissRe and Interface already operate in the new era of business value creation.

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Is your company leaving value on the table?

Switzerland unveils cloud-like pavilion at Venice Biennale

July 26, 2016 by  
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Kerez’s pavilion is an attempt to think about, construct, and experience architecture differently. This experimental work designed for a specific location and occasion is an autonomous piece that, trying to avoid a conventional design framework, seeks greater innovation. Done to stand only for itself, and not to represent any other work of architecture nor a tendency or any other specific construction or design method, the Swiss pavilion is an abstract experience that boldly stands out from other Biennale participants showcasing conventional models, drawings and photographs. Related: Thousands of keys strung from blood-red yarn evoke Japan’s Great Tohoku Earthquake The interior of the artificially formed cloud realized in fiber cement evokes a natural geological structure. In addition to resembling a real cloud, the Swiss pavilion is itself a huge cloud of data – the result of coupling and sequencing craftsmanship and digital processes to create a complex architectonic space. + Christian Kerez + Venice Biennale Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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Switzerland unveils cloud-like pavilion at Venice Biennale

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