Partners test innovations for construction sector in new NEST unit

Dübendorf ZH – NEST, the modular research and innovation building of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research and Eawag, is getting a new unit called STEP2. Marketable innovations in the construction sector are installed there.

After three years of planning, construction is underway again at NEST. The new modular building part (unit) is called STEP2. As in all other modules of the research and innovation building of the two research institutes, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa) and the Water Research Institute of the ETH Domain(Eawag), the project partners are also testing innovations with high market potential there. STEP2 is scheduled for completion in spring 2024.

As STEP2’s main partner, BASF is making a significant contribution to the project’s success with its expertise, network and sustainable materials, according to a media release. All units will also be used as offices or apartments after completion.

On the second floor of the two-story unit, a sound-absorbing ribbed filigree ceiling for office and high-rise buildings was installed. The 3D-printed formwork is 100 percent recyclable. The circular concrete further increased sustainability. The second floor is reached by the Cadenza concrete staircase, also made with computer-aided design and 3D printing.

STEP2 also addresses the building envelope and its potential for energy optimization. The building facade is designed so that various fixtures can be tested with minimal effort. In addition, a comprehensive energy and comfort concept including innovative lighting design was developed. ce/mm