Photo of three people standing on a roof by solar panels

EPFL puts new high-efficiency rooftop solar panels to the test

While solar panels have become increasingly common, the ones usually found on rooftops and the like can convert at most between 17 and 19 percent of received solar energy to usable electricity. This average yield has plateaued, increasingly only about 3.5 percent since the 2000s. More efficient panels are available, like those used on satellites,

New Swiss residential building shows off the latest in efficient tech

A seemingly simple, six-story apartment complex is going up in Zurich, Switzerland, and is putting to the test a number of new technologies that showcase a more sustainable approach to new construction. The project, Hohlstrasse 100, is designed by Dietrich Schwarz Architekten and is rising next to an existing, two-story commercial space that’s also being renovated

Swiss researchers enlist the help of robots to build high-tech showhome

ETH Zürich’s high-tech showhome opened its doors this past week. The three-story DFAB HOUSE has been built on the NEST modular building platform, an Empa– and Eawag–led site of cutting-edge research and experimentation in architecture, engineering, and construction located in Dübendorf, Switzerland. The 2,150-square-foot house, a collaboration with university researchers and industry leaders, is designed

New virtual reality program could transform historic preservation

In October 2018, Switzerland-based 3-D-graphics software company Imverse released a public beta version of its LiveMaker modeling tool. This powerful virtual reality interface allows for the transformation of 2-D inputs into immersive 3-D environments. While the use of VR in the field of architecture and design is by no means novel, it has primarily remained a tool for

This British mosque is structured with parametrically designed wood

In Cambridge, England, Marks Barfield Architects (MBA) is erecting a timber-structured mosque inspired by geometric design and landscaping found throughout the Islamic world. The Cambridge Mosque Project, founded by Dr. Timothy Winter in 2008, purchased the one-acre site in 2009. Allées of cypress and linden trees ring the mosque, which occupies a symmetrical 27-feet-by-27-feet grid. The

Switzerland-based Imverse is generating virtual reality software with creative architectural applications

Imverse, a Switzerland-based 3D computer graphics company, is pushing forward with immersive virtual reality experiences with potential architectural applications. Imverse’s Elastic Time, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, is a mixed reality documentary experience that allows the user to see their own body hologram with unlimited freedom of movement. The volumetric 3D environment provides

Swiss researchers use robots to build complex timber structures

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, are giving timber construction a mechanical leg up with the introduction of prefabricated, robotically-assembled timber frame housing. Together with Erne AG Holzbau, a contracting firm that specializes in timber, researchers at the institute’s Chair of Architecture and Digital Fabrication have developed Spatial Timber Assemblies, a system for digitally fabricating and constructing