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DFAB House, ETH Zürich und NEST

Completely digital: DFAB House on the NEST building of Empa and Eawag

Set up on the NEST building of Empa and Eawag in a joint project of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research – Digital Fabrication (NCCR) at ETH Zurich, the DFAB House is the first inhabited building project to have been planned, designed and built at every phase in an entirely digital way.

The NEST modular research building comprises a central building core onto which different units can be docked in order to test new building and energy technologies in situ under real conditions. Mobile robots were deployed in the building of the DFAB House, fabricating construction elements directly at the construction site.

The new construction approaches at the DFAB House include mesh mould formwork and reinforcement for production of structurally efficient, non-standard geometries in a distinctly energy- and material-efficient way. A curved concrete wall was fabricated by these means while 3D-printed formwork was deployed to cast the concrete ceiling. Use was also made of Smart Dynamic Casting, a digital slip-forming process, to produce 15 reinforced concrete posts with geometries optimised in different ways depending on their load-bearing requirements.  A double-curved lightweight facade admits daylight along the entire length of the wall.

Further Infromation:


Prof. Matthias Kohler, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zürich
Prof. Fabio Gramazio, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zürich
Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dillenburger, Digital Building Technologies Group, ETH Zürich
Prof. Dr. Jonas Buchli, Agile & Dexterous Robotics Lab, ETH Zürich
Prof. Dr. Robert Flatt, Chair of Physical Chemistry of Building Materials, ETH Zürich
Prof. Dr. Joseph Schwartz, Chair of Structural Design, ETH Zürich
Prof. Dr. Walter Kaufmann, Chair of Structural Engineering – Concrete Structures and Bridge Design, ETH Zürich
Prof. Dr. Guillaume Habert, Chair of Sustainable Construction, ETH Zürich


Konzept: Prof. Matthias Kohler, Konrad Graser
Design und Projektmanagement: Konrad Graser (leitender Architekt), Marco Baur, Sarah Schneider Mitwirkende: Arash Adel, Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dillenburger, Dr. Kathrin Dörfler, Rena Giesecke, Prof. Fabio Gramazio, Dr. Norman Hack, Matthias Helmreich, Andrei Jipa, Prof. Matthias Kohler, Dr. Ena Lloret-Fritschi, Dr. Mania Aghaei Meibodi, Fabio Scotto, Demetris Shammas, Andreas Thoma

Planning of structural framework

Konzept: Prof. Dr. Joseph Schwartz
Projektingenieur: Marco Bahr
Mitwirkende: Dr. Jaime Mata Falcón, Prof. Dr. Walter Kaufmann, Daniel Rönz, Thomas Wehrle

Planning team

Architektur: NFS Digitale Fabrikation

Generalplaner: ERNE AG Holzbau

Statik: Dr. Schwartz Consulting AG

Bauphysik: BAKUS

Bauphysik und Akustik GmbH

Elektrotechnik: Elektro Siegrist AG

HLK/Sprinkler-Planer: Häusler Ingenieure AG

Gebäudetechnik: Schibli Gebäudetechnik

Lichtdesign: Sommerlatte & Sommerlatte AG


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