DFAB HOUSE has officially opened today on the NEST building of empa and eawag in dübendorf in switzerland.
the completed project marks the world’s first inhabited ‘house’ that was not only digitally planned, but also – with the help of robots and 3D printers – built largely digitally. the construction technologies were developed by ETH zurich researchers in collaboration with industrial partners.
the 200m2 house is the result of a long-term collaboration between researchers in eight ETH zurich professorships and industry experts and planning professionals from more than 30 companies. the result showcases how digital fabrication processes can revolutionise the way we design and build, with these processes exemplified by six highly original innovation objects.
a delicate concrete ceiling – cast in 3D-printed formwork – and a curved concrete wall created by a construction robot characterize the architecture of the DFAB living room. upon saying a specific command, the blinds open as if by magic and the kettle prepares water for tea. what sounds like a science fiction film is now reality in the swiss town of dübendorf. in around two months’ time, the first residents, academic guests from empa and eawag, will move the intelligent home. a consortium of companies led by digitalSTROM has installed the first smart home solutions in DFAB HOUSE. these include intelligent, multi-stage burglar protection, automated glare and shading options, and the latest generation of networked, intelligent household appliances.
DFAB HOUSE is also smart in terms of energy management: photovoltaic modules on the roof supply on average one and a half times as much electricity as the unit itself will consume. two start-up ideas, accompanied by researchers from empa and eawag, are helping to save additional energy: on the one hand, heat from waste water, which would otherwise be lost, is recovered directly in the shower trays via heat exchangers, and on the other hand hot water flows from the pipes back into the boiler when not in use instead of cooling in the water pipes. this method not only saves energy and water, but also reduces the risk of bacteria growing in the pipes.