NeighborHub - Sustainable Solar Power Prefab House

Winner of Solar Decathlon 2017

Groups and Tasks
About Solar Decathlon
About Swiss Living Challenge
About University of Friborg (UNIFR)
About Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD)
About University of Applied Sciences of Freiburg (HEIA-FR)
About Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)


The aim of the Swiss Living Challenge project is to encourage people to reduce their energy consumption and ultimately preserve the country's natural resources.

How are we going to do it? To really reduce our energy consumption, we must act on a daily basis, from our mobility to our food. The Swiss Living Challenge project (which brings together 4 universities) offers alternatives that suggest to the inhabitants of a district to adopt sustainable features thanks to its sustainable solar power prefab house, the NeighborHub.


The team has built a sustainable solar power prefab house for a neighborhood, initiating changes and integrable in different urban areas. Named NeighborHub - this space aims to converge the inhabitants of a neighborhood and imagine with them solutions to consume less and better.

We must act together to reduce our consumption. The NeighborHub will be a place for meetings and exchanges where activities will be held and where we will share moments of life. There will be tools and alternatives for seven levers of action we can act on:

  • energy
  • water management
  • waste management
  • mobility
  • food
  • materials
  • biodiversity

Local residents will benefit from advice, interactive activities and conferences around these themes. The NeighborHub is also architecturally designed to adapt to all these moments of sharing with a large multifunctional space.

By changing our habits today, we can change the world of tomorrow.

7 Levers of Action


The electricity production is provided by 29 photovoltaic solar panels arranged only in frontage. Two batteries make it possible to manage the production and consumption flows to ensure a supply corresponding to needs of sustainable solar power prefab house inhabitants.

Water Management

With regard to water management, the aim of the Swiss Living Challenge is not simply to reduce its consumption. Indeed, it is essential to differentiate the various qualities of water that enters and leaves a sustainable solar power prefab house, assigning it the proper use or valuation. For example, the rainwater collected on the roof is fed to washing machine.


The vegetated roof and the phytopurification basin serve as habitat for flora and fauna. In addition, vertical greenhouses integrated in the structure of the doors welcome shoots of local plants. One of the most important energy consumption items is mobility.


A change in our habits supported by the provision of shared electric cars, bicycles or tricycles would reduce our consumption in this area.

Waste management

As far as waste management is concerned, the aim is first of all to reduce waste and this goes through choices such as shopping at the market and buying vegetables without packaging. Since zero waste is not so easy to achieve, product reuse and recycling remain important points in the economy of our resources.


Choosing to be surrounded by healthy materials that do not release harmful particles and promote good air quality is important for our health but also for the environment. The entire structure of the sustainable solar power prefab house is made of wood. In addition, the kitchen worktop is made of 75% recycled materials such as porcelain, ceramic, glass or mirror.


In the NeighborHub, a common kitchen is available to the inhabitants. They can organize courses to share their culinary knowledge and together find tips to consume more sustainable. Around the NeighborHub there are also vegetable gardens where gardening classes take place.

Description from Solar Decathlon

The bar was set sky high from the very start. As soon as the Swiss Living Challenge team set foot in the Solar Decathlon arena when scouting the SDE14 event in Versailles, they knew; they could go the extra mile. And they did. One house for a single family? Why not for a whole community? The Swiss Team thrived, and three years later they won first place during the SD17 competition in Denver, USA. The secret to their success? A big part was the social aspect, which was key to the NeighborHub project.

The Swiss Team’s NeighborHub sustainable solar power prefab house was immediately identified as an instigator of change. The notion of a communal space where neighbours are inspired toward energy-efficiency & behavioural change was embraced by visitors touring the NeighbourHub at the SD17 event, all in the name of resource-responsibility. In this process of learning by doing, the emphasis on human interaction to incite change reflected the collaborative and integral character of both the Swiss team and the NeighborHub itself. “Innovation is about integration on all sorts of levels,” says former decathlete Florian Meyer. He was part of the Swiss Team’s engineering group and worked on the electrical systems of the house.

To the Neighborhood

It took total dedication and a fundamental joint effort to turn the NeighborHub concept into reality. The Swiss sustainable solar power prefab house was designed by a total of 250 students and professors from four schools: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg, the Geneva School of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg. “The connection between team members was very strong,” Florian said. Besides the hands-on approach, what drew him to the project was the interdisciplinary spirit of the team: “It was incredible to work with such a diverse team from beginning to end.” In addition, The Swiss Living Challenge team was supported by 150 teaching staff members from industry and academia. Recently, Florian and his former team members joint forces again as the NeighborHub came back to life in April, 2018 at the smart living lab of blueFACTORY in Fribourg, Switzerland. “We built the NeighborHub such that it would be robust to adaptations in various contexts and urban settings,” Florian explains.

Vegetated Roof

He continues, explaining that the NeighborHub might not include the most state-of-the art technologies; however, the ways in which all elements come together are unique, maybe even cutting edge: the Swiss Team worked toward a seamless integral system of technology and design. One of the NeighborHub sustainable solar power prefab house’s eye-catching features is its vegetated roof, free of solar panels, designed to stimulate biodiversity in urban settings. The roof houses very particular nectar-giving plants that provide sustenance to bees, whose alarming decline in numbers is currently a pressing EU issue. Simultaniously, the roof absorbs rainwater via its plants and gathers it elsewhere for use in certain household appliance such as the washing machine. Wastewater from such appliances is treated in a phyto-purification basin next to the NeighborHub where reeds absorb a large quantity of pollutants out of this wastewater. Purified wastewater can then be infiltrated in the ground, for example, to water other plants. It is a beautiful example of how the Swiss Team aimed to create closed systems to maximise efficiency in and around the NeighborHub sustainable solar power prefab house.

Snow Proof

Instead of placing solar panels on the roof, the Swiss Team ingeniously attached their photovoltaic solar panels to the facades and doors of the NeighborHub sustainable solar power prefab house. They designed the doors to open vertically like a garage door where the wall rotates towards the exterior and then towards the top. As such, solar panels can adapt their orientation according to the position of the sun, allowing the sustainable solar power prefab house to capture more energy as the seasons change.

This means that in winter, the external walls remain closed in vertical position to accommodate the solar panels to the lower position of the sun. During the SD17 Competition this characteristic proved itself exсeptionally useful when falling snow in Denver had no effect on the effectivity of the NeighborHub’s solar panels. In summer, the external walls remain open and the solar panels are inclined at a 35-degree angle to maximize the high position of the sun. In this configuration, the wall creates a covered terrace that goes all around the prefab house, enabling the NeighborHub to capture solar energy while simultaneously providing shade to the people moving around the house. As such, design and optimal comfort for the community go hand in hand.

Talk to the Neighborhub

As for Florian, he knows the business of making systems and devices communicate with each other to exchange information, and developed the ‘Talk to the NeighborHub’ app. The application monitors and integrates all sorts of technological house data, which is then translated into engaging information that its users can comprehend. “If all lights in the NeighborHub prefab house are switched on, the app prompts the question whether it is necessary to keep them on,” Florian explains. The above and many other aspects of the NeighborHub solar power prefab house’s design makes the community sustainable house an inspiring meeting place for local residents to co-create solutions for consuming both less and better.

In the coming five years, the NeighborHub prefab house opens up room at the smart living lab of Freiburg for a range of activities such as eco-friendly cooking classes with local foods, bike repair workshops, gardening lessons or coworking days and other social gatherings. As such, the NeighborHub solar power house carries on as a social hub in Switzerland to work together towards sustainable solutions on energy, water management, biodiversity, waste management, mobility, materials, and food.



The Swiss team, winner of Solar Decathlon 2017, is composed of students from:

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)
University of Applied Sciences of Freiburg (HEIA-FR)
Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD)
University of Friborg (UNIFR)

Reunited in the smart living lab where the prototype was built, EPFL, HEIA-FR, and UNIFR combined their skills to design an energy efficient house that demonstrates Switzerland's ability to master issues related to sustainable lifestyles. Similarly, HEAD, the Geneva School of Art and Design, explored different exhibition design options to make the prototype aware of the issues of sustainability.


Thierry Anstett, Joelle BaehrBruyere, Jeremy Bruegger, Vincent Carel, Matias Cesari, Samuel Cotture, Benoit Cousin, Valentine Declerck, Salma Derouiche, Finn by Thomas Wagner, Vincent Devillers, Marga Espinos, Arianna Estorelli, Morgan Fargues, Mathieu Farine, Matthias Ferrari, Yannick Fessler , Baptiste Gex, Guillaume Gruet, Valentin Jacquet, Antoine Maltey, Axelle Marchon, Gisela Maza, Florian Meyer, Alex Meys, Fanny Mignon, Margaux Peltier, Guillaume Rueff, Jessica Ruffieux, Alexander Rychner, Victor Saade, Jocelyn Sapin, Sarah Sauthier, Loic Simon, Karni Siraganyan, Jeremie Stoeckli, Florian Szule, Xavier Tendon, Marin Thaller, Ozan Urundu, Flavia Viscardi, Cleo Wiseman, Elena Zambelli

Student Interviews

Margaux Peltier

Master Civil Engineering

Participation in the project:
I touch everything that is ventilation and heating.

What do you bring as a civil engineer to the project?
I design the ventilation system.

What was your main motivation to participate?
I started the project with the very first workshop that was proposed in 2014, because I want to specialize in everything that is building performance. It was a good opportunity to make a concrete project. I was taken in, I thought it was nice and I continued so far.

What is the fruit of your work of which you are particularly proud?
At the very first workshop, we had the idea in our group not to make a house, but a building where people can come to experiment and learn what society is at 2000 Watts.

That's about what we are doing now; it became a neighborhood house and we were one of two groups to have thought about it.

Sharing knowledge and experiences! We have learned a lot. Sharing between students but also with partners. For example, we went to a supplier and we could bring big pipes with us. It was fun!

Salma Derouiche

Master Civil Engineering

Participation in the project:
I did not have a real job but I am involved in several work packages, including the realization of the flag for Switzerland and also the sponsorship. Last summer, I also had the opportunity to do some sizing.

What does a civil engineer bring to the project?
At first, my training allowed me to help with the sizing of the pavilion. But in the end, I take advantage of this project first to see how is actually organized the construction of the project, and then to get away from my training and discover other areas.

What was your main motivation to participate?
For once, it's a concrete project. As students, we are not used to seeing projects come to fruition, especially at this scale. It is also the motivation to meet people from other fields, such as people in communication who otherwise do not see at all at EPFL. Being able to collaborate with students in architecture and environmental science also gives us a glimpse of what awaits us in the professional world. There is also the fact that renewable energy and environmental aspects are important themes that interest me.

What is the fruit of your work of which you are particularly proud?
Currently, seeing that the pavilion is being built. So when I help building and I see small walls stand up, it's quite satisfying. Qualify the project in one word. A challenge. Challenge because it is really not easy and you often face new challenges that you have to face.

Florian Meyer

Master in ICT (Information and Communication Technology)

Participation in the project:
I work in the engineering part.

What does an information and communication technology engineer bring?
I work on the electrical part, the prefab house automation and the telecommunication. I take care of lights, switches, heating, basically everywhere there is electricity. I am also competent when it comes to communicating devices with each other and exchanging information.

What is your main motivation to participate?
I was introduced to the project in the first year of Bachelor. What immediately pleased me was the interdisciplinary side and especially the practical aspect. We do not just do a project on paper! It's pretty crazy to say that we will move this sustainable solar power prefab house for thousands of miles!

What is the fruit of your work that you are particularly proud of?
I was able to integrate the issue of the electrical system of the sustainable solar power house as part of my training and we will be able to apply it concretely. Thanks to this project, I was able to continue my academic work on an electrical installation and apply it to our solar power prefab house. It's pretty amazing not only to finish my Bachelor's work on a project theme, but also to be able to go beyond.

How would you use the house if you were its inhabitant?
What I find interesting is that we can vary the activities and organize different events that correspond to the inhabitants of the neighborhood in which the pavilion will be implemented. Exciting, too, the pedagogical part that is linked to it. We do a neighborhood home to raise awareness by explaining how the sustainable solar power prefab house works. As an engineer, I think it's part of our civic duty to share our knowledge.

The project in a nutshell?
In two words? Incredible and difficult. Incredible by being able to go from start to finish with the entire multidisciplinary team, which is rather rare in the professional environment. Difficult too, because there are many constraints and we must always try to find the best compromise. That's what makes the project interesting: we do not put blinkers on and try to find solutions together.

Guillaume Gruet

Master in microtechnology.

Participation in the project:
I take care of the electrical systems in the engineering part (worpackage 2).

What does an engineer in microtechnology bring?
Electricity is an important element to consider in pavilion construction. My bachelor's degree in microtechnology is not directly useful in this project, because it's a different world from construction or energy.

What is your main motivation to participate?
I discovered it because the Solar Association was doing an event at noon to present the project, and since then I have been very involved with it. I was really interested because it was something I had never seen before in my studies. I got involved because I was curious to see where the project would lead me. The theme of energy saving interests me a lot.

What is the fruit of your work that you are particularly proud of?
I learned how to make electrical diagrams and to master Adobe Illustrator among others. I'm happy to have learned some tips I could not do before.

The project in a nutshell?
An adventure.
It's not just a student project or a course, where you go once a week to work on it. It takes a lot more time in my life than if it was just a project. In addition to this, the project is extended over a long period and needs implication. That's why it's an adventure.

Thomas Wagner's Finn

Master in European Business at the University of Friborg

Participation in the project: 
I develop the narration of the market potential.

What do you bring to the project?
I determine who are the NeighborHub's target customers and I also analyze for which social groups our sustainable solar power prefab house could be useful. So I'm looking at what services and features NeighborHub can match a community to achieve progress in urban transformation.

What was your main motivation to participate?
The most important reason for me is that this project was an opportunity to contribute to the Switzerland of tomorrow, a topic that affects my generation. We will have to face serious challenges and it is interesting to work on possible and innovative solutions in this project.

What is the accomplishment you are particularly proud of?
I am very happy that we have finally been able to define the target user and the target client of the NeighborHub sustainable solar power prefab house a few weeks ago. We could use a framework developed by EPFL researchers, which is great because they are the main pilots of the project!

Qualify the project in one word. 
Rewarding. This project enriches the students who participate by providing them with a unique learning experience, but not only. It is enriching for our country because we contribute to the discussion around some of the most urgent social and environmental challenges.

What is the NeighborHub feature that you like the most?
I admire the multifunctionality of the NeighborHub sustainable solar power prefab house. By this I do not think only of the many possible uses thanks to the modularity of the structures of the building, but also to the different uses that the NeighborHub sustainable solar power prefab house can have in a social context: from the demonstrator of sustainable way of life to the initiator of changes in the complex process of urban planning.

A funny anecdote about the project.
This is actually the second time that I have to answer these questions because Clarisse, the student who was responsible for conducting the interviews, lost her iPod in which the interviews were recorded in their raw form. Although I am sad for her because she lost an object of value, it gave me the opportunity to answer these questions again and to think more about them.

Elena Zambelli

I am in the second year of a master's degree in architecture at EPFL.

Participation in the project: 
I work for work-package 1 (the architecture part) and workpackage 5 (the sponsors part).

What does an architect bring to the project?
I think the architect aims to develop a concept that brings together all the functions needed for the project. He makes sketches, tests. The basis of the project comes from there. Then, the technical part is added with its own constraints. The architect has the role of integrating all the constraints by highlighting the aesthetic and functional aspect.

What was your main motivation to participate?
Interdisciplinarity attracted me first. What really motivated me was the opportunity to create something from scratch, to see it born, to be able to build it and to see it grow to the end.

What is the fruit of your work of which you are particularly proud?
Being able to participate and have the opportunity to see what we have imagined will materialize. All architectural concepts are then realized and erect before our eyes.

Qualify the project in one word.
I want to say "friendliness", but it's more. More because this job is also part of a team. Team spirit brings the project to life.

Jocelyn Sapin

Civil Engineering at EPFL

Participation in the project: 
I am responsible for the team structure (workpackage 1) and member of the committee of the association SOLAR for infrastructure, logistics and workshops.

What is your contribution to the project?
With the structure team we sized the entire building to withstand both Swiss and North American weather conditions. The sustainable solar power prefab house must meet the standards of both countries. So for example, all the Skin part was dimensioned with respect to the wind in Denver and the walls of the Core depend rather on the seismic risks of Friborg.

What was your main motivation to participate?
I started with a teaching unit ENAC (Faculty of the natural, architectural and built environment), followed by the summer workshop 2015. In my studies, I have always loved interdisciplinary projects and what attracted in this one is the fact of working on a concrete project which was brought to realization. With the workshop, it was especially the team and the atmosphere that made me want to stay.

What is the fruit of your work that you are particularly proud of?
I am proud of the smooth running of the team structure. We were able to do a great deal of work in a short time thanks to the motivation and goodwill within the team.

Qualify the project in one word. 
Complementarity. I really think that the strength of our team is to have very diverse skills. There is a very large training field in the team and each participant has unique skills. This allowed us to cover all the needs of the project in an efficient way.

What is the NeighborHub feature that you like the most?
No doubt the social aspect. Incorporating this social and community aspect into a sustainable solar power prefab house was really the thing to do and that is what sets our project apart from others.

What is the role of the association in relation to the project?
It is a student association that was created at the very beginning of the project, it existed before the Swiss Living Challenge and now has the function of representing the students of the project and defending their interests in the project.

Antoine Maltey

School of Engineering in Besancon

Participation in the project: 
I participate in the project as part of an engineering internship of 8 months (workpackage 2)

What is your contribution to the project?
In engineering, I participate in the electrical installation and development of algorithms that manage all the energy of the sustainable solar power prefab house. I participated actively in the construction site where I mainly took care of the electrical installation and I also helped to assemble large elements such as facades. I had fun taking pictures of these different stages.

What did you like most about the job?
I was very happy to be part of the project, a practical activity that was less familiar to me. Containerization has been a rewarding experience because it requires even more synchronization in teams, especially for moving parts that weigh several hundred kilos.

What was your main motivation to participate?
I already knew the competition Solar Decathlon and had visited the 2014 edition in Versailles. During EPFL's open days in November 2016, I met a part of the team preparing to participate in the Solar Decathlon that will take place in Denver in 2017. Since I had to do an internship of several months as part of my studies, I did everything to enter the team. This experience exceeded my expectations, since I too have the chance to go to Denver as a Solar Decathlete and participate in the competition.

What is the fruit of your work that you are particularly proud of?
On the one hand, there is a pleasure of having participated in the construction and to see that everything is packaged in the containers ready to leave for the competition. The development part of the algorithms was also a big challenge and a success to see that they work to make beat the heart of the sustainable solar power prefab house and well to direct the energy of the home as one can verify it on the software which one developed .

Qualify the project in one word.
Trip. Because we are all going to Denver but also because I arrived in the team without really knowing where it was going to lead me. It is a journey together, architects, engineers, communicators, towards the same goal.

What is the NeighborHub feature that you like the most?
I really like the bicycle repair shop, which is used to maintain an object with which one can travel. Around these manual activities, we can exchange our knowledge and meet people without necessarily having language barriers. In the NeighborHub, there are also cargo bikes available, an ecological alternative that can carry equipment or children. Yes, you guessed it, I love riding a bike!

Tell us a funny story that happened in the project!
As part of the open house and the inauguration of the house in June, I had to fetch 20kg of fennel at the market for the smoothies activity that we organized. On Wednesday morning, I take my bike with trailer and go to the market. The problem is that I had forgotten the name of the stand where I had to recover the fennel ... So I went around the stands asking merchants if they had a 20kg order of fennel! I had the chance to fall rather quickly on the good stand where explaining that this fennel would be used to make smoothies, the merchant exclaimed: "Good luck to drink them! ". In the end, the smoothies with fennel, even if they were particular, were appreciated by the visitors.

What do you keep from this experience?
She made me very aware of the environment and I do not want to stop there. Currently, I am looking for an Arctic internship in the field of the environment. Studying the impact of man in these areas interests me a lot. Especially since in the years to come, industrial exploitation and the passage of boats will intensify in this zone. I wish I could act to limit the impact on the environment. If you have contacts, I'm interested!

Loic Simon

I finish my Master's degree in architecture at the HES-SO Friborg, after a Bachelor's degree at the Geneva Hepia.

Participation in the project: 
WP1 architecture, task leader in architectural design

What does your function bring to the project?
Since the summer of 2016, I have been assigned the role of coordination and synthesis, the architectural design part, so all that is formatting the pavilion. It is a pretty technical function, but my training allows me to have enough good technical knowledge in addition to what is design.

What was your main motivation to participate?
I participated in a workshop related to the Solar Decathlon where we had to make a first draft of the pavilion and I took a lot of fun in the game. So, I participated this summer in both Summer Workshops, it's me I liked it and I got really hooked on the project.

What is the accomplishment you are particularly proud of?
Successfully work together in a wide variety of areas and come up with solutions that seem the most appropriate for everyone. Because we do not really know this kind of situation in the job. We all started from the same point, so no pavilion, and we must all arrive at a pavilion. It's not classic about the world of work, but I think it's pretty good.

Qualifies the project in one word: 
A team. Usually in the business it is the client who makes an order to the architect, the architect who sends him his plans, etc. It's a very phased process and nobody works together. Here, we all work at the same time. In addition, we participate in a competition to which we all have the same importance, so the team is really important.

What is the NeighborHub feature that you like the most?
Folding doors in front. Already they have several roles: not only they serve as opening and closing, but at the same time we have managed to assign them many other roles such as being able to put photovoltaic panels. Thanks to these doors, panels can be oriented to optimize solar energy capture. In addition to that, they are used for shading. There is something very logical about making these doors indispensable. In the summer, we open the doors, improve the efficiency of the solar panels and in addition we create shade so it's something combined and quite intelligent.

An anecdote about the project.
During the Summer Workshop we had a team-building weekend in Schwarzsee in Freiburg where we could go down the valley with giant scooters. It was a very funny activity, despite the fact that many fell and injured themselves. I fell, besides, I was scuffed on my arms and legs. So in the end we were all a little in the same galley. But a colleague injured her knee and had to be brought to the emergency room to get patched up. It was truly an unforgettable adventure.

Morgan Fargues

Master's degree in Environmental Engineering at EPFL.

Participation in the project: 
I am task manager in environment & sustainability in the engineering workpackage.

What does your function bring to the project?
I take care of the plants. Unlike the structure and architecture, it does not affect the scuffed itself, however, the biodiversity that we try to promote and one of the levers of action of the treaty in the project. The purpose of the sustainable solar power prefab house is to promote the exchange of knowledge between generations. Urban agriculture and do-it-yourself is conducive for these exchanges.

What is the challenge in your task?
Since we do not have the right to export plants, we can not put plants in place from home. So, there are a lot of interactions with the United States. The 8h time difference does not help but every time I meet someone in the United States who is motivated by the project, it motivates me even more.

What was your main motivation to participate?
I have always been interested in this kind of concepts. I think we are a team that is super motivated and has changed a lot in the last two years. The social aspect of this sustainable solar power prefab house for neighborhood I liked. It is a pretty incredible project and it joins my philosophy of life.

What would you do with NeighborHub if you could benefit from its services?
A little bit of everything is Do-It-Yourself. I would like to do a little potted agriculture training to find out how I can grow at home. I'd be happy to go to a repair-shop where we can repair or transform objects. If not possibly propose or follow conferences.

Qualify the project in one word. 
Diversity. For all that I have just said before: the diversity of functions, the diversity of the public, and of course bio-diversity. Diversity is wealth.

A funny anecdote about the project.
Two years ago, during a workshop, we made a video to promote our version of the building called Better Power Tower. We had made a little rap that was: "Do you hear the clamor, it comes from the city, it's the heart". I do not know exactly, but anyway, it was funny.

Cleo Wiseman

Master in Civil Engineering at EPFL

Participation in the project:
Student manager WP2. I am responsible for everything related to the energy of the building (with passive concepts like natural ventilation), the production of hot water (mainly plumbing, toilets) and the environment.

What do you bring as a civil engineer to the project?
My role is to manage the students who work on these themes. There is Morgan working on the vegetation, Xavier who did a lot of work on the production of hot water using solar thermal panels, Benoit who did a lot for the plumbing. Afterwards, I had to manage what is design, controls and material supply. On the site, I did mainly plumbing and sanitary and I helped for the installation of aquaponics.

What was your main motivation to participate?
Of course sustainability is a subject that interests me, especially applied to housing and urban planning. In addition, I find it nice that it started with an association of highly motivated students with a common goal, to participate in an international competition, to compete against other teams and finally to do a practical project contrary to what we usually do at the university.

What is the fruit of your work of which you are particularly proud?
Dry toilets, aquaponics and solar thermal. These are ideas that have been there from the beginning and remind me of the original motivations that made me want to get involved.

What is the NeighborHub feature that you like the most?
The DO-IT-YOURSELF side and learning through experimentation. The dry toilets, aquaponics and thermal solar panels are the proof.

What did you learn about the project?
It was a very useful experience to understand the progress in the construction site. I became aware of everything around construction: organization, supply of materials, orders, ... I also realized the huge gap between what we learn in theory

Mathieu Farine

Civil Engineering at EPFL

Participation in the project:
Market potential (WP1), Construction and cost estimation (WP6) and president of the SOLAR association

What does your function bring to the project?
I joined the project during the development of the architectural form and participated in the criticisms on architectural design. Then, I became more and more involved in the association to organize workshops, logistics, team building activities, etc. Association of which I took the chair. During the 2016 summer workshop, I focused on the "market potential" part and the cost estimate of the sustainable solar power prefab house. Interested in the construction, I took a course for the installation of VELUX and a training to drive the pods to be able to pose the facade.

What is the accomplishment you are particularly proud of?
Especially the construction, but also be able to think about what will happen after the competition, and to defend the concept.

What part of your job do you enjoy most?
It interested me the possibility to have an overview of the project. It is important to manage the coordination on the site, but also for the "market potential". You have to know the project as a whole in order to sell it! On the construction site, I particularly appreciated the exchanges with the professionals who brought us a lot of knowledge. It was interesting to see the concretization on the site of what we developed on paper.

What was your main motivation for participating in the project?
At first, I did not think I was getting involved because I did not feel competent enough. On closer inspection, I was motivated to take part in this concrete project carried out by a team of interdisciplinary students in connection with professionals from different trades.

Qualify the project in one word. 
Sharing. We learn a lot from each other, we are not used to confronting people like communication or management for example.

What is the NeighborHub feature that you like the most?
It is interesting the concept of sharing that needs to be developed, the fact of using the same object (exchange cabinet), to share services (car sharing). The building itself is a multifunctional space that can accommodate many activities, but always in connection with our 7 levers of action!

What did you learn about the project professionally and personally?
For me it does not stop at the return of the USA. I will analyze what I have learned from this unique experience from a critical angle to learn lessons for the future. I am curious to see how the project will evolve. This project made me want to work as a team and not individually, to be more generalist than specialist.

Sarah Sauthier

Architecture at EPFL

Participation in the project:
Model the building in 3D to be able to cut and assemble it.

What does your function bring to the project?
The building is made like a puzzle and so to build it, it is necessary to model the pieces in 3D. So I participated in the modeling of the building to then be able to send the wooden boards to cut with a machine called CNC. I particularly followed the beginnings of the construction when assembling the planks of wood to make the modules that together make up the sustainable solar power prefab house.

What is the accomplishment you are particularly proud of?
The NeighborHub. The fact of having participated in its construction and having seen it transform from a 3D model to a real building.

What part of your job do you enjoy most?
Being together and working with people from other areas.

What was your main motivation for participating in the project?
I learned about the project through an architecture studio where we worked on assembling wood-wood. Some assembly proposals could be integrated into the NeighborHub.

Qualify the project in one word. 
Community. I wrote my diploma work on community housing and it's a concept that interests me a lot.

What is the NeighborHub feature that you like the most?
Gathering people and also proposing systems or actions that people can integrate at home on a daily basis. There are lots of little details that allow us to have more attention on our habits as for example, the sensor between the pipe and the shower head, or an illustration of a bear on an ice floe that melts according to the quantity of water that we consume. A simple way to become aware of our consumption.

What did you learn about the project professionally and personally?
I learned to collaborate with people who do not have the same background as me. It is necessary to adapt, it is not always easy to know how to organize, but super rewarding. And what is top is that a real "team" could be created!


Marilyne Andersen
EPFL ENAC - Project Manager and Academic Manager

Jean-Nicolas Aebischer
HEIA-FR - Main Partner

Anne-Claude Cosandey
smart living lab - Partnerships and Operations

Claude-Alain Jacot
smart living lab - Construction Manager

Eric Domon
EPFL - Solar Decathlon Coordinator

Philippe Couty
HEIA-EN - Solar Decathlon Coordinator

Hani Buri
HEIA-FR - Architecture

Fred Hatt
EPFL - Architecture

Jerome Baratelli
HEAD - Communication and HEAD representative

Alexandra Walther
smart living lab - Branding and communication

Barbara Tirone
EPFL ENAC - Realization of the prototype

Kirstin Stadelmann
UniFR representative

Axelle Marchon
EPFL - Student in charge of Architecture

Victor Saade
EPFL - Student Responsible for Engineering

Cleo Wiseman
EPFL - Student Manager of Engineering

Flavia Viscardi
HEAD - Student in charge of Visual Communication

Jessica Ruffieux
EPFL - Student in charge of External Communication

Baptiste Gex
EPFL - Student Partner Development Manager

Vincent Devillers
EPFL - Student in charge of Pavilion Realization

Matias Cesari
HEIA-FR - Student in charge of Pavilion Realization

Samuel Cotture
EPFL - Student Project Management Manager

SOLAR Student Association

Working Groups and Tasks

Description of the different working groups:

WP1 - Architecture

Leader: Hani Buri and Fred Hatt

Student Manager: Axelle Marchon

The architectural project of the Solar Decathlon prototype will be part of the development of the urban periphery. The prototype of the competition wants to be an activator of the zone in which it is implanted taking into account the interdependence of the present networks: public spaces, mobility, nature, economic activities. With the aim of creating a local and collective dynamic by proposing new spaces of sharing and services, it can be declined in several variants, thus adapting itself to the different typologies of surrounding habitats with mixed programs where the cohabitation is necessary. This zone transformer will have to be attractive for the population, with a common expression of project communication, exterior architecture and interior architecture. It will finally allow to participate in the urban renewal with densification of the sustainable solar power prefab house while preserving the quality of life.

Its flexible design will be achieved using innovative building elements promoting constructive efficiency. The prototype of the sustainable solar power prefab house will be an example of passive house integration and integration of renewable energies with a 100% productive envelope. Users of this prototype will be implicitly educated about existing alternatives in terms of reduced consumption, more environmentally friendly and responsible ways. The prototype will integrate the requirements of sustainable development at all levels: environmental, social and economic.

This WorkPackage includes 8 Tasks (TS).

Urban context: based on the concept of the eco-periphery, we work on interdependent networks (public spaces, mobility, nature, ...), operating principles in symbiosis (residency, production, social, ...) and formalize the concept of 'ATICS - activator, transformation, interface, connections, social - which will initiate and facilitate the process of transformation of the periphery towards a type of denser sustainable habitats while privileging the quality of life.
Prototype drawing: create and detail the final architectural form of the pavilion.
Construction System: Develop the wood panel structure of the sustainable solar power prefab house with innovative assembly principles. The costs and construction time will be taken into account as will the life cycle analysis of the materials.
Interior design: designer interior furnishings and furnishings of different parts of the pavilion consistent with the architectural concept.
Landscaping: creating the layout
outside the pavilion for the competition site.
Integration of passive solar strategies: think about the passive operation of the pavilion thanks to solar energy.
Visual and acoustic comfort: working on natural and artificial brightness as well as acoustics to ensure comfort in correspondence with the activities.
Market potential and social attractiveness: Define how the project will position itself in the market and what is its target audience.

WP2 - Engineering Design

Leader: Phillipe Couty

Student Manager: Victor Saade and Camilla Wiseman

Innovation will be at the heart of the Swiss prototype. Engineering will work from the design phase of the sustainable solar power prefab house in WP1.0 to achieve our goal of excellence in the integration of architecture, construction and engineering. The building will have to meet comfort objectives (temperature, light, air quality) and energy efficiency, which can not be achieved without this interdisciplinary integration. Building engineering includes high-tech bricks from other areas such as hot and cold production, electrical and thermal storage, control and regulation systems (home automation), renewable energy integration. , and devices with very low consumption. The prototype will be a model of energy management by favoring self-consumption in its smart-grid environment. The prototype will also be connected to its urban context and will include electrical mobility solutions. In this perspective of innovation, it also uses the mastery of all fundamental disciplines such as electricity, mechanics, computer science, telecommunications and physical modeling. The sustainable development aspect will also be taken into account with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

This WorkPackage includes 10 Tasks (TS).

Control system and comfort: design the control system for light, sun protection, temperature and air quality as well as the artificial lighting system.
Solar thermal, piping, mechanical, HVAC system: testing and modeling systems for harvesting, storage and distribution of solar thermal energy and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
Photovoltaic solar panels and electrical system: model and test the harvesting, storage and distribution of solar energy produced by photovoltaic panels.
Water and waste management: develop and image the concept of harvesting water and waste management.
Environment & sustainability: Integrate LCA lifecycle analysis into the choice of materials for the pavilion. Propose solutions to reduce consumption, waste production: imagine a local power system reducing the need for transport or the integration of equipment and tools to repair broken objects to reduce waste materials.
Large-scale energy management: define a low-temperature electrical and thermal network on the type of smarts-grid.
Mobility Networks: developing and optimizing a system of soft mobility and sharing of means of transport for the Swiss Living Challenge project.
Overall calculations: simulate and optimize sustainable solar power prefab house performance in terms of energy consumption, acoustic and visual comfort and air quality.
Indoor appliances & installations: choose the most efficient appliances and the most suitable installations and equipment and model their consumption in correspondence with the uses.
Structural design: calculation of the forces passing through the structure.

WP3 - Project Communication

Leader: Jerome Baratelli

Student Manager: Flavia Viscardi

In addition to the architectural and technological aspects, the communication of the project is one of the objectives of the competition as well as the sustainable solar power prefab house itself carrying a strong message. Students, teachers, institutions and local companies involved in partnerships, the general public (web, media) as well as future users of the prototype will be the target audience for this communication. The visual communication of the project, the exterior architecture and the interior architecture will have to find their common denominator. The building itself carries the message of the project and it must be identifiable in its urban context. Workpackage WP3 will focus on content: a project communication toolbox will be created so that it can be deployed by other work packages such as WP4-Marketing and WP5-Fundraising. Finally, this workpackage will have the mission to produce the deliverable "project communication" for the competition.

This WorkPackage includes 5 Tasks (TS).

History: develop the history of the pavilion, its development, why it is so. Find the right words.
Graphic design: develop a visual identity and create all the necessary supports for the communication of the project.
Architectural representation: representation of the pavilion with 3D renderings, computer graphics or various drawings as well as making photos of models.
Pavilion communication: develop flag signage for the competition.
Social networks: develop and maintain the presence on social networks.

WP4 - Branding communication

Leader: Alexandra Walther

Student Manager: Jessica Ruffieux

One of the objectives of the competition is the dissemination of the message that will be carried by the project: solar habitat, technologies that are both effective and accessible, corresponding to sustainable development. WP Marketing focuses on external communication: sponsors and external partners, as well as the general public at the local, Swiss and international levels. The communication strategy relies on various media such as the website, social networks as well as publications and participation in conferences. One of the tasks is to extract the content to be communicated from other workpackages. This workpackage will have to format the content of the project according to the type of media and the target audience, which content will be complemented with photographs, video montages and all visual support in close collaboration with the workpackage 3.0 «Project communications ".

This WorkPackage includes 4 Tasks (TS).

Content development: produce the necessary content for the different communication media (photos, videos, texts, ...)
Public events: organize and manage the content and the progress of public events.
Media relations: manage the relationship with the media and archive publications (videos, radios and newspapers).
Web presence: develop and maintain the official website of the project.

WP5 - Partnership development

Leader: Anne-Claude Cosandey

Student Manager: Baptiste Gex

The Solar Decathlon is a concrete project that not only engages academic institutions but also involves other private and public partners. The partnership development team's main tasks will be to search for sponsors and ensure their follow-up. In close collaboration with WP4 Branding communication, this workpackage will present the project in an attractive way by valuing both the prototype and its partners. The visibility of the project and the sponsors will have to be guaranteed throughout the communication campaign during the 18 months of the competition. Always in collaboration with WP4, he will be in charge of planning, organizing and coordinating the official events of the competition in collaboration with the project partners.

This WorkPackage includes 3 Tasks (TS).

Search for partners
Follow-up of the invested partners: maintenance of the relations with the partners of the project.
In-kind: Develop "in-kind" needs according to the evolution of the project.

WP6 - Prototype Realization

Leader: Barbara Tirone

Student Manager: Matias Cesari and Vincent Devillers

The construction of the sustainable solar power prefab house in its execution phase will be driven by this workpackage. It will also manage the logistics of transport, supply and storage of materials. It will take care of the health and safety aspects of users including the security of the construction itself in Switzerland and the United States with precise planning, as well as the use of the infrastructure of the Building Hall and its equipment in collaboration with the managers of the Blue Hall. To these operational tasks are added also the mission of calculation of the costs of construction as well as a work on the constructive efficiency.

This WorkPackage includes 7 Tasks (TS).

Build the pavilion!
Health and Safety Management: implement and develop security during the construction of the pavilion in Freiburg as in Denver.
Order and storage of materials: purchase and monitor construction materials and equipment.
Logistics and transport: organize transport from the Freiburg Pavilion to Denver and its return to Freiburg.
Flag Accounting: Manage accounting for the flag.
Estimation of costs: estimate the costs of the pavilion and ensure the best possible respect of its costs during the realization.
Management of facilities and equipment: manage the use of facilities and equipment made available to the Swiss team at BlueFACTORY.

WP7 - Management

Leader: Eric Domon

Student Manager: Samuel Cotture

Project management is linked to all other workpackages: planning the tasks of other WPs, managing resources, monitoring all the tasks from the beginning to the deliverables. It ensures the coverage of all project needs and also prospects for new resources: project proposals within the framework of existing curricula, approaches to students and professors. He is the guarantor of the registration of project reports as well as deliverables. This workpackage will offer IT management tools such as editable project planning by all teams as well as centralized, multi-institutional and secure file storage tools.

This WorkPackage includes 6 Tasks (TS).

Schedule and tasks within the project: develop and maintain schedules, schedule and project tasks.
Database: manage the database containing all documents related to the project.
Human Resources: ensure the human resources for the realization of the pavilion and all related tasks by integrating classes and student projects.
Team coordination and information exchange: ensure that all project participants keep abreast of developments throughout the project.
Budget management for each workpackage.
Strategies and compliance with the rules imposed by the DOE (organizers of the 2017 Solar Decathlon competition in the USA.

About Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon Europe
Solar Decathlon Africa
Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean
Solar Decathlon Middle East

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The winners will be those teams that best blend design architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency, and smart energy production.

The combined competition features two tracks, the Design Challenge and the Build Challenge. The Solar Decathlon provides a hands-on experience and unique training that prepares the competing students to enter the clean energy workforce. This international competition has been a driving force in raising awareness about clean energy since its inception in 2002. Technologies and solutions used in Solar Decathlon homes have advanced the residential building industry both in the United States and abroad.

Solar Decathlon is more than a competition. It’s an intensive learning experience for consumers and homeowners as they experience the latest technologies and materials in energy-efficient design, clean energy technologies, smart home solutions, water conservation measures, electric vehicles, and high-performance buildings.

The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. The next Solar Decathlon is planned for 2019-2020.


One of the U.S. Department of Energy's most successful outreach efforts, the Solar Decathlon’s goals are to:

Provide participating students with unique training that prepares them for the clean energy workforce.

Educate students and the public about the latest technologies and materials in energy-efficient design, clean energy technologies, smart home solutions, electric vehicles, and high-performance buildings.

Demonstrate to the public the comfort and savings of homes that combine energy-efficient construction, home systems, appliances and innovative design with onsite renewable energy production.


Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has:

Involved more than 150 collegiate teams, which pursued a multidisciplinary approach to study the requirements for designing and building energy-efficient houses powered by renewable energy.

Established a worldwide reputation as a successful educational program and workforce development opportunity for thousands of students.

Positively impacted more than 18,000 collegiate participants.

Expanded to Europe, China, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East to involve an additional 160 teams and nearly 19,000 participants through Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 and 2012 (Madrid, Spain), Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 (Versailles, France), Solar Decathlon China 2013 (Datong) and 2018 (Dezhou), Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean 2015 (Santiago de Cali, Colombia), and Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 (Dubai, United Arab Emirates). In 2019, three Solar Decathlon competitions will take place: Solar Decathlon Europe (Szentendre, Hungary) in July, Latin America and the Caribbean (Columbia) in December, and Solar Decathlon (Morocco) in September.

Educated the public about the benefits, affordability, and availability of clean energy solutions by generating widespread media coverage and harnessing digital tools to reach millions of people.

Solar Decathlon Europe

The Solar Decathlon Europe is a multi-national
organisation, with members tethered together from various
european countries.

SDE advocates are working together to propel the mandate on sustainability.
There is an ambitious group of people with the same goals and vested interest
in furthering the SDE agenda. The SDE is supported by the Energy Endeavour
Foundation, located in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Postal AddressSolar Decathlon Europe / Energy Endeavour Foundation, Coolhaven 106B, 3024 AJ Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Solar Decathlon Africa

The first African Solar Decathlon will be held in September 2019 in the green city Mohamed VI of Benguerir, Morocco. The location of the site that is going to host the three-week event is juxtaposed to both Green Energy Park and Green & Smart Building Park. Under the aegis of the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water, and the Environment (MEMEE) and organized by the Moroccan Research Institute in Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN) and Mohammed VI POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY (UM6P), this competition is aligned with the Moroccan objectives: To conceptualize low energy-consuming buildings that reach the bid of net zero energy buildings. In order to emphasize the significance of Solar Decathlon AFRICA, the contestants have to integrate regional sustainable raw materials while working on the components of the building. It is strongly recommended to enhance the African specificities. Contestants from around the globe are invited to compete in building solar-powered houses that are highly energy-efficient, affordable, and comfortable to live in.

This competition is aligned with the Moroccan objectives: To conceptualize sustainable low-energy-consuming buildings that reach the bid of net-zero energy building and to increase reliance on renewable energies in the building sector. The competition translates the will of the government to reach high levels of sustainability in its energy sector.

The competition’s goal is to contribute to the knowledge and dissemination of solar and sustainable housing, with the following basic objectives:

Raise awareness of participating students on the benefits and opportunities of renewable energies and sustainable construction and challenging them to think creatively to develop innovative solutions that contribute to energy savings.

Educate the general public regarding responsible energy use, renewable energy, energy efficiency and available technologies to help reduce energy consumption.

Promote the use of solar technologies, including architecturally attractive solar system integration, and enhancing the use of the solar technologies to replace conventional construction materials in the building envelope such as the roof, skylights or facades.

Demonstrate that high performance solar homes can be comfortable, attractive and affordable.

A new spirit of the competition is conceived, and will be adapted to the needs of the African continent. The main objectives are generating knowledge of net zero energy buildings within the emerging continent, highlighting the perks of decentralized solar energy in leaping forward an increasingly electrified continent, speeding up actions on reaching sustainable energy for all Africans, and valorizing the African local materials and knowhow in the building sector. The competition is expected to have environmental, social and economic impacts on Africa.

The Green Energy Park is a solar energy testing, research and training platform located in the green city of BenGuerir. It was developed by the Research Institute of Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN) with the support of the Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment and the OCP Group.

This first platform in Africa, a unique model, allows on the one hand, the creation of synergies and the pooling of research infrastructures to create a critical mass and achieve excellence, and on the other hand the acquisition of knowledge and know-how by the different partner universities as well as the industrialists.

Photovoltaic test platforms

Installation of a photovoltaic pilot plant 120 - 200 kWp, using 5 different technologies (c-Si, a-Si, CIGS, CdTe, OPV) for the characterization ...

Central pilot CSP-ORC 1MWe

Development and installation of a new generation of 1 MW small capacity modular thermosolar power plant in parabolic trough sensors coupled with an ORC turbine ...

CSP test platform

Establishment of an outdoor test and characterization space for national and international thermo-solar research projects at the pilot scale ...

Indoor Laboratories

Establishment of over 3000 m² of indoor laboratories for the characterization of solar components (photovoltaic cells, photovoltaic modules, solar reflectors, etc.)

Targeted research activities

Research teams work on priority topics that span every link in the R & D value chain, from basic components to complex systems to meet national and African needs.

Indeed, subjects such as water treatment and desalination using solar energy, the development of desert modules, the design of innovative thermal and electrical storage solutions and the development of solar thermal industrial applications are at the center of the Green Energy Park's concerns.

AddressRoute Régionale Kelaa، Km 3 R206, Ben Guerir, Morocco

Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean

The Solar Decathlon is an initiative of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) in which universities around the world compete with the design and construction of sustainable homes that run 100% with solar energy. It is called "Decathlon" since universities and their prototypes are evaluated in 10 criteria: architecture, engineering and construction, energy efficiency, energy consumption, comfort, sustainability, positioning, communications, urban design and feasibility and innovation. In the end the team that accumulates more points in the tests wins the competition.

The first version was made in the United States in 2002. In March 2014 the Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean LAC was conceived through a memorandum of understanding signed between the United States Department of Energy and the Ministry of Mines and Energy from Colombia, whose competition was held in December 2015, with the participation of 14 university teams with 689 participants and more than 72,200 visitors.

In 2018, the second version of the Solar Decathlon LAC will be carried out with the leadership of the Governance of Valle del Cauca and the Financial Institute for Development of Valle del Cauca INFIVALLE. For more than a year, university teams from different countries of the world will work on the design and construction of their sustainable homes designed specifically for tropical conditions, with a social concept and thinking about the nature of Latin American families.

After working in their countries of origin, the prototypes of the house will be transferred to Santiago de Cali to form the “VILLA SOLAR”, a land of 30,000 square meters located within the facilities of the Universidad del Valle, Meléndez Headquarters. This villa will be open to the public and in it you can experience how sustainable life is.

Solar Decathlon Middle East

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, Solar Decathlon Middle East is a collegiate competition of 10 contests that challenge students to design and build solar-powered houses.

On June 17, 2015, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and the U.S. Department of Energy signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME 2018-2020), a competition that will integrate unique local and regional characteristics.

The 2018 edition of this competition is organized by DEWA, in Dubai at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. SDME consists of 10 contests that will follow the lines of those in previous editions of the competition, although having the necessary customization to challenge the teams to adapt their designs to the heat, dust & high humidity that we experience in the Middle East. The projects are developed by multidisciplinary teams, giving the students the opportunity to learn about technical issues, teamwork, communication skills, and sustainable lifestyle and socio-economic issues in order to ensure the viability of their project.

AddressMohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Seih Al Dahal - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Postal AddressDubai Electricity And Water Authority, P.O. Box 564, Dubai, U.A.E
Phone 1+97143223466
Phone 2+97143223496
Phone 3+97143222964

About Swiss Living Challenge

AddressPassage du Cardinal 13b, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
Smart Living Lab
NeighborHub is a web platform that aims to present the NeighborHub and 7 levers of action that it promotes through funny and surprising questions on different scales: at the level of Switzerland, Friborg and from the NeighborHub itself. Have you ever wondered how many times a year the Swiss go to the moon? Or what is the biggest invasion in Switzerland? If chocolate consumption makes you smarter? And what is the scary animal in Switzerland? The answers are all on

About University of Friborg (UNIFR)

The University of Fribourg is a place where learning, research, employment and events all happen at the same time. Its innovative force makes it an important mover in the commercial and cultural life of the region. Since it attracts students and researchers from every part of Switzerland and from all over the world it has shaped life in the bilingual city of Fribourg since it was founded in 1889.

AddressUniversity of Fribourg, Avenue de l'Europe 20 CH-1700 Fribourg Switzerland

About Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD)

Created in 2006 from the merger of two prestigious schools, the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the Haute École d’Arts Appliqués, HEAD – Genève draws on a rich cultural and artistic heritage to nurture young creative talent nationally and internationally. Renowned for the quality of its bachelor's and master's degrees in Fine Arts, Cinema, Interior Architecture, Space and Communication, Visual Communication as well as Fashion and Accessory Design, it has established itself as one of the leading schools of art and design in Europe.

As an academic and cultural institution, HEAD – Genève has forged close links with the local artistic community and economy. The decision to create a campus in the heart of the city underscores the school's commitment to establishing a centre of excellence for art and design in Geneva. Promoting international exchanges and interdisciplinary collaboration, this new creative hub has also expanded its Institute for Research in Art and Design.

Welcoming renowned speakers and lecturers, the school's teaching philosophy emphasises freedom as well as personal and social responsibility. Encouraging the individuality of each student, the education provided at HEAD – Genève is based on dialogue between teachers and students, allowing the latter to shape their own artistic path. Students develop projects through workshops and seminars as well as collaboration with private and public professional partners.

Theoretical teaching focuses on diverse aesthetic practices based on research and experimentation. It aims to build knowledge and exercise pluralist thinking. Know-how and critical thinking are the pillars of an educational approach that refuses all dogmatismand provides essential tools for understanding the contemporary world.

Alumni of HEAD – Genève regularly participate in international events and exhibitions within the fashion, design, art and cinema industries.

HEAD – Genève is part of the HES-SO Geneva (University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Geneva), which comprises six schools offering internationally recognised university level degrees focusing on professional practice.

AddressHEAD – Genève, Avenue de Châtelaine 5, Genève Switzerland

About University of Applied Sciences of Freiburg (HEIA-FR)

With more than 110 years of experience, the School of Engineering and Architecture’s task is to
train engineers and architects. It currently hosts approximately 1000 students distributed among
eight professional college degree programs.

The School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg offers a practice-based education and the
opportunity to take bilingual classes (French/German).
Numerous possibilities for continuing education, adapted to the demands of the market, are also
offered. For further information see:
The School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg promotes the mobility of its students and
teachers as well as the development of international relations, especially with educational institutions and businesses from the European Union and beyond (France, Germany, Italy, Canada, China…).

AddressBd de Pérolles 80 Fribourg Switzerland

About Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)

Located in Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva, EPFL is one of Europe's most vibrant and cosmopolitan science and technology institutions.

EPFL is Europe's most cosmopolitan technical university. It welcomes students, professors and collaborators of more than 120 nationalities. EPFL has both a Swiss and international vocation and focuses on three missions: teaching, research and innovation.

EPFL collaborates with an important network of partners, including other universities and colleges, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and the economy, political circles and the general public, with the aim of having a real impact on society.

AddressRoute Cantonale, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Phone 1+41216931111
Phone 2+41216933000

NeighborHub - Sustainable Solar Power Prefab House