© Alain Herzog


The Swiss Team who won the Solar decathlon 2017 is made up by students from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR), the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD) and the University of Fribourg (UNIFR).

Working together within the smart living lab – where the prototype has been built – the EPFL, the HEIA-FR and the UNIFR join efforts to design an energy-efficient pavilion to demonstrate Switzerland’s capability to handle issues related to a sustainable lifestyle. The Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD) also explores various options regarding the design and exposition of the prototype so that it contributes to raising awareness on environmental and sustainable issues.


Thierry Anstett, Joelle BaehrBruyere, Jeremy Bruegger, Vincent Carel, Matias Cesari, Samuel Cotture, Benoit Cousin, Valentine Declerck, Salma Derouiche, Finn deThomasWagner, 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, Alexandre 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’s interviews:


Studies : Master of civil engineering

Participation in the project :
I am working on ventilation and heating.

What does a civil engineering bring to the project?
I dimension the system of ventilation.

What was your main motivation to participate in the project?
I started the adventure during the first workshop in 2014 because I wanted to specialize in anything that is related to construction performance. It was a good opportunity to participate in a concrete project. I was selected to participate which I founded nice and I continued until now.

Which of your efforts are you most proud of?
At the first workshop, our team came up with the idea to not just build a house but a place where people can come to experiment and learn what is a 2000 Watt society. It is almost what we are doing right now; it became a community house and we were one of the two groups who thought about it.

The project in one word? Sharing
Sharing of knowledge and experiences! We learn a lot. Sharing between students but also with the partners. For example we went to a supplier and we could bring back big pipes. It was funny!


Studies: Master in Civil Engineering

Participation in the project: I don’t actually have a function but I’m involved in several work groups including the construction of the house in Switzerland and also the sponsoring. Last summer I had the chance to work on dimensioning.

What does a civil engineer contribute to the project?
At the beginning my studies enabled me to help in dimensioning the building. But actually I’m taking advantage of the project primarily to see how a project is put together and organized, and also to discover other fields of study outside my own.

What was your main motivation for participating in the project?
For once it’s a concrete project! As students we’re not used to seeing something like this materialize, especially something on this scale. And it’s good to meet people from other fields to, like the communication team whom we don’t normally see at all at EPFL. And the fact we can collaborate with students of architecture and environmental science gives us an idea of what to expect in the professional world. Finally, renewable energy and environmental issues are key themes that interest me as well.

Which of your efforts are you most proud of?
At the moment, seeing the house under construction, so that when I help out and see the walls going up it’s really satisfying.

The project in one word? Challenge.
Because it really isn’t an easy task and we regularly come up against new problems.


Studies: Master of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) at the HES-SO, after completing a Bachelor degree at the HEIA-FR.

Participation in the project: Work-group 2 (Engineering)

What does an ICT engineer contribute to the project?
I’m working on the electrical part – home automation and telecommunications. I look after lights, switches and heating. In other words, I take care of everything related to electricity. I’m also competent in making machines communicate with each other to exchange information.

What was your main motivation for participating in the project?
The project was presented to me during my first year of the Bachelor course. What appealed to me was the interdisciplinary approach but especially the practical aspect. We weren’t only doing a project on paper! It’s crazy to think we’re going to move this house thousands of kilometers away from Switzerland!

Which of your efforts are you most proud of?
I had the opportunity to join the electrical systems team as part of my studies, and now we’re going to apply our work to the NeighborHub. Thanks to the project I was able to continue my academic studies on electrical installations. It’s pretty incredible to not only complete my Bachelor thesis on an aspect of the project but also to be able to take it further in practice.

How would you use the house if you were to live there?
What I find interesting is the fact that there are varied activities and that we can organize different events which correspond to the residents in the area where the house will be constructed. The educational element also fascinates me. We’re building a neighborhood house in order to sensitize citizens by explaining how the house works. As an engineer, I think it’s our civic duty to share such knowledge.

The project in one word? In two words! Incredible and difficult!
Incredible because we have the chance to work with a multidisciplinary team from beginning to end, which is pretty rare in a professional environment. Difficult because there are a lot of constraints for which we have to find the best compromise. That’s what makes the project worthwhile: working together as a team to find solutions.

Tell us an amusing anecdote that happened during the project
I got ill the day I was invited to eat and sleep at one of the project supervisors’ house. Considering I always have to travel between Fribourg and the EPFL, I try to spend the night in Lausanne when I’m there to avoid too many hours commuting. It was planned I would sleep at the supervisor’s place but I suddenly felt terribly sick at the end of the day. So I arrived at his home and prepared a meal… and was sick and couldn’t swallow anything without putting myself in a … let’s say difficult situation. As a first contact outside of work, it could have been better !


Studies : Master in microtechnique

Participation in the project :
I take care of electrical systems for the engineering part WP2

What does a technology and communication engineer bring to the project?
Electricity is an important element to take into account in the construction of the house. My Bachelor in microtechnique is not directly useful in the project because of the fact that it is a very different world from construction or energy.

What was your main motivation to participate in the project ?
I discovered the project during an event organised by the association Solar and since that day I got very involved. I was very interested in the project because it was something that I had never seen before my studies. I got involved because I was curious to see where the project was going to lead me. Furthermore I am also very interested in the theme of energy saving.

What part of your efforts are you proud of?
During this project I leaned to do electric diagrams and to master Adobe Illustrator. I am very proud to have learned tricks which I was completely incapable to do before.

The project in one word? An adventure.
It is not only a students’ project or a course where you only go once a week to work on it. It takes a lot more time in my life than a simple project. In addition the project is extended over a long period of time of a lot of implications. That is why it is an adventure.



Studies: Master in European Business at the University of Fribourg

Participation in the project: Developing the market potential narrative.

How do you contribute to the project?
I determine who the NeighborHub’s target clients are and analyze in which sort of community our building could be of use. I aim to match the NeighborHub’s features and services with a community’s needs in order to move the urban transformation process forward.

What was your main motivation for participating in the project?
I joined for several reasons, but perhaps the most important one was that it’s an opportunity to contribute to shaping the Switzerland of tomorrow – something which concerns my generation. We’ll have to face some serious challenges and it’s good to work on some possible innovative solutions.

Which of your efforts are you most proud of?
I’m very happy that a few weeks ago we were finally able to define the NeighborHub’s target users and clients. We used a framework developed by researchers at EPFL, which is great as they’re the main impetus behind this project.

The project in one word? Enriching.
Not only does it enrich the participating students’ lives by providing them with a unique learning experience, it’ll also be enriching to our country as we contribute to the discussion about how to tackle some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges.

What characteristic of the NeighborHub do you admire the most?
Its multi-functionality – not only the building’s many possible uses, thanks to the modularity of the design and construction, but also the social aspect – from showing us how to live more sustainably to acting as a change agent in the complex urban planning process.

Do you have an amusing anecdote you want to share?
It’s actually the second time I’ve had to answer these questions because Clarisse, the student who was in charge of doing the interviews, lost her iPod which contained this interview in its original form. Although I feel bad for her, it gave me a great opportunity to answer these questions again and put some more thought into my answers.


Studies: Master in architecture

Participation in the project: Work-group 1 (architecture) and work-group 5 (sponsoring)

What does an architect contribute to the project?
In my opinion, he or she aims to develop a concept that includes all the functions necessary to the project. The architect is responsible for producing tests and drafts – so really the basis of the project – after which the technical part takes over.  The architect’s role is to co-ordinate the work of the other students, at the same time highlighting aesthetic and functional considerations.

What was your main motivation for participating in the project?
I wasn’t confident with interdisciplinarity and wanted to try it out. At first, getting involved was more the opportunity to create something from scratch, to see it changing and developing and to be able to see the finished result. And – especially this – it was something I wanted to do: work with other students from other disciplines.

Which of your efforts are you most proud of?
The best thing was to have the opportunity to take part in the project and to see something become reality – something that in the beginning existed only on paper. Architects produce something visible that remains long after the end of their work. For others it’s not the same since, for instance, engineers’ calculations, even though essential, remain ‘hidden’.

The project in one word?
I’m thinking about “conviviality”, but it’s much more than that. This project means being part of a team, that’s what gives it life.


Studies: Civil engineering at the EPFL

Participation in the project: SOLAR association committee member (infrastructure, logistics and workshops) and head of the Structure team (work-group 1)

What is your contribution to the project?
The Structure team sized the building to make it resistant to the different weather conditions in Switzerland and the US. So for example the whole of the Skin has been designed to resist the strong wind in Denver and the walls of the Core to withstand seismic activity in Fribourg.

What was your motivation for taking part in the project?
I started with an interdisciplinary course at the ENAC (School of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Environmental Science), followed by a summer workshop in 2015. In my studies I’ve always liked interdisciplinary projects and what attracted me the most to this one in particular was the possibility to work on a concrete project that would actually be realized. During the workshop I really appreciated the atmosphere and the team, which is why I decided to continue on the project.

What did you learn on the building site?
As an engineer, I found it interesting to have the opportunity to participate actively in what we normally just see on paper. None of us had any real experience of building sites, but we learnt fast thanks to the efficient supervision of the professional construction team. The result was impressive, considering a lot of the work was carried out by non-professionals. The short deadlines were challenging because of the students’ limited availability but the house was nevertheless built as we had imagined it.

Which part of your work you are the most proud of?
I’m proud of the Structure team and how well we worked together. Thanks to the motivation and good atmosphere, we were able to complete a lot of tasks in a short space of time,

The project in one word? Complementarity
I really think the strength of our team is in having very different skills. We’re from a wide range of academic fields and every student has his or her own strengths. This allowed us to cover all the needs of the project.

Which of the NeighborHub’s functions do you appreciate the most?
Definitely the social. Including a social and community aspect was really the right thing to do and it differentiates our project from the others.

What is the role of the SOLAR association in the project?
It’s an association of students which was created at the beginning of the project. It existed before the Swiss Living Challenge and has always aimed to represent the students and defend their interests.


Studies: I’m finishing my Master degree in architecture at the HES-SO Fribourg. I have a Bachelor degree from the HEPIA in Geneva.

Participation in the project: Work-group 1, architecture: Task leader in architectural design

What does a technology and communications engineer contribute to the project?
Since summer 2016 I’ve been co-ordinator for the architectural design section, so everything to do with formatting the building. It’s a fairly technical role but the training has given me good technical knowledge as well as the chance to cover elements of design.

What was your main motivation for participating in the project?
I participated in a workshop in connection with Solar Decathlon. We had to produce the initial outline of the house and I got really absorbed in the task. It encouraged me to take part in two further workshops this summer which I also enjoyed. I’m really into the project now!

Which of your efforts are you most proud of?
Working as a team made up of members from very different academic fields and finding solutions to suit everyone – because we haven’t really experienced this type of situation in our field before. We all started from zero and had to reach a result: the NeighborHub house. It’s not a typical working situation but I think we’ve managed pretty well.

The project in one word?  Team.
In this job, the client usually makes a request and the architect sends him the plans etc. It’s a very structured process and no-one works together. Here we all work together, plus we’re involved in a competition in which we all have the same importance so the team is really super important.

Which of the NeighborHub’s functions do you appreciate the most?
The folding doors on the façade because they have different functions. They don’t just play the role of opening and closing the building; we also use them for other purposes, for instance to fix some solar panels. Thanks to these doors, we can adapt the angle of the panels to optimize the harnessing of solar energy. And they’re also useful for creating shade.

Do you have an amusing anecdote you want to share?
During the summer workshop we held a team-building week-end at the Schwarzsee (Black Lake) in Fribourg. We went down the valley on giant scooters and it was a lot of fun, even though lots of us fell and hurt ourselves. In the end we were all more or less in the same condition, one colleague gashing his knee and having to be taken to Casualty to be patched up. It was an unforgettable experience!


Studies: Engineering school in Besançon

Participation in the project: I’m doing an 8-month internship for the project (work-group 2)

What is your contribution to the project?
For the engineering part, I work on installing electricity and developing algorithms that control the energy for the whole building. I take part actively on the building site and I also help to assemble large elements such the façades. I had a lot of fun taking pictures of the different steps!

What did you appreciate the most on the building site?
I was very happy to work on the building site as it was a practical activity in which I wasn’t that confident. Putting the dismantled house into containers was an enriching experience because it required even closer teamwork, especially when we moved parts that weighed several hundred kilos.

What was your biggest motivation for taking part in the project?
I already knew the Solar Decathlon competition and had visited the European edition in Versailles in 2014. During the open day at the EPFL in November 2016, I met part of the Swiss team preparing to take part in the 2017 Solar Decathlon in Denver. Since I had several months of internship to complete as part of my studies, I did everything I could to be part of the team. The experience went way over my expectations, as I also have the opportunity to go to Denver as a Solar Decathlete and be part of the competition from beginning to end.

Which part of your work are you the most proud of?
On one hand, it was a pleasure to take part in the construction and actually see all the parts of the building wrapped up in the containers, ready to leave for the competition. On the other, the development of algorithms was also challenging and it was satisfying to see them working to make the heart of the house ‘beat’, directing energy around the building.

The project in one word?
Travel. Because we’re all going to Denver, but also because when I joined the team, I didn’t really know where this experience would lead. It’s team travel for a common goal: architects, engineers and the communication team all working together.

Which characteristic of the NeighborHub do you like the most?
I love the repair workshop for bikes because it allows people to maintain in good condition an object that can be used to get around on. By participating in activities like these, people can exchange knowledge and meet each other without having to worry about the language barrier. In the NeighborHub, there are also some cargo bikes – an ecological alternative allowing the transportation of children or materials. (You probably got that I love cycling!)

Do you have an amusing anecdote to tell?
For the open day and inauguration of the house, I had to pick up 20kg of fennel to prepare some smoothies. So on the Wednesday morning I took my bike and trailer and went to the market. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the stall I had to look for… So I had to go round the whole place and ask each stall-holder if they had an order for 20kg of fennel! I was lucky as I found the right one pretty quickly. But when I said it was for making smoothies the guy wished me luck drinking them! In the end, even if the smoothies were quite unusual, the visitors liked them.

What will you remember from this experience?
It’s raised my awareness of the environment and I feel like continuing in this direction. In fact I’m currently looking for an internship in the Arctic because I’m very interested in studying the impact of humanity in this region, especially as in the few next years industrial exploitation will intensify. I’d like to be able to act and limit the impact on the environment. So if you have any contacts, let me know!


Studies: Master in environmental engineering at the EPFL.

Participation in the project: Task manager in environment & sustainability (engineering work-group)

How do you contribute to the project?
I take care of the plants. Unlike in architecture and engineering, my job doesn’t concern the building directly. But the whole concept of biodiversity that we’re trying to promote is one of the seven driving theme of the project. The purpose of the NeighborHub is to promote exchange between generations. The urban agriculture and do-it-yourself are kind of activities that gather people of differents culture to share about their knowledge.

What is the main challenge of your work?
The importing of plants is forbidden by American law so we can’t prepare this part of the project in Switzerland and therefore have a lot of contact with the US. This makes things more difficult as we have to consider the 8-hour time difference, but every time I talk to someone there who’s motivated by our project, it motivates me even more.

What was your main motivation for participating in the project?
I’ve been always attracted by this kind of project. I think we’re a very motivated team and have evolved a lot these 2 last years. I liked the social aspect of the house for a whole neighborhood.This project is incredible and reflects my own personal philosophy of life.

How would you use the NeighborHub?
By getting involved in anything connected with DIY. I’d like to attend a workshop about agriculture to learn how to grow things at home. I’d also love to attend a repair workshop. It would also be interesting to attend or organize conferences.

The project in one word? Diversity. For the reasons I gave before: diversity in the functions of the NeighborHub, diversity of the people involved and, obviously, biodiversity. Diversity means richness!

Do you have an amusing anecdote you want to share?
During the workshop 2 years ago, we made a video to promote our version of the “Better Power Tower” building. We’d performed a short rap, and part of the lyrics went like this: “Can you hear the noise? It’s coming from the town, it’s the heart.” I don’t remember why but I thought it was funny!


Studies : Master of civil engineering

Participation in the project :
Master in civil engineering at EPFL

What does a civil engineering bring to the project?
Student manager WP2. I am responsible for the energy management of the building (with the passive concepts like natural ventilation), the production of hot water (especially plumbing and sanitary facilities) and the environment.

What was your biggest motivation to take part to the project?
Obviously, sustainability interests me a lot, especially applied to the housing and urbanism. Furthermore, it all started with an association of very motivated students, whom objective was to go to the US and take part to an international competition, to face other teams and make a concrete project unlike to what we normally do at university, which is very theoretical.

Which of your efforts are you most proud of?
The dry toilet, the aquapony and the thermal solar panels. They have been initial concepts of the project and remember me of the initial motivations that took me to the decision to involve myself in the project.

Which characteristic of the NeighborHub do you like the most?
The concept DO-IT-YOURSELF and the experimental learning. The dry toilet, the aquapony and the homemade thermal solar panels are the proof of it.

What did this project bring you for your personal and professional life?
It was a very useful experience to understand the proceedings of a building site. I could better understand of everything that was around the construction: the organization, the supply of material, the orders, … I realized the huge gap between what we have learned in theory at university and the practice of the professional world: there are deadlines to deal with, orders to do, further price and time constraints … that keep you away from the utopia. This makes things more challenging.


Studies : Civil engineer at the EPFL

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

What’s your contribution to the project?
I joined the project when it was still in the phase of form elaboration and I took part to architectural design critic. After that, I got involved always more in the association to organize workshops, logistics, Team Building activities, etc. I finally became president. During the summer workshop 2016, I focused on the market potential and costs estimation of the house. As I was interested in the construction, I attended a course for putting up of the skylights as well as a training to drive mobile elevating work platforms in order to put on the façade.

Which result are you the proudest of?
Especially the construction, but also the possibility to reflect on the future of the house after the competition and so defend the concept.

Which part of your work do you appreciate the most?
I’m interested in the overview over the project. It’s important to be able to manage the coordination on the building site, but also for the market potential. It’s necessary to know the project in general to be able to sell it!
On the building site, I appreciated the exchange with the professionals that brought us a lot of knowledge. It was interesting to see the realization of the plans that were only on paper on the building site.

What was your biggest motivation to take part to the project?
In the beginning, I didn’t want to involve as I thought I wasn’t competent enough. But then I realized I was very motivated to take part to a concrete project realized by a group of interdisciplinary students with professional of different fields.

The project in one word? Sharing.
We learn a lot from each other, we are not used to be confronted with people of communication or management for example.

Which characteristic of the NeighburHub do you like the most?
It finds interesting the concept of sharing which I think it should be developed more in the society, the idea of using the same objects (exchange shelves), of sharing services (car sharing). The NeighborHub is a multifunctional space that can be easily transformed for different activities, always connected to the 7 driving themes!

What did this project bring you for your personal and professional life?
As far as I concern, it doesn’t stop after the USA. I’ll analyze what I learned in this unique experience in a critical way in order to draw out some lessons for the future. I’m curious to see how the project will evolve. It made grow the desire in me to work in a team and not alone, to be general rather than specialist.


Studies : Architecture EPFL

Participation in the project :
3D modelisation of the building to cut out and assembly all the panels.

What’s your contribution to the project?
The building works as a puzzle, so, to build it, it is necessary to model in 3D all the pieces. I had to work on that and send the wooden panels to cutting out with a CNC machine. In particular, I supervised the beginning of the building site during the assembly of the wooden panels to create the modules that form the whole building.

Which result are you the proudest of?
The NeighborHub, the opportunity to participate to the construction and to see it transforming from a 3D model to a real building.

Which part of your work do you appreciate the most?
The opportunity to work together with people from other fields.

What was your biggest motivation to take part to the project?
I got to know with the project thanks to a workshop at university in which we worked on the assembly wood to wood. Some proposition of assembly has been integrated in the NeighborHub.

The project in one word? Community.
I wrote my final paper at university on the community accommodations and it is a concept that interests me a lot.

Which characteristic of the NeighburHub do you like the most?
The fact to bring people together and propose ways and gestures that people can integrate at home in everyday life. There is plenty of little details that allow us to have more attention on our habits, like for instance the sensor between the pipe and the knob of the shower with an illustration of a bear ice floe that melt according to the quantity of water we use. It’s a simple way to raise awareness about our consumption.

What did this project bring you for your personal and professional life?
I learn to cooperate with people that don’t have the same background like me. I had to adapt, and it’s not always easy to know how to organize, but still very enriching. And what is really cool, it’s that we became a real team!


It’s the most cosmopolitan technical university in Europe, boasting over 120 different nationalities and placed at the top of the rankings.

Founded in 1896, at the cutting-edge of technology, and focused on the professional world, the school has a strong link with enterprises.

Know-how and know-why are the pillars of this art school which refuses dogmas in order to foster creative and critical understanding of the world.

Founded in 1889, it’s the only bilingual university in Switzerland, a high-level center of education and scientific research whose principle is to always put people first.


Description of the several working groups :

Leader : Hani Buri and Fred Hatt

Student Manager : Axelle Marchon


The architectural project of the Solar Decathlon prototype fits on the urban periphery development. The pavilion will be a kind of activator and promote the concept of eco-periphery. We will explore the interdependent networks (public spaces, mobility, nature…), symbiotic functioning (residential, production, social…), and formalize the concept of ATICS – activator, transformer, interface, connector, social – which will initiate and facilitate the transformation process of the periphery in a sustainable habitat with a higher densification while keeping high quality of life. With new sharing spaces and services, he will participate at the development of local and collective activities.

This modular pavilion will his own architectural expression and be constructed by innovative elements. The competition prototype will be an example of passive house and renewable energy integration. The user will be instructed about alternative to reduce energy consumption, having a more ecological and responsible way of life. The pavilion follows the sustainability principles: environment, social and economy.

This workpackage contain 8 Tasks (TS).


Urban Context: focusing on the eco-periphery concept, we will explore the interdependent networks (public spaces, mobility, nature…), symbiotic functioning (residential, production, social…), and formalize the concept of ATICS – activator, transformer, interface connector – which will initiate and facilitate the transformation process of the periphery in a sustainable habitat with a higher densification while keeping high quality of life.


Prototype Design: create and detail the final architectural form of the solar prototype.


Construction Systems : design the prototype structure with high tech and high precision wood panel framing systems. Cost and time efficient construction as well as minimal embodied energy will be considered.


Interior Design: design the interior and furniture of the prototype in conjunction with the architectural design.


Landscape Design: create the exterior landscape of the prototype competition site.


Integration of renewable energy technology such as solar panels within the architectural design with an aesthetic envelope 100% productive.


Work on the natural, artificial light and acoustic concept to ensure comfort depending of the activities.


Market potential & social appeal : define the place of the project on the market and what the target group.

Leader : Philippe Couty 

Student Manager : Victor Saadé et Camilla Wiseman 


The innovation will take an important place inside the project. Engineers will collaborate with the architects (WP1) to integrate in the best way architecture, engineering and construction. This interdisciplinary will participate to attain the comfort goals (temperature, light, air quality) and the energetic efficient aim. The engineering on the building integrate high technologies to produce warm and cool, to storage electricity or thermal mass, to regulate and control the systems, to integrate renewable energy and promote the low consummation appliances. The prototype will be an example for the energy management based on a self-consummation linked to a smart-grid environment. Indeed the pavilion will be connected at the urban context and integrate solution for the electrical mobility. To be innovative, many competences should be gathering like electricity, mechanic, informatics, telecommunication or simulation. Environmental sustainability will be considered with LCAs analysis.

This workpackage contain 10 Tasks (TS).


Comfort & Controls Systems: design the controls systems which control lighting, shading, temperature, and air quality and design the lighting and daylighting systems.


Solar Thermal, Plumbing, Mechanical / CVC Systems: model, design and test the solar thermal collection, storage and distribution systems including CVC systems.


Electrical Systems: model, design and test the PV collection, storage and electrical distribution systems.



Environmental Sustainability: carry out LCAs for the Swiss project. Design a local food system with minimal packaging and reduced transport. Reduce material waste by the design of a sharing and repairing system for common consumer goods and tools.


Neighborhood Scale Energy Systems: design both an electrical micro-grid and a low temperature thermal network.


Mobility Systems: design and optimize systems of soft and « cozy » mobility for the Swiss project.


Building Energy Modeling: simulate building performance and optimize building performance based on the modeling results.


Appliances & Home Entertainment: specify the best performing appliances / home entertainment equipment and model their consumption.


Dimension the structure of the pavilion.

Leader : Jérôme Baratelli 

Student Manager : Flavia Viscardi 


Besides architecture and engineering, the project communication is a significant part of the competition. Students, professors, local institutions or companies, the public (web, media) and the future user of the prototype will be the target group. The visual communication of the project, the exterior and interior architecture will have a common appearance. The pavilion has himself a strong message to transmit and should have is personal identity inside the urban context. The workpackage 3 focus on the content: a communication toolbox will be develop to be use on the other workpackage like the WP4 – Branding communication and WP5 – Partnership development. Finally, the WP3 should produce the layout for the « project communication » on the competition.

This workpackage contain 5 Tasks (TS).


Tell the story of the pavilion with the good words.


Visual Communication: develop the visual identity of the project.


Architecturale Representation: illustrate the architectural concept.


Communication pavilion : develop a way how to explain the pavilion concept during the competition.


Social media : develop and maintain the social networks.

Leader : Alexandra Walther 

Student Manager : Jessica Ruffieux 


Diffuse the message of the project is a competition’s goal: solar habitat, efficient and accessible technologies, and sustainable way of life. The branding communication is axed on the external communication: sponsors and partnership, local, Swiss and international people. The communication strategy use several media like website, social networks or newspaper publication and conferences. One tasks is to extract the useful content of each workpackage and diffuse it. This workpackage should select the content depending on the target group or the media. The WP4 is linked to the WP3 and together they will product pictures, video, posters or other visual support.

This workpackage contain 4 Tasks (TS)


Content: develop communications content, photos, videos, texts.


Public events : organise and manage the public events.


Media relations : manage the media relation and save the publication (movies, papers, …)


Web Presence: develop and maintain the project webpage.

Leader : Anne-Claude Cosandey 

Student Manager : Baptiste Gex 


The Solar Decathlon is a real project, which need academic institutions but although private and public partners. The « Partnership development » team should search partners and acquired partners nurturing. In collaboration with the WP4 Branding Communication, this workpackage will present the project on an attractive way. The project and sponsor visibility will be guaranteed through the communication during the 18month of competition. This workpackage linked to the WP4 will plan and organise official events in collaboration with project’s partners.

This workpackage contain 3 Task (TS).




Event Planning: organize and host the various project events.

Leader : Barbara Tirone

Student Manager : Matias Cesari et Vincent Devillers


The prototype construction will be managed by this workpackage: logistic and shipping, material and equipment procurement and storage. This team will be in charge of the health and safety aspect during the construction in Switzerland and during the competition in Denver. For the construction in Switzerland, they should maintain the relations between the project team and the facilities of the Blue Hall, space where the pavilion will be constructed. They will generate and manage the detailed cost estimate for the prototype and work on the construction efficiency.

This workpackage contain 7 Tasks (TS)


Prototype Construction: make it real! (build the prototype).


Health & Safety Management: develop and implement the safety plan for building the prototype in Fribourg and in the United States.


Material Procurement & Storage: purchase and track all of the construction materials and equipment.


Logistics and Shipping: develop the « door to door » plan for shipping the prototype to the United States and back again.




Facility & Equipment Management: maintain the relations between the project team and the facilities of the Blue Hall.

Leader : Eric Domon 

Student Manager : Samuel Cotture 


The project management is linked with all the other workpackages: task plan, resources management, in charge of the deliverable. They should take in care the needs and prospected on new resources: support the work of integrating classes and student projects into the Swiss Living Challenge project. This workpackage will propose IT tools for the construction plan and develop the database containing all project files.

This workpackage contain 6 Tasks (TS)


Scheduling / Task Tracking: develop and maintain the global project schedule and task progress.


Database  Management: develop and maintain the database containing all project files.


Curriculum Integration Tracking: create and support the work of integrating classes and student projects into the main Swiss project.


Team Coordination & Information Exchange: keep all project participants informed and updated regarding the work of other tasks.


Management of the Workpackage’s budget.



Marilyne Andersen

EPFL ENAC – Project Lead & Faculty Advisor

Jean-Nicolas Aebischer

HEIA-FR – Lead 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-FR – Solar Decathlon Coordinator 

Hani Buri

HEIA-FR – Architecture

Fred Hatt

EPFL – Architecture

Jérôme Baratelli

HEAD – Project communication and HEAD Representative

Alexandra Walther

smart living lab – Branding and Communication

Barbara Tirone

EPFL ENAC – Prototype realization

Kirstin Stadelmann

UniFR Representative

Axelle Marchon

EPFL – Architecture Student Manager

Victor Saadé

EPFL – Engineering Student Manager

Cléo Wiseman

EPFL – Engineering Student Manager

Flavia Viscardi

HEAD – Project Communication Student Manager

Jessica Ruffieux

EPFL – Branding Communication Student Manager

Baptiste Gex

EPFL – Partnership Development Student Manager

Vincent Devillers

EPFL – Pavillon Realization Student Manager

Matias Cesari

HEIA-FR – Pavillon Realization Student Manager

Samuel Cotture

EPFL – Lead Student Manager

Students association SOLAR