FRIBOURG NETWORK FREIBURG
SWISS LIVING CHALLENGE
WINNER OF THE 2017 SOLAR DECATHLON IN DENVER COLORADO
The mission of NeighborHub is to provide a space where people can meet and interact. Residents can can get advice and take part in interactive events and talks on a variety of subjects like energy, waste management and biodiversity.
The U.S. Energy Department Solar Decathlon brings together thousands of students, in pursuit of the same goal: to design and build a perfectly functional, full-sized, energy-efficient, solar-powered home. The Swiss team that took part in the 2017 competition, held in Denver (Colorado), swept all before them. In the eight contests out of a possible 10 that they entered, they took first place in six before being crowned the undisputed winner. You could say, they nailed it!
The prize-winning NeighborHub was the brainchild of a group of over 250 students from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Fribourg School of Engineering and Architecture (HEIA-FR), the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD) and the University of Fribourg, and was two years in development. The judging panel was won over by their bold and innovative idea for a modular community centre. As a delighted Anne-Claude Cosandey, Operational Director of the EPFL Fribourg and member of the Swiss Living Challenge executive committee explains: “The win is a fitting reward for a multidisciplinary team that included four higher education institutions, 250 students, 43 of whom travelled to Denver, 150 supervisors from academia and industry, as well some 50 institutional and private partners.”
In autumn 2018, the NeighborHub will open at Fribourg’s blueFACTORY innovation quarter and, in keeping with the students’ original mission, will become a fully working community centre. “The structure will be used for research and demonstration purposes by the Smart Living Lab, our ambitious centre of expertise on the homes of tomorrow”, adds Cosandey.