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Involvement of LIPID in the Swiss Living Challenge project

© 2017 EPFL

© 2017 EPFL

LIPID’s involvement in interdisciplinary teaching was put to contribution for the development of the Swiss Team’s NeighborHub, winner of the 2017 Solar Decathlon competition. Marilyne Andersen, faculty advisor of the project, and her team, rejoice at this radiant demonstration of the power of collaboration and interdisciplinarity. 

The ambitious Swiss Living Challenge project, initiated Prof. Marilyne Andersen in 2013 at the start of her deanship, was made possible through a collaboration between four universities (EPFL, HEIA-FR, UNIFR, HEAD). Winning with its NeighborHub the first prize overall at the US-DOE Solar Decathlon 2017 (held in October in Denver), as well as six first places in individual contests, this project represents a great example of what can be achieved by bringing students to work and learn together in an interdisciplinary environment.

In parallel to the design and implementation stage of the project, 18 master students used the pavilion as a ‘living’ case study to work on its architectural design and evaluate its thermal and energy performance during the course UE K - Architecture and Sustainability: performance studies. Guided by Dr. Emilie Nault (LIPID) and the doctoral assistant Sergi Aguacil (LAST), students were able to make sound analyses and proposals that helped the competition team in finalizing the project. Among other things, the students were able to propose flexible solutions to allow the adaptation of the NeighborHub to the climatic conditions and strict requirements of the competition in Denver but also to those of Fribourg in Switzerland, the final destination of the pavilion.

Not only was the Swiss Team’s pavilion a success overall, but also in the specific architecture and engineering categories, where it also won with perfect scores, showcasing ENAC's commitment to train students to face the new challenges of a professional world that increasingly requires interdisciplinary profiles that overcome traditional knowledge and language barriers.

Amongst the numerous articles and broadcasts from the Swiss press, Marilyne Andersen made several interventions in the following media:

- RTS Téléjournal
- RTS Couleurs Locales
- EPFL news and vidéo
- RTS radio