Go to main site


Solar Decathlon: NeighborHub is on its way up

© 2017 EPFL

© 2017 EPFL

NeighborHub, the eco-friendly house that local students will enter into this fall's Solar Decathlon, is now being built in the Blue Hall of the smart living lab in Fribourg. The structure is going up and the engineering plans have been completed.

The students taking part in the Swiss Living Challenge – the Swiss entry into the Solar Decathlon – have begun building the house they plan to enter the international competition, which is run by the US Department of Energy. The house, dubbed NeighborHub, is taking shape in the experimental hall of the smart living lab at the blueFACTORY site in Fribourg.

The students held a winter workshop in the first half of February, during their semester break, to work on it intensively. Guided by industry professionals, the team put in long hours on the building’s structure. Alongside their physical efforts, the students prepared the sixth document that they had to submit to the Department of Energy. They also created a 3D model that illustrates, layer by layer, how the house is being built.


The structure is on its way up. All the wooden parts of NeighborHub’s heated central space are ready to be assembled. The students will apply the finishes – environmentally-friendly paints and oils only – to the wooden modules as they are completed.


The engineering side of the project is also moving forward. The thermal, mechanical, electrical and plumbing blueprints have been finalized and are ready to be used. In addition, orders have been placed for most of the technical components (electricity, ventilation, etc.), and some of this equipment has already arrived.