Innovative glazing for NEST units

Two new units are currently being built at NEST, to which Saint-Gobain Switzerla

Two new units are currently being built at NEST, to which Saint-Gobain Switzerland is contributing valuable expertise and innovative materials. Source: Empa

The NEST partner network is growing rapidly. Its latest member: Saint-Gobain Switzerland. The company will initially equip two units, Sprint and HiLo, with glazing that covers a broad spectrum - from high-tech to re-use. Later on, the NEST team will launch more projects with various Saint-Gobain subsidiaries from the building materials sector to further advance sustainability in the construction sector.

Saint-Gobain Switzerland is the latest NEST partner. The company develops, produces and distributes materials and products for the construction sector. In addition to quality and comfort, the focus always lies on sustainability and the efficient use of resources. "As part of our mission ’Making the world a better home’, we are committed to sustainable construction. The partnership with NEST helps us to further advance this mission by giving us the opportunity to evaluate and further develop new solutions and concepts in a real-world environment," explains Patrick Maier, CEO of Saint-Gobain Switzerland.

The NEST team is also looking forward to the collaboration. "With Saint-Gobain, we have gained a partner offering a broad product portfolio and valuable knowhow that will be applied in various projects at NEST. Together, we can thus further advance sustainability in the construction sector," says Reto Largo, Managing Director of NEST. At the beginning of the partnership, Saint-Gobain is mainly involved in two NEST units, HiLo and Sprint.

Saint-Gobain and its subsidiary SageGlass are involved in the construction of the NEST unit HiLo. It is developing innovative solutions in lightweight construction and building envelopes. As an expert in intelligent solar protection glazing, SageGlass is advising the project team on the design of the building envelope. Moreover, the company’s innovative glazing is used for the fašade. The glass can be electronically tinted in order to function as shading system. Unlike conventional systems, this product offers a maximum freedom of design. Due to the HiLo fašade’s unique shape, this was a key aspect for the integration of SageGlass.

In the new NEST unit Sprint , Empa, together with partners from industry, is aiming to create flexible office space in the shortest possible time - using mostly re-used materials. The Saint-Gobain subsidiary Glassolutions is supporting the construction of the unit with a future-oriented solution: the reprocessing of used windows. For a circular economy, it would represent a major step if the cutting and cleaning of used glass was fully automated in future and thus became a normal and economical part of the re-use process. In the Sprint project, Glassolutions has the opportunity to apply and further develop this process in a real building.

However, the collaboration is not limited to these projects. Based on the comprehensive portfolio of Saint-Gobain and its subsidiaries, additional projects in various areas will be launched during the course of the partnership in order to jointly drive forward innovations in the entire construction sector. For example, moisture-regulating plaster systems from Saint-Gobain Weber, which also absorb formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air, are being used to increase living comfort and health. Room acoustics is also becoming ever more important. Therefore, acoustic ceilings developed by Isover and Saint-Gobain Weber will be tested in NEST in the future. In addition, the use of Alba Balance solid plasterboards from Rigips can reduce temperature peaks in summer, which both enhances comfort in the lightweight modules of the NEST and helps to save energy.

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