In Switzerland, researchers and architects have teamed up on a project dubbed NEST (Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies) to develop innovative building technologies, including ultra-lightweight and thin components. Their flagship project is HiLo, a prototype residence and office building that will be constructed with an ultra-slim roof shell. One interesting aspect of the building is a unique floor system that employs funicular vaulting and structural ribs for a strong – and beautiful - form. The result is a 70 percent reduction in materials compared to a traditional concrete slab floor.
The project also includes improvements to prefabrication and other time- and resource-saving production methods.