Solar power laboratory – EPFL, Lausanne, CH

IRB – Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Via Vela 6, Bellinzona
March 29, 2002
Villa Louise, Prangins – CH
March 2, 2002
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Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne-EPFL, CH



LESO Website
sustainable development Leso (FR)

The LESO – EPFL laboratory was designed with a façade made up of 9 interchangeable modules. The objective was to be able to test energetic performances of different types of façades. The laboratory is completely exploited and managed thanks to numerous electronic devices, guaranteeing perfect modelling and the development of the analysed systems. At the end of this first phase of research, we developed a new concept linked to the first but grafting the study of natural light to it.

The prevailing principles are:
1. Those that are linked to sustainable development, hence the use of wood to guarantee a weak environmental impact and a reduction in the use of non-renewable energies throughout the production and recycling phases.
2. Those that increase and homogenize natural light supplies. These were realized using original specially developed parabolic shaped non-imaging optics. This system allows considerable reductions in terms of electric consumption for artificial lighting at workstations.

The façade is made up of a triple stratification providing the fire-back, windows and integrated non-imaging optics elements. The variations in these three dimensions with their shadows reinforce the visual impact, make the theme clear and thanks to its overhangs guarantee protection against bad weather for the exterior untreated wood. This is a reference in Swiss vernacular architecture in wood.