The Building2050 group, supervised by Marilyne Andersen and coordinated by Thomas Jusselme, was founded in 2014, following the creation of the EPFL Fribourg satellite campus and of the smart living lab. Its activities support the development of the smart living building, which will house a hundred smart living lab researchers as of 2021, as a research object and outcome.

The group concentrates its work notably on the buildings’ energy/carbon performance in order to develop design strategies able to meet the expected 2050 requirement levels.

Four Pillar Approach

The Building 2050 team uses a holistic approach that considers the entire lifecycle of buildings, equipment and services, and studies the building as a system and inside a system (expanded scope).

It embraces the smart living lab’s definition of a smart use of technology, that privileges “low tech” solutions for the building, rather than resource-consuming machinery. However, the group aims to integrate comfort and performance issues at an early stage of the process by developing data driven design methods and implementing digital interaction techniques between humans and machines.

This approach lies on four main pillars:

Human centered

The user’s needs and comfort are central, and the main target is the building’s usability, instead of its performance per square meter.

Environmental performance

Finding the right balance between technology performance and the building embedded carbon and energy.


The building’s capacity to adapt to new conditions will increase its usability and performance.

Architectural quality

Meant as a design process embedding environmental performance, users’ needs and comfort, and flexibility.