ENAC Sustainability challenges

Globe dans une main


Demographic evolution, natural resource scarcity and climate change are major challenges to the future of our planet.
In Switzerland and beyond, issues such as infrastructure upkeep and renewal, rapid urbanization, energy-intensive lifestyles, and the threat of ecosystem collapse ask for holistic considerations.
With joint expertise in architecture, civil engineering and environmental sciences and engineering, ENAC has a unique capability and a responsibility presenting visions and developing solutions for the future.

Focus on 3 sustainable subjects

1. Climate change:

Develop the knowledge, technology and tools we need to anticipate, mitigate and adapt to climate change.

To meet this challenge, ENAC has set up the new Alpine and Polar Environmental Research Center (ALPOLE) and co-founded the CLIMACT Center. ENAC also collaborates with the Energy Center (CEN).

2. Digitalization of infrastructures and cities:

Harness digital technology to develop sustainable design, construction and monitoring methods for energy grids and transportation systems in the built and natural environment.

To meet this challenge, ENAC has set up the Digitalization of Infrastructures and Cities Cluster and collaborates with the Center for Intelligent Systems (CIS), the Smart Living Lab, the EPFL Center for Imaging and the Transportation Center (TRACE)

3. Sustainable territories:

Adopt a people-centric systems-of-systems approach, rethink the relationships between rural and urban ecosystems and between mobility and proximity, and use the food-water-energy nexus as a way to shape sustainable cities and territories.

To meet this challenge, ENAC has set up the Sustainable Territories Cluster and collaborates with the Habitat Research Center (HRC) and the Smart Living Lab.

An inter- and transdisciplinary approach

ENAC’s ambitious scientific program is designed to address the needs of policy, economy, and society in terms of research, technological innovation, and knowledge transfer by training the next generation of architects and engineers.

ENAC’s research initiatives include:

  • Defining two clusters related to digitalization and urbanization.
  • Developing projects within specialized research centers.
  • Launching FUSTIC (Future Sustainable Territories, Infrastructure and Cities) to take advantage of swarm intelligence and to create a national network.
  • Launching Sustainability Grants

ENAC’s teaching seeks to adopt a global knowledge approach and nurture the dialogue across disciplines by:

  • Interdisciplinary programs (such as the Design Together Program).
  • Interdisciplinary minors.
  • Fablabs (such as SKIL – Student Kreativity and Innovation Laboratory).

Interdisciplinarity in research

Clusters ENAC

ENAC clusters in the fields of digitalization and urbanization bring together cutting-edge research excellence from across the three disciplines.


ENAC researchers stand out by their involvement in several research centers and their multidisciplinary approach as a fertile ground for innovation.

tronc d'arbre FUSTIC

FUSTIC is a network of ENAC researchers and other research organizations as well as private and public partners.

Interdisciplinarity on the teaching side

Throughout their degree programs, our students team up with peers from other disciplines to carry out hands-on design projects, including as part of the “Design Together” program.

The ENAC Faculty hosts several interdisciplinary minors.

The Student Kreativity and Innovation Lab (SKIL) supports projects by student groups or individual students who wish to develop their own ideas and need a practical learning space to do so. SKIL provides the environment and equipment that students need to complete hands-on projects.

Interdisciplinary tools

Visualize affinities between ENAC research labs.

Interdisciplinary research is one of our school’s core values. This tool lets you visualize potential and effective affinities among our research, groups, laboratories and individual researchers within the labs.