ENAC Sustainability challenges

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Demographic change, natural resource scarcity and climate change are posing major challenges for the future of our planet.

In Switzerland and elsewhere, issues such as infrastructure upkeep and renewal, rapid urbanization, energy-intensive lifestyles and the threat of ecosystem collapse need to be addressed holistically, factoring in societal and technological considerations.

With combined expertise in architecture, civil engineering and environmental engineering, ENAC has a unique capability – and indeed a responsibility – to put forward a vision for the future, and to develop innovative, inclusive solutions to make it happen.

Sustainability: Three areas of focus

ENAC aims to play a leading role in the societal and ecological transition by developing science-based responses in the following three strategic focus areas:

1. Climate change:

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

To meet this challenge, ENAC collaborates with the Energy Center (CEN) and co-founded the Climact Center.

2. Digitalization of infrastructures and cities:

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

To meet this challenge, ENAC has set up the Cluster “Digitalization of infrastructures and cities” and collaborates with the Center for Intelligent Systems (CIS)  and the Transportation Center (TRACE)

3. Sustainable territories:

Adopt people-centric urban planning methods, and rethink the relationships between mobility and proximity, energy production and efficiency, and urban ecology and community, as a way to shape sustainable, coherent cities.

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

An interdisciplinary approach

ENAC’s ambitious program – spanning teaching, research, innovation and technology transfer – is designed to address the needs of policymakers, businesses and wider society by training the next generation of architects and engineers.

Addressing these complex challenges requires an interdisciplinary approach and a broad skill base. On the research side, our school’s initiatives include:

  • Defining two thematic clusters
  • Developing projects within the different specialized research centers
  • Establishing the FUSTIC association (Future Sustainable Territories, Infrastructure and Cities) together with partners from the public and private sector and creating a national thematic network.

On the teaching side, we seek to equip students with broad-based knowledge and to nurture dialogue across different disciplines through:

  • Interdisciplinary teaching, such as ENAC’s Design Together Program
  • Interdisciplinary minors
  • Hand-on courses and Academic Makerspaces such as the Student Kreativity and Innovation Laboratory (SKIL).

Interdisciplinarity on the research side

Clusters ENAC

ENAC Clusters bring together cutting-edge research excellence from across disciplines, focusing on the issues of digitalization and urban planning in their broadest sense.


Our researchers are actively involved in several research centers. This multidisciplinary approach creates a fertile ground for innovation.

tronc d'arbre FUSTIC

Our FUSTIC network connects ENAC researchers with colleagues from other research institutions as well as with partners from the public and private sector.

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.