Powerful Architecture

Integrating solar technology into buildings, the Swiss way. Part of the American Solar Energy Society’s Solar 2017 conference.

Event Details


Tivoli 640 – Zenith Room
University of Colorado Denver Auraria Campus, 1190 9th St, Denver, CO, Colorado 80204 United States


October 12, 2017 from 4:15 pm to 5:45 pm America/Swift Current (UTC-06:00)


This event is part of the Solar 2017 conference

The future growth of renewables lies at the intersection of solar energy and design. Experts from Switzerland present technologies that enable seamless integration of clean energy in buildings, and Swiss Solar Decathletes preview their demonstration building that incorporates solar facades.

The Solar Energy 2017 conference runs concurrently with the US Department of Energy’s “Solar Decathlon,” an academic competition of 10 contests that challenges student teams to design and build full-size, energy-efficient and solar-powered houses.

Followed by an “Emerging Professionals Reception” to meet the Solar Decathletes, sponsored by Presence Switzerland.


5:15 pm – welcome address from Olivier Curty
5:25 pmSolar Façades: The NeighborHub Powerhouse, with Marilyne Andersen and Swiss Solar Decathletes
5:45 pm – Maria Cristina Munari-Probst, “At the interface between architectural quality and solar efficiency.”
6:00 pm – Asef Azam, HGlass, “Transparency and color at the service of solar power.”
6:15 pm – panel discussion moderated by John Bernhardt, followed by q&a
6:45 pm – close
7:00 – 9:00 pm – Emerging Professionals Reception at St. Cajetans



Marilyne Andersen

Marilyne Andersen is Full Professor of Sustainable Construction Technologies and Dean of the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) at EPFL. Before joining EPFL as a faculty member in 2010, she was Assistant then Associate Professor tenure-track at MIT, where she founded the MIT Daylighting Lab in 2004. She holds a MSc in Physics and a PhD in Building Physics from EPFL, and has been a Visiting Scholar at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She heads the Laboratory of Integrated Performance in Design (LIPID) whose research activities focus on building performance and decision support in the architectural context, especially as it pertains to human comfort, perception and health and on the use and optimization of daylight in buildings.

Asef Azam

Asef AzamDipl. Ing. EPFL, Asef Azam has more than 20 years experience of dye-sensitized solar cells on laboratory and industrial level with EPFL labs, Dyesol and Leclanché. He is co-founder and CEO of H.Glass (incorporated in 2011)  in Switzerland, a manufacturing company of aesthetic semi-transparent DSSS modules.

John Bernhardt

Asef AzamJohn Bernhardt is Executive Director of Denver 2030 District, a nonprofit working to create a high-performance building district in downtown Denver. He has spent more than a decade working on energy and environmental policy. He has consulted with numerous electric utilities across the country, and his writings on the electricity sector have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including Forbes, National Geographic, and the Los Angeles Times. He received a BA from the University of Virginia and continued coursework at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Maria Cristina Munari Probst

After studying architecture in Venice IUAV (I) and Bath (UK), Maria Cristina Munari Probst worked as practicing architect, realizing one of the first solar passive houses in Switzerland in 1999. She joined the Solar Energy Laboratory at EPFL in 2003 for a PhD on architectural integration and design of active solar systems , published by Routledge in 2011. Presently she holds two courses at EPFL and IUAV on the topic, and is/has been responsible for several international and Swiss research tasks and projects in the field. Last November she was rewarded with the Innovator of the Year prize in Sweden.

Swiss Solar Decathletes

The Swiss Solar Decathlon team is made up of students from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR), the Geneva University of Art and Design(HEAD) and the University of Fribourg (UNIFR). Working together within the smart living lab – where the prototype is being built – the EPFL, the HEIA-FR and the UNIFR join efforts to design an energy-efficient pavilion to demonstrate Switzerland’s capability to handle issues related to a sustainable lifestyle.