Delete search term


Quick navigation

Main navigation

KREIS-Haus - Experience circular systems: from the lab to the field

What does a circular economy look like in everyday life? And most importantly, how does it feel? In the KREIS-Haus, visitors experience how a circular economy works in the context of construction and living. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to participate in a research project.

The KREIS-Haus

KREIS-Haus stands for Klima und Ressourcen-Effizientes Suffizienz Haus (English: climate and resource efficient sufficiency house). The project shows how a functioning circular economy can be implemented in the smallest of spaces. From the building materials to the nutrients in the wastewater – everything is in circulation.

The KREIS-Haus is a joint project of the research group Eco-technology at ZHAW and the Synergy Village association, which is the location of the KREIS-Haus. The research group leads the research and educational projects in the house. The Synergy Village association is the implementation partner and owner of the house. The association is responsible for the operation of the KREIS-Haus, supports the research work and welcomes visitors to the idyllic grounds.

Why do we need a KREIS-Haus?

In times of climate change and scarce natural resources, the building sector plays a very import role. 40% of worldwide resource and energy consumption can be attributed to the building sector. Therefore, there is great potential to implement measures to increase the efficiency of energy and resource consumption in buildings. This is where the KREIS-Haus project comes into play.

The scientific community is constantly developing new circular technologies, materials, and concepts for use in buildings. However, it takes a long time for this fundamental research to be applied broadly in practice. A reason for this is that there is often too great of a risk in using unproven innovations in practice. The KREIS-Haus fills this gap between research and industry, by providing a space to try out these new technologies and materials and presenting them to the public as an inhabited model house.

New innovations will be continually tested and improved through the interactions with visitors. By doing so, a climate and environmentally friendly lifestyle can be developed. Our goal is to enable for everyone to experience a climate-neutral, ecological, and sufficiency-orientated lifestyle.

KREIS-Haus: Neuartiges «Praxislabor» (1:57 Min)

How does the KREIS-Haus work?

The house consists of a residential unit with sanitary facilities and an adjacent conservatory. Natural building materials (such as clay and wood) as well as durable, recycled and reused materials (such as second-hand windows and recycled glass shards for the floor) were used for the construction. The dry separating toilet saves water and allows for nutrients to be reclaimed and used as fertilizer in the rooftop garden. Lightly polluted wastewater from the kitchen and bathroom is treated directly in the building and used for irrigation purposes. The solar panels are integrated in the conservatory and produce the required electricity. Any surplus electricity is stored in Second-Life batteries. The entire house is built on a screw foundation without the use of concrete.

Visit the KREIS-Haus


Come discover the KREIS-Haus in one of the regularly offered public tours or register for an individually organized group tour. Through stimulating stories, you will learn more about the building materials and design.

Open house day


Biogas workshop and information event in the KREIS-Haus

Here you can find more information and the registration form

VaLoo Workshop in the KREIS-Haus: Closing water and nutrient cycles

The KREIS-Haus is a showcase project for circular and sustainable building, which is run as a practical laboratory by the ZHAW and the Synergy Village association. The workshop uses the KREIS-Haus and other practical examples to show how water and nutrient cycles can be closed in buildings using eco-technologies. This raises a number of practical questions that will be addressed during the workshop: What is the potential of eco-technologies? How can the quality of treated water or fertiliser products be guaranteed? Which legal regulations apply? Which solutions are suitable for your own project? The workshop will give practitioners an insight into the initial findings from the KREIS-Haus, as well as the opportunity to discuss questions with researchers from the KREIS-Haus and experts from the VaLoo network.

Click here to register, the number of places is limited.

Past workshops:

Overnight stays

Visitors have the opportunity to stay overnight in the KREIS-Haus and participate in the research project. All visitors will be asked to participate in a scientific survey after their stay.


Do you have your own building project and would like to benefit from our experiences in the KREIS-Haus? We would be happy to advise you for your individual building project. The insights made at the KREIS-Haus can be applied at many different levels of construction: from tiny houses to renovations and larger developments of entire neighborhoods. Contact us for an offer.

Live Webcam

Follow the KREIS-Haus from home with our Live Webcam.