Innovation That Matters

The building regulates itself by absorbing heat and releasing it again when the outside temperature increases | Photo source Sonova Holding

Swiss carbon-neutral building can adapt to the climate

Architecture & Design

The walls and ceilings are coated in pure lime putty, which purifies the air indoors and regulates atmospheric humidity

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Spotted: Accommodating around 180 employees and built using mainly renewable materials, the new Sonova Wireless Competence Centre in Murten operates carbon-neutrally and adapts to the outside climate. 

Made of a single wythe of climate-neutrally manufactured blocks, the building’s façade is designed to retain energy and moisture. The walls and ceilings are coated in pure lime putty, which purifies the air indoors and regulates atmospheric humidity, while the building’s photovoltaic panels generate 260,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, a higher output of renewable and carbon-neutral electricity than is required to run it. This surplus capacity is fed back into the grid and made available to other consumers.

Furthermore, the building regulates itself by absorbing heat and releasing it again when the outside temperature increases. This process is achieved via a natural ventilation system, whereby controllable flaps on the windows facilitate the circulation of fresh air. Each window’s surface area is specifically sized so as to admit the maximum amount of natural light, thereby reducing the demand for artificial lighting, and ensuring that the building does not overheat.  

Sonova’s CEO, Arnd Kadlowski states that “this pioneering project is an excellent example of how we are continually reducing the environmental footprint of our business in line with our strategy,” adding that “with its unique environmental features, innovative spatial design and construction, our Wireless Competence Centre provides an ideal workplace for our colleagues”.

Written by: Tabitha Bardsley

Explore more: Architecture & Design Innovations | Sustainability Innovations

Website: sonova.com/en

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