Sonova opens one of Switzerland’s first zero-energy office buildings

On April 13, 2021, we inaugurated one of Switzerland’s first office buildings which is carbon-neutral in its operations.

Minimal energy requirements and healthy indoor climate

The Sonova Wireless Competence Center operates carbon-neutrally and adapts to the outside climate, requiring hardly any building services installations such as heating or ventilation systems. The new office has been designed down to the last detail for minimal energy consumption. It was built using mainly renewable and reusable materials, so that construction-related gray energy could be minimized. Made of a single wythe of climate-neutrally manufactured blocks, the solid façade retains energy and moisture. The building largely regulates itself by absorbing heat and releasing it again when it gets colder outside. 

The healthy indoor climate is primarily the result of controlled natural ventilation; pure lime putty on the walls and ceilings purifies the air indoors and regulates the atmospheric humidity. Air is refreshed via the windows rather than through ventilation ducts. Controllable ventilation flaps on the windows facilitate the circulation of fresh air. During the summer, the same ventilation flaps cool the building naturally at night. A pleasant ambient temperature of between 21°C and 26°C is guaranteed throughout the year. The surface area of the windows is sized precisely to ensure that the building does not heat up excessively when temperatures are warm. The high windows on the façade are designed to admit the maximum amount of natural light, so the use of artificial lighting can be largely avoided. Thanks to these features, the new building has very low energy requirements.