New buildings and renovations in the ETH Domain

Bern, 27.06.2013 - A new building in the centre of Zurich for the Department for Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich, renovations at Zurich Hönggerberg and a flexible research building at Empa in Dübendorf: these are some of the renovation works in the 2014 construction programme for the ETH Domain, for which the Federal Council is applying to Parliament for 294.32 million CHF.

The 2014 construction programme for the ETH Domain provides for one new building each at ETH Zurich and Empa, as well as various full renovation projects. The loans requested by the Federal Council from Parliament are based on the Strategic Plan for 2012-2016 of the ETH Board for the two Federal Institutes of Technology and four research institutes of the ETH Domain.

ETH Zurich: one new building in the city centre and renovations at the Hönggerberg campus
The newly created Department for Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich, which saw a particularly high number of new student enrollments in 2012, requires more and larger laboratories. A contingent credit of 120.45 million CHF will be used to construct a new building on Gloriastrasse in the centre of Zurich, right next to the University Hospital. This location will encourage close collaboration with other departments as well as the University of Zurich and the University Hospital. The building is due to be completed at the end of 2017.

A further contingent credit in the amount of 32.03 million CHF has been earmarked for a full renovation and expansion of ETH Zurich's Department of Biology's teaching and research building on the Hönggerberg campus. The renovated building uses the 1979 building shell, and will meet the new requirements regarding structural physics, fire prevention and building accessibility. The renovation work, which will continue until 2016, will also meet the Minergie-ECO standard and enable the building to be used for another 35 years.

The current canteen and catering building on ETH Zurich's Hönggerberg campus dates back to 1973. A contingent credit for 13.30 million CHF will be used to strip the building back to its shell and renovate it fully to ensure a further 35 years of use. The new canteen will open at the end of 2014 with a new design featuring different providers and offerings, and will also provide space for retailers.

In addition, the transformer stations and power supply infrastructures on the Hönggerberg campus are to be renovated by 2018. The Federal Council is applying for a contingent credit of 21.54 CHF million for this work. 

Empa's NEST research project
Empa has developed the NEST concept in conjunction with Eawag, ETH Zurich and EPFL. This is a residential, workplace and research building in which flexible uses and sustainable construction methods can be researched and tested in practice. The construction project will cost 29.5 million CHF in total (including 1.5 CHF million for project planning) and will be partly funded by third parties, not all of whom have yet committed. The ETH Board is free to decide whether and to what extent it uses the requested contingent credit of 17.0 million CHF for the backbone construction. Another 11.0 million CHF has been earmarked for the planned flexible research modules that will use the backbone. The aim is for national and international consortiums from science and industry to create these changeable rooms between 2014 and spring 2016, and examine issues regarding everything from energy to water to comfort during construction and subsequent use.

Global credit for further building projects
A global credit of 90.0 million CHF in total for projects that cost less than 10 million CHF individually will also be used to carry out smaller renovation projects within the whole real estate portfolio of the ETH Domain (balance sheet value 4.4 billion CHF).

Address for enquiries

Markus Bernhard,
Head of Communication,
ETH Board
Tel. +41 (0)44 632 20 03,


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research