New buildings and renovations in the ETH Domain in 2017

Bern, 17.06.2016 - The Federal Council is proposing 334.3 million francs to Parliament for the 2017 construction programme in the ETH Domain. The money is intended to be used for the construction of a research and laboratory building of the Biosystems Department of ETH Zurich in the centre of Basel, for the renovation of the heating and cooling plant of EPFL on the Ecublens campus, as well as for further renovations in the ETH Domain.

The projects included in the 2017 construction programme are of great significance for the two Federal Institutes of Technology: both the investments in Biosystems and the orientation towards sustainable and innovative energy concepts constitute strategically important groundwork and contribute towards Switzerland’s international competitive position. One challenge is the timely provision of the requisite infrastructure while taking into consideration the continuing increase in the numbers of students, teachers and researchers, as well as changes in utilisation requirements and in the availability of resources. The book value of the ETH Domain’s real estate portfolio amounts to 4.3 billion francs.

ETH Zurich: new research and laboratory building in Basel
The Biosystems Department was established in 2007 and provisionally accommodated on the Rosental campus of the University of Basel. ETH Zurich’s new building is to be the Department’s definitive location and is planned for the Schällemättli campus, where the University of Basel intends to concentrate life sciences.

The new building will primarily house laboratory and office premises. A cafeteria and cleanrooms are also planned. In this way, ETH Zurich will substantially reinforce its life sciences division, and the Department will receive an “address”.

The integration of the building into the Schällemättli campus of the University of Basel and its proximity to the neighbouring university hospitals allow for the exploitation of infrastructural and specialist synergies; for instance, it will share the University of Basel’s lecture rooms and animal rooms.

The project will be financed through a guarantee credit by the Confederation in the amount of 171.3 million francs. Planned investments in furniture and operating facilities totalling 48,0 million francs concern the property of ETH Zurich and are not part of the existing guarantee credit. Construction work is scheduled to start in early 2017; the Department is scheduled to move in at the end of 2020.

EPFL Ecublens campus: renovation of the heating and cooling plant
The realisation of the present project for the renovation of the heating and cooling plant on EPFL’s Ecublens campus will guarantee the future supply of buildings and the research infrastructure with heating and cooling energy. The efficiency of the supply infrastructure will be improved, and the 2020 energy objectives can be further pursued at optimal cost.

The new technical installations for the production and distribution of heating and cooling energy will improve energy efficiency by 15% while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact. Operational and energy costs will fall by 45% p.a. and CO2 emissions by 24% p.a.

The Confederation’s share in this, for which a guarantee credit is being proposed, amounts to 59 million francs. Planned investments in furniture and operating facilities totalling 3 million francs concern the property of EPFL and are not part of the existing guarantee credit. No third-party funds will be employed. Construction work is scheduled to start in January 2017, and this plant is scheduled to be commissioned and optimised between 2020 and 2022.

Framework credit
For plans and projects below ten million francs, the ETH Domain is applying to the Federal Council and to Parliament for a framework credit of 104.0 million francs. Projects of three to ten million francs covered by this credit line are individually listed in the 2017–2020 real-estate investment plan, which was approved by the ETH Board in May 2016. A majority of these projects are renovations which are necessary for safety reasons, for the preservation of the value and functionality of the buildings and compliance with statutory provisions, or for adaptations to changes in utilisation. The framework credit will also cover the real-estate management, construction project planning and the execution of unforeseen and urgent construction projects or restoration measures.

Address for enquiries

Maria Mohl, Real Estate, ETH Board
Tel. 44 632 75 70,


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Last modification 03.10.2018

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