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16 August 2016

Pioneering project in Zollikofen: planning permission for near-zero-energy EcoBox building

The EcoBox is a sustainable service centre scheme developed by Steiner AG and to be built in Zollikofen near Berne. Designed as a near-zero-energy building, it offers attractive office and light-industrial units. Steiner is being expertly assisted in the technical design for the EcoBox building by its partner, the experienced energy utility BKW. The planning application was already submitted to municipal authorities last year on 12 February. Planning permission has now been granted and took effect as of 11 August 2016.

The next project stages will involve marketing of the rental units, sale to the investor and construction of the building as of 2017. Completion is scheduled for 2019.  The EcoBox scheme features a pioneering, eco-friendly design concept. Combining a variety of ground-breaking sustainable technologies, the building will achieve a high degree of self-sufficiency. As a forward-looking "near-zero-energy building", Steiner's EcoBox development will be able to meet most of its own energy needs.
Integral sustainability concept for building
The photovoltaic system installed on the flat roof will generate all the electrical energy needed to operate the building. Surplus power will be stored in a battery system for use during the nighttime or on dull days. An innovative building envelope absorbs solar energy and transforms it into heat, which is distributed throughout the building by means of a high-efficiency comfort ventilation system. The heat gains from occupants, computers, server rooms and parking areas are also recovered and redistributed. The novel building services concept was developed by BKW.
Elegant modular architecture
Designed by Gebert Architekten AG from Biel/Bienne as a contemporary glass building with an industrial touch, the EcoBox blends harmoniously with its setting. The building's uniqueness stems from the shrewd combination of high practicability and sustainable construction. An accessible outdoor terrace at first-floor level links two of the blocks, each of which has two large entrances opening onto an internal courtyard. Two stairwells in each block provide access to all building levels. An elevated podium offsets the difference in ground level between the trackside elevation and the lower-lying street front on Industriestrasse. 
The building envelope with its strong vertical accent is topped by a filigree roof edge. The exterior is dominated by a sequence of vertical sections that are interrupted by translucent-glass window strips of varying heights. The facade is openly celebrated as a passive energy source and thus helps to sharpen the EcoBox building's identity. 
Efficient floorspace, excellent transport links
The units, to be let at attractive conditions with an efficient basic fit-out, allow flexible partitioning. They can be fitted to meet a wide range of user requirements. The innovative building services installations will bring about significant cuts in utility charges. With Zollikofen station located in the immediate vicinity, the property enjoys excellent public transport links to all destinations in the Espace Mittelland (Swiss Central Plateau) region.
Efficient and innovative teamwork
Steiner AG is an experienced market leader in the field of property development and design-and-build contracting. Its partner, BKW, can draw on its own expertise and that of subsidiary ahochn AG to deliver integral, state-of-the-art energy solutions. The collaboration between the two companies for this trailblazing project has focused on building services as well as on energy production, distribution and storage. 
For further details, please visit the project website at
Steiner AG
Steiner AG is one of the leading project developers and general/total contractors (GC/TC) in Switzerland, offering comprehensive services in the fields of new construction, refurbishment and real estate development. The company, which was established in 1915, has constructed more than 1200 residential construction projects, 540 commercial properties, 45 hotels and 150 infrastructure facilities such as universities, schools, hospitals, prisons and retirement homes. Steiner AG has its headquarters in Zurich and is represented by branches in Basel, Berne, Geneva, Tolochenaz, Lucerne and St. Gallen.
Information for the media 
Steiner AG
Claude Sulser  
Head HR & Corporate Communications                                          
Phone: +41 58 445 20 12 
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Media Relations
Phone: +41 58 477 51 07
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Media Release as PDF
The EcoBox is a sustainable service centre scheme developed by Steiner AG and to be built in Zollikofen near Berne.

The EcoBox is a sustainable service centre scheme developed by Steiner AG and to be built in Zollikofen near Berne.

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