Sonova Wireless Competence Center Murten Building, Swiss Architecture, Architect, Alpine Design Images

Sonova Wireless Competence Center in Murten

Architect: OOS AG

Location: Murten, Switzerland

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

Sonova Wireless Competence Center Murten design

17 + 16 Apr 2021 – new photos

Sonova Wireless Competence Center Murten News

Stäfa (Switzerland), April 2021 – Sonova Holding AG, a leading provider of hearing solutions, is today inaugurating one of Switzerland’s first office buildings which is carbon-neutral in its operations. The new Sonova Wireless Competence Center in Murten, home to its subsidiary Phonak Communications AG, will accommodate around 180 employees entrusted with developing and marketing miniaturized communication and hearing protection systems.

The innovative building aligns with the Sonova Group’s sustainability program, whose goals include a continuous reduction of the company’s environmental impact. The entire Sonova Group aims to achieve carbon-neutral operations by the end of 2021. The pioneering architecture of the zero-energy building will provide employees with a modern and inspiring workplace.

“We are delighted to open our new Wireless Competence Center in Murten today. As one of Switzerland’s first zero-energy commercial properties, it is part of the world’s first generation of carbon-neutral buildings. This pioneering project is an excellent example of how we are continually reducing the environmental footprint of our business in line with our strategy. We are committed to ensuring that the Sonova Group’s entire operations will be carbon-neutral by the end of 2021. With its unique environmental features, innovative spatial design and construction, our Wireless Competence Center provides an ideal workplace for our colleagues,” says Arnd Kaldowski, CEO of Sonova.

Sonova Wireless Competence Center Murten interior reception

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.

Sonova Wireless Competence Center Murten Building

Renewable and carbon-neutral electricity

The Sonova Wireless Competence Center’s photovoltaic array generates 260,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, which is a higher amount 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. The new building’s energy requirements are comfortably below the limits set by international and Swiss sustainability labels. According to figures supplied by Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment, buildings are responsible for around one quarter of CO2 emissions across the country.

Contemporary and innovative workplace

The architecture of the two-story building creates a contemporary and innovative workplace for employees and reflects Sonova’s open and collaborative culture. On the first floor, the spacious reception area, with its central staircase, forms the centerpiece of the new office and provides a space for spontaneous interaction. Leading off the reception area is an open-plan cafeteria and adjacent terrace.

Also located on the first floor are the logistics center, R&D laboratories and R&D test chambers. On the second floor, open-plan offices and various focus and meeting rooms offer ample space for collaboration. All rooms are equipped with cutting-edge communications technology and ensure maximum flexibility for current and future work requirements.

Sonova Wireless Competence Center Murten Switzerland

Virtual opening

The recorded virtual opening of the new Sonova Wireless Competence Center took place on April 13, 2021, viewable at:

Guest speakers will include Olivier Curty, State Councillor and Director of Economic Affairs of the Canton of Fribourg, and Joachim Curtius, Professor for Experimental Atmospheric Research at the Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main. The architects are OOS AG.

Film on YouTube

About Sonova

Sonova, headquartered in Stäfa, Switzerland, is a leading provider of innovative hearing care solutions. The Group operates through its core business brands Phonak, Unitron, Hansaton, Advanced Bionics and the brands of the Audiological Care business, e.g. AudioNova, Geers, Boots Hearing Care, Connect Hearing and Lapperre. Sonova offers its customers one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in the industry – from hearing instruments to cochlear implants to wireless communication solutions.

Sonova Wireless Competence Center Murten Building interior

Pursuing a unique vertically integrated business strategy, the Group operates through three core businesses – Hearing Instruments, Audiological Care and Cochlear Implants – along the entire value chain of the hearing care market. The Group’s sales and distribution network, the widest in the industry, comprises over 50 own wholesale companies and more than 100 independent distributors. This is complemented by Sonova’s Audiological Care business, which offers professional audiological services through a network of around 3,300 locations in 20 key markets.

Founded in 1947, the Group has a workforce of over 14,000 dedicated employees and generated sales of CHF 2.92 billion in the financial year 2019/20 as well as a net profit of CHF 490 million. Across all businesses, and by supporting the Hear the World Foundation, Sonova pursues its vision of a world where everyone enjoys the delight of hearing and therefore lives a life without limitations.
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Photos Copyright: Sonova

Sonova Wireless Competence Center Murten images / information received from Sonova

Location: Murten, Switzerland, central Europe

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