Eco-quartier Gruvatiez, Orbe

Ecoquarter Gruvatiez, Orbe


  • Orllati SA,
  • VO Energies,
  • Commune d'Orbe


2014 - 2018

Project description

Gruvatiez is an impressive urban development project, with 500 residential units and the premises for 200 jobs. With its planned location on the Orbe plain, it is anticipated to become an exemplar district for Switzerland, and will be the first to achieve WWF One Planet Living (OPL) certification.

At the end of June 2017, the commune, the Swiss WWF and Orllati Group signed an agreement outlining the objectives of this future 'ecoquarter'. The planning documents for the first two construction stages were released in September 2017. The project will be constructed over the next ten years, and will be continuously monitored by a body composed by the University. The validation of the entire project is based upon ten sustainability criteria, which will ultimately be examined, corrected if necessary, and the certified in order to achieve the OPL certification.

The district's objectives include: reducing the carbon footprint of its residents to one third of the Swiss average; the same for waste; a ban on all vehicles within the quarter in order to prioritise land use for permaculture and local food production. This is to ensure that 20% of the neighbourhood's food can be of 'local' origin, and 55% from Switzerland.

The inauguration of the first phase of the project, which includes several shops, is planned for 2020.

Energy Concept

The concept for the district is based upon a double smartgrid: both thermal and electric.

The thermal concept developed uses a doublet within the groundwater layer alongside central heat pumps. This makes it possible to produce heat for the whole quarter, and also cold for the shops, if the direct cooling by the groundwater is insufficient. The buildings are also equipped with double-flow ventilation which recovers the waste heat from the return air, further improving the energy efficiencies.

In addition, solar photovoltaic panels will produce electricity, with self-consumption being the priority. The volume of electricity produced will be enough to meet the needs of the residents, power the public lighting, and also the charging stations for electric vehicles.

Services provided

  • Definition of the energy concept for the Land Use Directive of Gruvatiez-Est quarter and its environs (Gruvatiez-Ouest, Moulins, ZI des Ducats), including analysis of the site and the resources, analysis of the demand, and the development of proposals. The solutions included a groundwater doublet for heating and cooling.
  • Complete mechanical, electrical and public health engineering for the project.
  • Assistance to the Client in making the decision for the innovative energy supply contract: thermal energy and electricity production, SmartGrid, public lighting, central photovoltaic cluster, smart metering, raising awareness amongst the residents.
  • Integration of the WWF One Plant Living label (including targets for construction materials and energy).

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