Protection against major accidents (OPAM) study - Quartier de l'Etang

Protection against major accidents (OPAM) study - Quartier de l'Etang


PCM Opérateur Urbain SA



Project description

Located in the commune of Vernier, the creation of the Étang neighbourhood is part of a wider programme to enlarge the heart of Geneva and is one of the largest private development projects in Switzerland.

With a surface area of 11 hectaires, the Étang neighbourhood is a town within a town and will provide housing, jobs, shops, a hotel, a school, a crèche, a bowling alley, a medical centre and other facilities. With this diversity, the Étang neighbourhood is an ambitious project and is considered as an exemplar of risk management in the canton of Geneva.

Services provided

BG has been commissioned to undertake the Organisation of the Protection against Major Accidents (OPAM) studies for this project to create a new neighbourhood in Vernier, an urban environment. These studies have been undertaken in partnership with the Environment and Major Risks department (SERMA) of the canton of Geneva. There are multiple potential hazards around the perimeter of the project which give rise to the need for these OPAM studies, including:

  • those relating to the storage of dangerous goods: the fuel storage depot at Vernier;
  • those relating to the transport of dangerous goods (TMD):
    • The CFF railway line
    • The SAPPRO and SARACO oil pipelines;
    • The A1 motorway;
    • The Route de Meyrin road;
    • The Route de Vernier road.

BG has similarly completed an evaluation of the impact of each of these sources of OPAM risk. In order to undertake this study, BG used sophisticated 3D modelling tools.

Having been associated with the project since the intial feasibility phases, BG has been able to integrate multiple protection measures into the project:

  • Physical measures: system to contain and collect inflammable liquids; input into the type of façades and glazing used (studies relating to the potential thermal effects; evaluation of response to high-pressure waves) etc.
  • Technical measures which are based on systems of surveillance, detection and alert of the occupants: thermal cameras; chlorine detection; motorised shutters controlled by chlorine detection; sirens; load-speakers with specific alarms relating to specific risks; etc.
  • Organisational measures: development of evacuation and containment procedures at a neighbourhood level; internal teams; etc.

In practical terms, BG is responsible for liaising with each of the project partners (architects, engineers, etc.) to ensure that the risk reduction measures are incorporated into the project.

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