On June 4, 2010, IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, opened its new Conservation Centre in Gland, Switzerland, one of the greenest office buildings in Europe. The Centre also hosts other major organizations in the global conservation community. Holcim supported the building through substantial financial and in-kind donations, the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction published a comprehensive booklet to document the “creation of a sustainable building”.
One of the greenest office buildings in Europe, IUCN’s new Conservation Centre aims to be the first office building in Europe to obtain LEED Platinum certification (highest standard in USA) as well as the Swiss MINERGIE Eco-P standard. The building was designed by agps.architects in Zurich. Innovative features include rainwater for toilets and irrigation; recuperation of heat from refrigerators to produce hot water; a solar park that also provides energy back into the local electricity grid; innovative low consumption lighting solutions; local and recycled building materials; geothermal heating; decentralized CO2 controlled air supply system; and more.
Holcim Ltd and Holcim Switzerland have supported the construction of the new IUCN Conservation Centre through substantial financial and in-kind donations including CO2-reduced cement; standard, recycled, and insulating concrete; and associated technical services. The monumental column at the entrance and the rectangular core for the entrance stair are made of insulating concrete because these walls alternate as interior and exterior walls. The engineers sought a single material to serve simultaneously as structure and insulation, and insulating concrete was found to be the most cost-effective solution. These two structural elements, which support the Holcim Think Tank above, also provide earthquake resistance.