Holcim Foundation


IUCN Conservation Centre in Gland, Switzerland

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.

Last Updated: June 04, 2010
Article Details
Gland, Switzerland
Related Information
Holcim Foundation

Search Help

Our website search engine covers the web pages including project descriptions and expert profiles, PDFs, images and videos on the Holcim Foundation website. To improve your search results, here are some tips:

Basic search

Our search defaults to term-pairing AND. If you search sustainable construction - then the search engine will look for any items containing sustainable AND construction


photovoltaic OR solar

Looks for either word


(clay OR mud) AND (school OR university)

Combine alternative terms for more specific searching


geothermal -heating

Excludes a term from results, automatically ANDs other terms listed


"zero carbon"

Use quotation marks to search for a specific phrase or combination

Wildcards (one or more characters)


Asterisk (*) matches any word or phrase - so archit* will find architect, architecture, architectural as well as architrave