The Olympic House demonstrates that the IOC is committed to sustainability, walks the talk and leads by example. The Olympic House has received three of the most rigorous sustainable building certifications. It has therefore become one of the most sustainable buildings in the world.
One of the three certifications is LEED Platinum – the highest certification level of the international LEED green building programme. According to the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the organisation that developed LEED, Olympic House has received the most points (93) of any LEED v4-certified new construction project to date.
In addition to receiving the LEED Platinum certification, Olympic House is the first international headquarters – and the second building overall – to obtain the highest (Platinum) level of the Swiss Sustainable Construction Standard (SNBS).
It has also been awarded the Swiss standard for energy-efficient buildings, Minergie P.
Olympic House is the first building to receive these three certifications, and the first in Switzerland to achieve LEED v4 Platinum.
The Olympic House project embraces the concept of circular economy through efficient reuse and recycling. Over 95 per cent of the former administrative buildings was reused or recycled. For example, concrete was crushed on site and reused in the foundations of the new building, a first in Switzerland.
The Olympic House has been designed as a sustainable building in terms of both construction and operations. Special efforts have been put into energy and water efficiency, waste reduction and landscape integration.
User wellness has been embedded within the design of the Olympic House from day one, to offer a quality environment: access to outdoor views and natural daylight, or air quality and temperature control, for example.
Over 80 per cent of the construction costs were spent with local contractors.
The Olympic House carbon emissions will all be compensated through the IOC-Dow carbon partnership.
Description of sustainability standards aimed at by the Olympic House at international and local levels
- LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environment Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognised symbol of sustainability achievement.
- The Swiss National Sustainable Construction standard (SNBS) covers the three dimensions of sustainability, i.e. environmental sustainability, social sustainability and economic sustainability. The Olympic House is one of the five pilot projects in Switzerland (the only one in French-speaking Switzerland) chosen to finalise the certification before its official launch in summer 2016.
- The Swiss energy efficiency standard (Minergie P) guarantees that the building consumes less energy per square metre than average Swiss buildings.
- Municipal water consumption reduced by 60% (compared to standard new office building)
- Energy consumption reduced by 35% (compared to standard new office building)
- On-site renewable energies (solar panels, heat pumps)
- 80% of construction costs spent with local contractors
- 95% of former building’s materials reused or recycled
- 95% of construction waste recycled
- Half of the site vegetated
- 50 additional trees on site and over 100 trees added in surrounding areas
- 2,500 m2 of vegetated roof
- Promotion of active and ecological mobility (135 bicycle spaces, employee subsidies for sustainable mobility, chargers for e-cars, hydrogen station)
- Flexible space
- 90% of regularly occupied spaces with quality views
- No static element with 8m of the façade
- High indoor air quality thanks to selection of low emission materials and highly efficient ventilation system
Circular economy through respectful deconstruction
Over 95 per cent of the materials from the former administrative buildings have been re-used or recycled and can be regrouped in three categories:
Iconic: Repositioning of the marble arch
Value added: Donation of electronical boards and bathroom fittings to local associations.
Volume: Recycling of concrete
Right from the start of the project, sustainable development has been one of the five key success factors of the programme to enlarge the IOC headquarters.
In the architecture competition, the candidates were asked to try to retain the existing administration buildings. In spite of their efforts, none of them was able to propose a project which met the sustainability requirements whilst retaining the existing buildings (apart from the Château de Vidy, a Canton of Vaud historic monument). As a result, the only option was to demolish them. So the IOC developed an ambitious approach of careful deconstruction and selective demolition.
"It is an outstanding projectCharline Seytier Themaverde, LEED ® certification specialists
that aims to make outstanding efforts."
An energy-efficient building powered by renewable energy
Although it will be three times larger than the former headquarters, the Olympic House will not use any more energy than the former building thanks to various energy-saving measures such as enhanced insulation, smart building features and LED lighting.
Energy models project that the Olympic House will use approximately 35 per cent less energy than a conventional new construction.
The building will be mostly powered by renewable energy, part of which will be produced on site thanks to photovoltaic solar panels and heat pumps using water from the lake.
A water-efficient building able to harvest and reuse rainwater
The Olympic House is able to harvest and reuse rainwater, thanks to a 300m3 water tank. Rainwater will be harvested and stored for reuse in toilet flushing, car washing and plant watering.
Water-saving features mean that the Olympic House’s consumption of the municipal supply should be 60 per cent less than a conventional building.
A site that aims to enhance local biodiversity
More than 60 per cent of the site area is open space and half of it is vegetated, with 50 trees added since before development. Only indigenous plant species are being used, with meadow areas that include pollinating plants and require lower maintenance than lawns. There will be 2,500 square metres of vegetated roof; and outdoor lighting will be optimised to minimise light pollution.
Sustainable construction materials and furniture
Significant efforts were deployed to screen all construction materials, equipment items, finishing materials and furniture items so that they comply with strict environmental standards, such as low contents of potentially harmful substances, in order to guarantee very good indoor air quality.
All wooden products will be FSC-certified, meaning that they come from responsibly managed forests. More specifically, it means that the wood is legally harvested, the forest is managed in a way that maintains the quality of forest ecosystems over the long term and that protects the social and economic well-being of workers and local communities.
Preference was given to materials and furniture that have a lower than average environmental footprint over their life cycle.
Recycling of construction waste
Over 75 per cent of waste produced during the construction work is being reused or recycled. Ninety-seven per cent (by weight) of the materials that made up the former IOC administration buildings were recycled or reused.
A building that aims to encourage active and ecological mobility
There will be 135 bicycle parking spaces and several charging stations for electric cars. Incentives will be put in place to encourage staff and visitors to access the site using active and ‘green’ mobility.
Accessibility features for those with a disability
All floors are accessible by wheelchair, adapted bathrooms are available on each floor, adapted showers will be provided, and several car spaces are reserved for people with a disability.
A quality environment for users
User comfort has been embedded within the design of the building from day one through several aspects: access to outdoor views and natural daylight (90% of Regularly Occupied Spaces have access to quality views, as per LEED definition,), air quality and temperature control, and acoustic performance. On top of that, special efforts have been made in terms of ergonomics when choosing the furniture.
The IOC encourages sporting and active lifestyles thus offering its staff the chance to move within the building, either in a dedicated space (large gym facilities) or more generally by promoting the use of the staircase.