Milestone for sustainable construction emerging in Zug

On Wednesday, construction work started on the largest building project to date using CO2-enriched concrete. This is being supplied by Holcim for the new production and assembly building at V-ZUG. The CO2 enrichment procedure comes from the startup neustark.

Drone image of the new construction site at Tech Cluster Zug.
Drone image of the new construction site at Tech Cluster Zug. Image Credit: Tech Cluster Zug

The construction project for the new production and assembly building at V-ZUG, called Zephyr Ost (Zephyr East) and located at the Tech Cluster Zug in the Greater Zurich Area, is the largest to date using CO2-enriched concrete. It consists of recycled concrete from the construction company Holcim that has been enriched with CO2 using a process by neustark. According to a press release, building work started on Wednesday. The building is scheduled to be put into operation in 2023.

For the very first time, CO2 from Switzerland is being used in this climate-friendly concrete. Neustark, a startup based in Bern that was formed in 2019 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), captures CO2 from a wastewater treatment plant run by ara region bern AG.

The recycled granulate for concrete production is prepared by the recycling processing plant Arge EvoREC in Oberdorf in the canton of Nidwalden. This is a joint venture between Holcim Kies und Beton AG and Zimmermann Umweltlogistik AG. The granulate is then enriched with CO2 using neustark’s dry process. The technology has been tested over recent months and is now being used commercially.

Compared with traditional construction methods, using 4,200 cubic meters of recycled concrete with CO2 enrichment saves a total of 71 metric tons of CO2. This corresponds to the annual CO2 uptake of 3,500 Swiss fir trees.

Giovanni Barbarani, Head Concrete Performance at Holcim Schweiz, comments: “We are delighted to get one step closer to our vision of climate-neutral, circular concrete production using the innovative procedure from neustark. This project is a milestone on the road toward sustainable construction in Switzerland, and this is also due to its regional nature and short transport routes.”

The Metall Zug Group hopes to create “a new part of town for an industrial ecosystem at Tech Cluster Zug”. There are plans for this to include other industrial companies, startups, technology-oriented service providers, educational institutes, and housing.

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