The housing of the Oberfeld neighborhood in Ostermundigen, just outside Bern, Switzerland, is designed to take every aspect of sustainability into account. Motor traffic is prohibited in this residential zone, the first to use cements manufactured using a process that consumes less energy and reduces CO2 emissions. Both were supplied by Vigier Ciment.
The Oberfeld neighborhood, one of Switzerland’s first residential projects where motor traffic is prohibited, was built in Ostermundigen, near Bern, in 2013. Around 270 people live in the 100 apartments of the housing cooperative, and all have committed to not using their own motor vehicle.
The concept applied here is based on the fundamental pillars of sustainability that are wealth of social life, use of natural materials, and low energy consumption. The three rows of four‑story buildings meet the stringent requirements of the Minergie-P-Eco low-energy/environmental standard. The Oberfeld housing cooperative targeted natural materials, including precast concrete products and a cement whose manufacture reduces CO2 emissions.
Sustainability is essential
The most ecologically responsible option was chosen for the cement used to make the concrete. After comparison of the products of different suppliers, Christian Zeyer, the chairman of the housing cooperative, expressed special interest in the CEM II/B-LL cement developed by Vigier Ciment. It contains less Portland clinker than more conventional cement, and its manufacture not only consumes less energy but also engenders lower CO2 emissions.
Christian Zeyer picked the Vigier product after visiting the Péry cement plant and talking to experts there who convinced him that both Vigier and its parent company take the issue of sustainability very seriously at all levels. Vigier Ciment already replaces more than 70% of the fossil fuels it once used with alternative fuels, 30% of which are CO2 neutral.
Products with ecological value‑added
Vigier’s subsidiary Creabeton Matériaux is also devoted to preserving natural resources. As with Vigier Ciment, the company’s commitment can be seen in its environmentally responsible products. Walls made with sand‑lime bricks provide a high level of insulation and pleasant ambient conditions inside the apartments while filtering coatings on the outside play a beneficial role in the natural water cycle.