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Excavation work at Park Innovaare

Excavation work at Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare
Excavation work at Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare

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Construction work for the expansion of Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare is in full swing. Excavation work was undertaken by ERNE AG in November 2019, shortly followed by further construction work for the underpass and the media duct connecting Park Innovaare to its geographical neighbor and partner the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. The underpass will be made available to pedestrians and small vehicles.

A modular office building was installed on site early February and is due to house ERNE AG’s entire Park Innovaare project team directly in Villigen, Switzerland. Led by project manager Daniel Leber, interior work should be completed by the end of March, to welcome the five-member team in their new offices, where they will remain for the next three years. 

By the end of 2023, the newly expanded Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare campus in Villigen, Switzerland, will provide high-tech companies with research laboratories, clean rooms and offices. The infrastructure, as well as the proximity of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), the main tenant of the new research and innovation building, will create a high-end ecosystem conducive to faster innovation marketability thanks to tight collaboration between research and industry.

82,000 cubic meters of excavation for the expanded Park Innovaare

Excavation and slope stabilization measures

By the time the structural engineering work begins in spring, around 82,000 cubic metres of material will have been excavated since November 2019. As the site is on a slope, the embankment must be secured against landslide. The soil is being removed in stages with an excavator. The bank is secured with mesh, sprayed concrete, nails and anchors before the next section is removed and secured. The slope reinforcement with the sprayed concrete wall will be around 130 meters long and in some places up to 13 meters deep.



Sprayed concrete wall
The sprayed concrete wall reaches 13 meters in certain places. © ERNE AG

Construction of the underpass in two stages

An underpass will provide direct access for pedestrians and small vehicles from Park Innovaare to the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) located across the road. A media duct containing technical cables will run alongside the underpass connecting the two buildings on either side. Before work could begin on the underpass, a 14-metre long concrete bridge had to be built to support a local heating pipeline which runs across the site and needs to remain operational during the entire construction period. The construction of the underpass and the media duct is being carried out in two stages: 

First, the deviation of the cantonal road to enable construction work to proceed smoothly and traffic to circulate normally. Excavation work for this stage is currently underway. As soon as this section of the underpass is complete, the cantonal road will be returned to its original route. The second section of the underpass will then be finalized and connected to the Park Innovaare site.



Underpass between PSI and the newly expanded Park Innovaare © ERNE AG
Underpass between PSI and the newly expanded Park Innovaare © ERNE AG

Creation of a site office for the ERNE construction team Villigen

The construction of a new site-office on the building site of the Innovation Campus of Park Innovaare in Villigen began on 12 February 2020. This modular office building was designed by ERNE AG. "We want to ensure that the construction management team of the new Park Innovaare building can steer and monitor the work closely over the next three years, until completion of the project,", explains project manager Daniel Leber.. According to him, the site-office will be operational by the end of March and will contain five offices and three meeting rooms. 



ERNE AG construction team at Park Innovaare
A motivated ERNE Construction Team. © ERNE AG 

Further information

Further reports on the construction work for Park Innovaare will follow at regular intervals.