What’s going on in the neighborhood? Innovative digital location monitoring

It is often difficult for companies to keep an eye on the critical developments taking place around their various company sites. To make this easier for them, we launched an innovation project to develop a systematic, partially automated and highly efficient monitoring process.

Team Standortmonitoring_Text
Our interdisciplinary team of experts in site development, construction and real estate, IT, security, traffic as well as infrastructure, and road construction developed our new site monitoring service.

Time and again, something is being built or planned in the vicinity of company sites. Some of these ventures may involve the neighborhood itself, and may have serious ramifications for your company and other neighbors. Housing projects in the immediate vicinity of your company’s site, for instance, may lead inevitably to legal disputes regarding noise. Similarly, a nearby building project might generate a volume of traffic that slows incoming and outgoing deliveries or prevents your customers from gaining access to your company premises.

Having an overview of the pending building projects in the vicinity of your company location is indispensable for constructive, early-stage dialogue with all the relevant stakeholders. When it comes to municipal and cantonal planning, it can also be highly advantageous to receive information about the specific projects early on. Public consultation requirements, for example, offer you an opportunity to introduce your own immediate and long-term concerns; that is, if you are aware of the consultation period. However, the search for all the necessary information is complex and time-consuming, and the risk of missing something important is great.

“It’s happened several times that we simply hadn’t gotten wind of a pending building permit for a nearby property until the public-consultation period had already expired,” said one company representative who worked with the project team on the development of the site monitoring application. “Given that this was a common complaint, we were determined to tackle this problem head on,” explained EBP site expert Christina Kohl.

The needs assessment was conducted in close consultation with the customers.

Early-warning system for nearby development projects

“To help companies maintain optimal control of their individual sites, we initiated an EBP innovation workshop to develop a corresponding early-warning system. The system enables companies to maintain an overview of any relevant development projects in their vicinity. In addition, we show them possible options to take action and support them with our expertise in spatial and traffic planning and in assessing the effects," stated Iris Mathez, Director of EBP’s Building and Real Estate division, describing the advantages of the newly developed approach.

“We use a traffic-light system to represent the relative urgency of developments.”

Behind the early-warning system is a monitoring process that was developed by our interdisciplinary team. IT specialist Richard Meyer explained: “We use our standardized and semi-automated procedure to periodically gather important information about development projects in the vicinity of individual or multiple sites. We assess the relevance of the projects for the company in GIS and use a traffic-light system to define the urgency and the potential ramifications of project implementation and realization. To assess these, we work together with the company on a project-specific basis to define sets of rules that, for instance, take account of the project’s distance from the company site or the construction volume.”

The service enables companies to quickly gain an overview of potential challenges for their company sites.

One challenge that we face is that the necessary data is not always available in the same quality in all of the Swiss cantons and municipalities. That is why the project team plans to ascertain which data is available and publicly accessible in the various cantons. When it comes to cantonal and municipal development projects in particular, the team is hard at work on new ideas to facilitate the systematic gathering of the data.

Optimally combining expertise and automation

“Not everything is amenable to automation.”

“Our experience in the development process confirms that not everything can be automated. The evaluation of certain projects also requires individual expert assessment. However, it is precisely the combination of efficient automation in the initial assessment followed up with our experience in the field that is the strength of the product,” summed up team member Valentina Grazioli.

Project team

Christina Kohl

Richard Meyer

Peter Christen

Philippe Bleuel

Valentina Grazioli

Iris Mathez