Master development plan for an abandoned industrial site in Birr, Switzerland

ABB Corporate Real Estate Management was interested in devising a long-term development and marketing strategy for its 2.5 million square foot industrial site in Birr. Working together with the architectural firms UC'NA Architekten and Kuoni Mueller + Partner, EBP drafted both the urban-implementation plan and the master plan for the project.

The members of the consortium drafted a market-based urban-development plan that took account of a full range of project prerequisites, including factors relating to environmental sustainability, site access, and social sustainability. This plan was then used as a basis for drafting the master plan for the development site.

Harmonizing the interests of the various stakeholders

The master plan offers a qualitative and quantitative account of how ABB Corporate Real Estate can secure compliance for the project’s implementation at the former Grossacher and Grändel industrial site, and includes various proposals for harmonizing the relevant interests of the developers, other private stakeholders and the public. The focus of the site’s usage, as outlined in the master plan, is on commercial-industrial operations and service-sector operations. The backbone of the development structure is the superordinate transportation access plan and the creation of centrally located greenways. Provision was also established for the flexible development of parcels in the surrounding areas.

Project scheduling was adapted to take account of the latest revisions to the Birr Development and Usage Ordinance (DUO). The master plan’s compliance with the zoning requirements outlined in the revised DUO was secured. All of these measures created the necessary planning security, as well as a high degree of flexibility in the context of long-term project implementation.

EBP provided the following project services:

Clarification of all development prerequisites

  • Joint drafting of the market-and-site analysis
  • Analysis of the relevant planning, environmental and development factors
  • Clarification of all site access issues

Concept draft

  • Joint drafting of a concept to account for site usage, transportation/access, development and recreation space
  • Estimate of traffic volume and parking needs
  • Environmental impact assessment

Master plan

  • Joint drafting of the master plan on the basis of the concept draft
  • Review of all conclusions and discussion of alternative compliance strategies
  • Provision of compliance expertise to secure the necessary development permit for the master plan
  • Provision of support to secure compliance with the DUO
  • Environmental impact assessment (air quality, noise, accident prevention, non-ionizing radiation, groundwater, etc.)

Project management

  • Provision of consulting services to the developer
  • Coordination with the cantonal and municipal authorities

Picture: Model photo masterplan development site
Picture Credits: ABB Immobilien, UC’NA Architekten Zürich

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