The residential development is the second flagship project of the Umwelt Arena Foundation Switzerland and René Schmid Architects AG in...
René Schmid Architekten AG,
project in Männedorf
Architect René Schmid
``The massive construction method offers significant advantages, especially in climate-neutral construction, for example by providing summer thermal protection. In summer, zero or less energy is required for cooling, allowing households to cover their energy needs only with electricity produced on site``.
A carbon-neutral residential complex

The residential development is the second flagship project of the Umwelt Arena Foundation Switzerland and René Schmid Architects AG in cooperation with the Federal Materials Testing and Research Institute EMPA, the University of Applied Sciences in Rapperswil, and the Klimastiftung Schweiz (Swiss Climate Foundation). The two buildings are CO2-neutral thanks to the photovoltaic modules installed on the facades and roofs and two wind turbines. These installations allow renewable electricity to be produced locally. In addition to having a very limited impact on the environment, the objective of the project is the realisation of an energy self-sufficient housing estate where inhabitants do not pay electricity or heating costs.

First floors

The two new buildings as seen from the street. The facade cladding consists of red and white photovoltaic modules.

Red-brown and white PV modules are used as cladding for the building.

Building characteristics
  • Building typology
  • Construction type
  • Year of construction
  • Energy reference surface
    1884 m² (useful surface)
  • Energy index
  • Energy labelling
Architect René Schmid
``White and dark, coloured and textured photovoltaic facades such as those we have installed in Männedorf act simultaneously as weather protection and as an energy generator. The advantages are so obvious and the architect is in no way restricted in terms of choice of colour that photovoltaics will soon be used everywhere as a perfectly ordinary building material.``
Active solar surface 847 m²
(Suncol modules)
Active solar surface ratio >75%
Peak power 80 kWp
(Suncol modules)
Building skin application Flat roof Cold facade
Storage Electric battery n/a
Energy production
Approx. 50,000 kWh/y (facade), 40,500 kWh/y (roof, added PV)
No data available
Building skin
  • Application
    Standard photovoltaic modules are installed on the flat roof.
  • Description
    Flat concrete roof insulated with mineral wool.
  • U value
  • Fastening system
    Continuous fixing system (aluminium tracks)
  • Other

PV installation on the flat roof.

  • Application
    PV cladding integrated in the cold facade
  • Description
    Concrete walls insulated with mineral wool
  • U value
  • Fastening system
    Mechanical fixing (screws) through the glass layer that allow the modules attachment on a wooden structure
  • Other

PV laminates were secured to the facades through a puncture fixing system.

  • Application
  • Description
    Triple glazing with aluminium frame
  • U value
  • g value

View through the large windows.

View from the garden.

BIPV module
  • Product
    Suncol Facade
  • Manufacturer
    Sunage SA
  • Cell technology
  • Front glass type/customization
    Structured satin glass type BA with vertical lines
  • Module colour
  • Dimensions
    Variable, modules of different sizes
  • Nominal power
    Variable, depends on module size
  • Specific power
    132 Wp/m²
  • Weight
    Variable, depends on module size
  • Specific weight
    Approx. 20-23 Kg/m²
Technical details

The PV modules are mechanical fixed with 4 screws (one for each corner) through the glass laminates to a wooden structure.

Hotspot image
Vertical section – window
Hotspot image
  • Total cost of the building
  • Price per m³  

Building entrance.

Parties involved
  • Owner
  • Architect
    René Schmid Architekten AG
  • Photovoltaic installer
  • Photovoltaic consultant
  • HVAC engineering
    Th. Huonder + Partner AG
  • Facade installer
  • Photo
    Beat Bühler
Awards and recognitions
  • watt d’or 2021
  • Publications
    Oko-Häuser produzieren im Sommer Strom und erhalten im Winter Gas – Neue Zürcher Zeitung of 01.07.2020

    Hier zahlen Mieter keinen Strom und keine Heizkosten – Blick of 01.07.2020

    Das Geheimnis des Klimajuwels – Tages Anzeiger of 04.07.2020