Project info

  • Building
  • 2020

  • €3.200.000

  • Private Owner

  • San Bernardino, CH

  • 1000 sqm

  • 800 sqm

  • GEO - PV - RES - VMC

  • > 10 KWe/h mq

  • Arch. C. Schwitter - Ing. M. Moncecchi

  • Engineering - Procurement - Construction - Delivery

San Bernardino Project: Advancing Zero Energy Building Design

In San Bernardino, Switzerland, a pioneering project is underway to construct four single-family buildings that epitomize the principles of Zero Energy Building (ZEB). Spanning an approximate surface area of 800 sqm, these homes are designed to significantly reduce energy consumption below 10 KWe/h per square meter, marking a notable achievement in sustainable residential construction.

Design and Sustainability Features

The project is distinguished by its innovative use of materials and technologies aimed at achieving energy self-sufficiency:

  • Concrete and CLT Construction: The buildings are constructed using a combination of concrete and Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), materials chosen for their durability, thermal efficiency, and sustainable credentials.
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps: To provide heating and cooling, geothermal heat pumps are installed, leveraging the stable temperatures beneath the earth’s surface for efficient energy use.
  • Photovoltaic Systems: Each building features a photovoltaic system designed to generate renewable energy sufficient to meet the households’ needs, pushing the boundaries of what is possible with today’s solar technology.
  • Controlled Mechanical Ventilation: Ensuring excellent indoor air quality, controlled mechanical ventilation systems recover heat from exhaust air, further contributing to the buildings’ overall energy efficiency.

Implications for Residential Construction

The San Bernardino project demonstrates a comprehensive approach to zero energy building design, integrating advanced architectural techniques with cutting-edge technology. This initiative not only achieves remarkable energy savings but also offers a comfortable and sustainable living environment.

Professional Insights

By meticulously balancing energy production and consumption, the project sets a standard for future developments in the ZEB space. The combination of geothermal heating, photovoltaic power, and efficient building materials presents a viable blueprint for reducing residential carbon footprints on a larger scale.


The San Bernardino ZEB project represents a significant step forward in sustainable residential design. Through its commitment to energy efficiency, renewable energy use, and innovative construction methods, it provides a practical model for future developments aiming to minimize environmental impact while enhancing living standards.