In the heart of Biel/Bienne, the “Esplanade”, an urban development centre, is being built on the former gas works site. Having successfully completed the complex construction project “Residence Esplanade”, GEOTEST Ltd is now responsible for the planning and realisation of the project “Centre Esplanade”.
In the middle of Biel/Bienne, an underground car park, a landscaped park and two building complexes have been under construction since 2014. The first phase on the subsoil, which is partly contaminated with highly toxic pollutants due to the former gas production, was the construction of the residential and commercial development “Residence Esplanade”. This resulted in a complex, inner-city construction project involving the conflicting priorities of remediating contaminated sites, addressing geotechnical and hydrogeological challenges, monitoring neighbouring buildings through vibration and groundwater measurements, and making use of geothermal energy.
GEOTEST supported the client in the project planning and construction phases by offering complete solutions. This included, for example, a cost estimate for the contamination-related additional expenses in the initial phase and the specialist contaminated-site management required during construction.
In addition, GEOTEST conducted feasibility studies on the use of geothermal energy and led the specialist site management in the construction of a groundwater heat-exchange system for heating purposes. GEOTEST calculated and monitored the drainage and supported the project engineer in securing the excavation pit and constructing the foundation. With the help of metrological monitoring of neighbouring buildings, the development could be realised in challenging soil without affecting the surrounding environment.
GEOTEST’s expertise in managing the removal of hazardous materials from existing buildings to be demolished is an asset as the firm takes a leading role in the “Centre Esplanade” project.
During the execution phase, GEOTEST supported all project participants with respect to construction issues.