Meaningful measures for sustainable business are often obvious: The flat roof of a commercial building in Dietlikon with high general electricity needs was suitable for the installation of a photovoltaic system. This now covers 30-50% of the electricity required for operating the building – corresponding to the electricity consumption of 30-50 private households.

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The installation is located on the roof of the commercial property at Industriestrasse 32 in the busy Dietlikon shopping area near Zurich. Built in 2005, the building houses four shops on two floors (including Esprit and Maison du Monde) plus their logistics areas. Branches of other well-known retail chains, such as H&M, IKEA and Jumbo, are in the immediate vicinity.

Operating the building consumes a lot of electricity, especially during shop opening hours. What is termed “general electricity” includes, for example:

  • ventilation systems
  • escalators and lifts
  • parking garage lighting
  • mall lighting
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Thus operating the building alone accounts for total consumption of around 350,000 kilowatt hours. This corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of around 100 private households. However, the commercial property mainly uses electricity during the day. Moreover, it has a flat roof half the size of a football pitch. These two factors mean that a solar plant can be operated economically.

 

For this reason, a photovoltaic system was installed on the building's roof as part of the sustainability strategy for Swiss Life real estate products in 2020. 90% of the electricity produced by this plant is consumed locally while a further 10% is fed into the grid and generates revenue. As a result, between 30 and 50% of the property's general electricity requirements can be covered by solar energy. This corresponds to the electricity consumption of some 30-50 private households.

First published in "Exposé November 2020".

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Kachel

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