Building a home for medical innovation

The Genolier Innovation Hub (GIH) has been on everyone’s lips since the cornerstone was laid for this ambitious project in November 2021. It was over 18 months ago that Roof, Allreal’s general contractor in Western Switzerland, took on the task of completing the project. The plan is for the future building – an extension of the existing clinic – to become an innovation and research centre. Roof is applying its high quality standards to help ensure the success of the project.

Roof was commissioned to build this new medical centre at the end of June 2021. This is a major project for such a new company. Roof was proud to rise to the challenge and has had a young and motivated team working on the project ever since. “It’s a fascinating challenge and a project that will provide us with an excellent case study at the end”, says project manager Clément Attard, who is the technical lead on the project.

There are around 100 people working on the building site spanning around 19,500 m2 as it stands. The project manager and his young team of site managers are working hard on site every single day, communicating with the workers and ensuring that everything is going smoothly. As well as keeping track of all the ongoing work, they also have to make sure the building site is a safe place to work at all times.

Keeping every aspect of this huge project on track is such a huge challenge that Clément Attard is relying on the support of seven site managers. They are sharing the responsibility for various areas that have been assigned in advance. Dividing the workload in this way means that nothing gets missed, with all the processes and people on the construction site being managed and coordinated more effectively. There are up to 20 contractors involved at any one time. “It would be close to impossible to stay on top of everything if we weren’t working in this way”, says Clément Attard.

Construction site status report

130 parking spaces are being created underneath the new innovation and research centre. As it stands, there is just one staircase leading to the ground floor, which will be the future headquarters of start-ups working in the field of medical research. The four inner courtyards will bathe this part of the building in natural light one day, offering the people inside a welcome view of the greenery outside their windows.

The areas allocated for radiotherapy and nuclear medicine are further back. Four bunkers with radiation protection have been built for radiotherapy. Over a metre thick, the impressive structures have barite concrete walls and heavy reinforced doors.

Having looked at the space set aside for the reception with its huge library, it is impossible to miss the majestic auditorium. Designed to hold 300 people, it offers a spectacular view of Lake Geneva and the peak of Mont Blanc in the French Alps.

Steps lead to the terrace, which is going to be a lovely green space for people to enjoy as they take a relaxing stroll. During the third quarter, a footbridge will be built on one side of the terrace to connect the research centre to the existing clinic. The two building complexes will also be joined together by an underground tunnel, which will mostly be used for technology and logistics.