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Emmen Military Airfield (LU): Handover of keys of the new «Emmen Aerospace Systems Centre» (ZLE) building

On December 4, 2020, armasuisse Real Estate, the real estate competence centre of the DDPS, officially handed over the Emmen Aerospace Systems Centre for use after two and a half years of construction. The new building on Emmen military airfield combines DDPS expertise in the aviation area and uses synergies between the various organisational units. With an investment of 57 million Swiss Francs, the DDPS is simultaneously affirming its long-term commitment at the Emmen aviation location.

08.12.2020 | armasuisse Real Estate, Communication


The modern and multifunctional new building comprises five aircraft boxes and one hangar. It is also offering highly-qualified workers around 80 jobs distributed over three storeys. In addition, the top floor has been designed and developed for the installation of measuring equipment. The main user is the aerospace systems competence sector of armasuisse (Federal Office for Defence Procurement) with two specialist areas: flight testing and quality management/airworthiness. armasuisse shares the complex with the Air Force in the areas of the new reconnaissance drone system (ADS 15) and the Air Policing Service 24 (LP24). The new building enables valuable synergies to be created between the various organisational units of the DDPS. With an investment of 57 million Swiss Francs, it is simultaneously a commitment to the Emmen aviation location.

Planning requirements and constructional concept

The requirements of the planning concept were consistently taken into account in the construction of the Emmen Aerospace Systems Centre. The concept guidelines «Design follows functionality» were developed through workflows, processes and flight operations. A building that can be used flexibly was designed on this basis, largely determined by technical and operational specifications as well as the dimensions of aerospace systems.

On the ground floor, the developed building concept comprises roll-through boxes and hangars for order-related activities and the provision of fighter aircraft, turboprop aeroplanes, helicopters and drones. Suitably bright offices and sophisticated technology rooms for installing measurement systems and data processing are located on the middle and upper floors. The large, green roof landscape is equipped with technical measuring equipment and can be used very flexibly for test installations.

Architectural implementation

The new building of the Emmen Aerospace Systems Centre (ZLE) is located parallel to the runway. This provides an unobstructed view of the forecourt and taxiways. The new building presents as a long, rectangular structure with a head-end building centred in front, marked by a simple and functional façade. The rear-ventilated façade construction with aluminium cover plates and large, coloured and glazed doors is designed for durability and low maintenance. The austere architecture reflects the functionality of the entire new building. The office and meeting room area meets Minergie standard. The building is connected with the regional heating network REAL for heating purposes. For greater flexibility of use, the entire area of the middle and upper storeys has been designed with a hollow floor.


After an intensive and challenging planning phase, the project was implemented in two and a half years under the direction of Implenia AG Lucerne as the general structural engineering contractor. The company Anliker AG from Emmenbrücke is responsible for the extensive environmental and civil engineering works. As the building owner, armasuisse was concerned that regional craftsman and companies were also involved in the implementation work during the tender procedures. Fortunately, around 60% of the orders could be awarded in the Central Switzerland region thanks to the high competitive ability of the regional businesses.


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