The Uetlihof - Office City of Superlatives

While many know that the Credit Suisse parent company occupies a prominent place on Paradeplatz, a historic square in the heart of Zurich, Switzerland, the real heart of Switzerland's major bank beats a good two miles outside of town in the Uetlihof operations building. In normal times, up to 8,500 employees come and go in Switzerland's largest office complex, and all the digital threads of this large bank come together in this sophisticated technical centre. 

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Claudio Luraschi, Head of Regional Facilities Management Zurich South at Credit Suisse, is responsible for its smooth operation. Below is a conversation about the beneficial collaboration with ISS, common goals and even the role honey from the bank's own nature park plays in enhancing the workplace experience.

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Meet Claudio Luraschi

Claudio Luraschi is Head of Regional Facilities Management Zurich South at Credit Suisse. He has worked at the Uetlihof in Zurich for the majority of 33 years.

Mr. Luraschi, you are responsible for the smooth functioning of thousands of workplaces in one of the largest office complexes in Switzerland. Can you sleep peacefully? 

Yes, most of the time I sleep very well. For two reasons: Firstly, I know this complex down to the last nook and cranny — I completed parts of my own training here. Secondly, I have the highly trained and professional staff and partners of ISS at my side. 

Why is the Uetlihof so important for Credit Suisse?

You could almost call the Uetlihof the heart of Credit Suisse in Switzerland. Almost everything is centralized here: from trading to part of the client advisory service to the bank's archives. It is also the bank's largest location with around 8,500 employees. We also operate two data centres and two energy centres at this location. So, the Uetlihof is absolutely essential for Credit Suisse.

Less essential, but all the more beautiful, are the green spaces at Uetlihof. You even produce your own CS honey there.

That's true. We are proud of our nature park, which is also maintained by an ISS gardener. The park, which has won several awards, is home to sheep and around 300,000 worker bees that produce around 80 kilos of honey per year. The honey is therefore precious and is only given away to select customers and partners. Incidentally, one of the most recent gifts of Credit Suisse honey was given to an ISS employee in our data centre at an ISS award ceremony.

Our partnership

ISS has been providing integrated facility services at critical Credit Suisse properties for years, but the integral mandate at Uetlihof has only been in place since October 2019, when Credit Suisse opted for a one-provider strategy and ISS won the tender. For almost two years, ISS has now been looking after the Uetlihof as part of a comprehensive IFS delivery model, in addition to over 200 locations throughout Switzerland. Approximately 150 ISS employees ensure clean premises, safe escape routes, fresh paint on the walls, relaxing green areas in the near-natural outdoor area and above all, trouble-free technical operation of this office city that has its own dedicated energy centre and computer centre. This makes expert checks, as well as universal know-how and forward-looking planning all the more important.

For over two years now, ISS has provided the Uetlihof with integral facility management services. What advantages does that give to Credit Suisse?

The biggest advantage is that we have a contact person  who takes care of all concerns, be it budget issues, services or currently the implementation of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, with such a volume of orders, there are naturally synergies in purchasing as well as in the processes.

What exactly does ISS do at the Uetlihof?

ISS is responsible for all facility services required for the workplaces and the operation of the building — from maintenance and cleaning to the upkeep and operation of the technical facilities of the data centre and the energy centre with high-voltage supply. The complexity of the Uetlihof demands the utmost attention from ISS employees, especially since the Uetlihof is not only home to support functions, but also to various customer-related areas. In addition, work at the Uetlihof is practically around the clock. 

Mr Luraschi, you have been working at the Uetlihof for more than 30 years and know all facets of facility management. What do you particularly appreciate about working with ISS?

I appreciate the open and transparent communication Credit Suisse has with ISS. I also feel a high level of identification  with us as Credit Suisse and the Uetlihof. Many ISS employees are proud to work here. And I understand them, because the complexity and variety of the facilities and technologies make the Uetlihof an exciting place to work.

About the Uetlihof

The honeycomb-shaped development was put into operation in 1979. Embedded in a natural park at the foot of the Uetliberg in the city of Zurich, the "Uetlihof 1" offers space for around 6,000 workplaces and has its own energy supply. With "Uetlihof 2", an extension with an additional 2,500 workplaces was opened in 2012. This meets the Swiss Minergie P-Eco standard and was designed according to the specifications of the 2000-watt society targeted by the city of Zurich. This makes the Uetlihof the largest office and Minergie building in Switzerland.