WBSC’s new green headquarters reflects organisation’s vision to be sustained on Olympic programme

WBSC’s new green headquarters reflects organisation’s vision  to be sustained on Olympic programme
The location of the new WBSC headquarters was selected with sustainable travel in mind.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation’s commitment to sustainability has been further enhanced this week following the official opening of its new headquarters on 06 July in Pully, Switzerland.

Located in a suburb of Olympic capital Lausanne, ‘Home Plate’ is an exemplar of sustainable development which has been designed to meet many of WBSC’s sustainability goals and respect the guidelines set forth in Olympic Agenda 2020.

The Grade III listed building is architecturally protected, meaning its impressive façade and authentic roof have been preserved. However, its internal structure has been modernised to boost its sustainability, whilst offering all of the comforts and technological requirements of a 21st century office.

Twenty-four roof top photovoltaic panels produce 12 kilowatts of energy, supplying up to 90% of the building’s electricity. The underfloor heating and cooling system uses hot and cold water to maintain an ideal office climate whilst all walls have been insulated with high density stone wool allowing temperatures to be maintained for up to 20 hours after the system has been switched off. The same stone wool increases fire resistance and increases acoustic comfort. All of the lighting is made with LED technology and occupancy sensors to keep energy consumption levels to a minimum.

The signature staircase, which is inspired by the form of a batter’s swing and includes a railing made from 100% recyclable Krion, which has the ability to clean the air and prevent the formation of bacteria while the interior Saint-Gobain glass walls and doors feature fire resistant Ei-60 glass - double of the requirement by law.

The location of the building was selected with sustainable travel in mind. The office can be reached using public transport, with a train and bus stops both within walking distance. While the WBSC vehicle fleet is hybrid, bicycle parking facilities have also been fitted to encourage employees to cycle to work.

Modern video conferencing now fitted inside the headquarters will help WBSC to reduce its carbon footprint. In this regard, online meetings will be encouraged as part of the “new norm” established due to international travel limitations, which have been brought forward in response to COVID-19, but WBSC will maintain such practices in the years to come.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said: “The official opening of our new headquarters is one of the proudest moments in WBSC’s short but spectacular history.

“Not only does this office – located at the heart of the Olympic Movement here in Lausanne – reflect our commitment to the IOC’s Vision of creating a better world through sport, it also reflects our commitment to Olympism and all of its wonderful values.

“It was an honour to welcome IOC President Thomas Bach and other senior members of the Olympic Family to the new home of international baseball-softball earlier this week and we look forward to the continued contributions our sport and its permanent presence in Switzerland will make to the Olympic Movement.”

Designed by San Marino architect Enrico Muscioni, the theme of baseball and softball runs throughout the Villa le Chataigner – named after a 80-year-old chestnut tree on the premises -- with texture and design based on key elements such as glove, ball, stitching, playing diamond and home plate.

“Baseball and softball have rich backgrounds, and these new headquarters reflect that. But baseball and softball also have a bright future in front of them,” Muscioni said. “The WBSC leadership, staff and guests will experience an environment that makes them aware of the past, but it is also designed to make the day-to-day work-experience easy. All of the designs encapsulate the spirit of the sport and the direction it is heading in. An exciting journey for all involved.”

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Baseball, softball world governing body WBSC opens permanent headquarters in Switzerland to stay close to the Olympic Movement