The cutting-edge module silo facility in Chur can only be described using superlatives and grand figures. The complex is home to five silos with a total capacity of 2,300 m3 of salt and a brine system with 80,000 litres of ready-to-use brine. The facility ensures winter services keep running on almost 80 km of the A3 motorway between Reichenau and Bad Ragaz – including the cantonal roads in the surrounding valleys – as well as the city of Chur.

Project management had to draw up 400 plans for the 17,000 components in the facility. About 40 semi-trailers transported more than 300 tonnes of material to the construction site by the motorway junction at Chur Süd.

«Logistics presented the greatest and most interesting challenge in this project, particularly the precise scheduling of the lorries. We had to meticulously coordinate the unloading of the semi-trailers, crane operation and construction work of the silo facility.»
Project manager Sascha Aerne

A complete facility with all the trimmings

Altogether, the winter services centre in Chur houses four silos, each with a capacity of 500 m3 for the canton of Grisons, and a silo with a volume of 300 m3 for the city of Chur. The facility also has a brine system with two 40 000 litre brine storage tanks, a brine producer and an operating room. This high storage capacity of      2 300 m3 of salt and 80 000 litres of brine is almost enough to last through a cold and snowy winter. The facility also features a kitchen and toilets, which are integrated into the entire facility as a modular construction.

Siloanlage Chur Gesamtansicht von oben mit der Stadt Chur und den Bergen im Hintergrund

Facts and figures

Ground area: 505 m2 (18.1 x 27.9 m)   
Height: 17.7 m   
Net weight: Approx. 300 t (without base)   
Parts: 17 000 pcs   
Volume: Silos: 2 300 m3 salt Brine storage tank: 80 000 l brine
Weighing: Measurement by weight using
strain gauges on the
silo substructure
Automation: Fully automatic   

A logistical challenge

The trick in this project was to direct the activities and transport so that everyone could continue to work. This meant unloading the semi-trailer and immediately installing the material 40 times. As soon as the last crane hoist had finished, the next lorry had to be ready in position for unloading, because only then was the storage area clear for another lorry load of material. And this was the only time that the construction team did not need the crane for assembly work. ‘Just in time’ were the magic words. If too much material is on the construction site, there’s no room to work. If no material is left, the assembly team has to wait. That’s the logistical challenge.

Siloanlage Chur Gesamtansicht Baustelle von oben

Benefits of the shared facility for the canton of Grisons and the city of Chur

  • Use of synergies
  • No unnecessary journeys
  • Site in a prime location
  • No trips to the city centre to fill the vehicles
  • Time savings
  • Higher storage capacity to cover the whole winter
  • Joint salt purchasing at more favourable terms
  • Ultra-modern facility for everyone

A silo with tiered facade

The Chur-based firm Marcel Liesch Architekten AG designed the rhomboid cladding in larch wood for the 17 m high facade, which covers the entire silo facility. The sloped elements with soffits create a unique tiered effect reminiscent of a fir tree.

Siloanlage Chur Gesamtansicht Tännlifassade

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Christian Ryffel, Betriebsleiter der Siloanlage Chur vor einem Schneeräumungsfahrzeug

An interview with Christian Ryffel

Discover more about what the works manager at the Chur silo site has to say about the facility and working with BL Silobau AG in an interview in our news magazine (in German).

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