Jelmoli department store, Switzerland

A perfect place to shop. How energy savings also delivered a better retail customer experience #CreatingPerfectPlaces
A perfect place to shop

Jelmoli department store

Jelmoli is one of Switzerland's most renowned department stores. Located in the heart of Zurich, the “House of Brands” spreads over 33,000 square meters and six floors. The store displays around two million articles and features 1,000 premium local and global brands. Jelmoli has been part of Swiss Prime Site’s (SPS) CHF 10 billion real estate portfolio since 2009.


In the last five years, Siemens engineers have surveyed a number of large assets in SPS’ building portfolio in search of energy-saving potential. The focus is on measures that promise real estate tenants not only energy savings, but also significant added value for their operations. For Jelmoli, SPS approached Siemens to uncover savings potential in three areas: lighting, ventilation and cooling.


Lighting is an integral part of modern, customer-centric retail design, so Siemens started with the aging lighting system. The old discharge lamps consumed energy unnecessarily and often had to be serviced. What’s more, they discovered there was no uniform lighting in Jelmoli. This made interior branding activities challenging and delivered an inconsistent customer experience. The new state-of-the-art LED technology deployed by Siemens provides consistent illumination throughout the store. High-end retail is an emotional experience, so the new lighting also delivers a color temperature and rendering that are in tune with the kind of ambiance Jelmoli wants to create for its customers. Importantly, it also puts Jelmoli’s products in the best possible light. 

As with all projects, Siemens followed a holistic approach. For Jelmoli this meant that cooling, ventilation and lighting were not analyzed individually, but as a whole, to take into account how each area impacts the others. Indeed, the optimization of the lighting concept also reduced the amount of heat generated inside the building, which was taken into account in optimizing the ventilation and cooling systems.

In total, 34 ventilation systems were modernized as part of the project. Half of the systems were fitted with frequency converters. As a result, the volume flow rate of the ventilation systems can be better adapted to demand, which reduces power requirements.

All 34 systems were then equipped with specific control software. This software contains the new strategically defined control parameters for optimized use of outside air for cooling. In addition, the improved building management software continuously records the CO2 content in the building and reacts if concentrations become too high. This ensures high air quality and an excellent customer experience. Thanks to the optimized ratio of outside and inside air, cooling requirements have become significantly lower than in the past.


Optimized lighting, ventilation and cooling have led to considerably reduced energy costs. With the previous lighting technology, the 9,000 or so lamps had to be replaced every two years. With the new LED technology, the interval between maintenance events is extended many times over. The ventilation measures protect the cooling system and extend its service life. What’s more, Jelmoli benefits from an improved presentation of goods – and provides customers with a more pleasant shopping experience.


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