Redesigning the Environment with Ecological Enhancement Measures – Valve Station in Rothenfluh
Gas pipelines and ecology, do they go together?
The answer is: YES.
In autumn 2020, a valve group, including ancillary facilities, was replaced at the control station in Rothenfluh, BL. The environmental design was conceptualized, planned, and implemented from scratch by Daniel Emmenegger, an employee at Transitgas AG, as part of his project work during the Swiss Ranger training program at the Wald BZW Education Center in Lyss.
Species-rich flower meadow using the example of valve station Däniken
During the planning process, the primary focus was on safety requirements and cost-effective work. No flammable materials are allowed to be used in areas at risk of explosion (Ex Zones) And, as a pilot experiment, the radii of these Ex Zones were visually marked on the floor surface in contrasting colors; this was positively received by the company’s internal staff. The work areas are now functional and easily accessible. An official parking lot was created outside the company premises. The entrance gate was widened, and the valve house underwent thermal refurbishment. Through appropriate level adjustments, floodwater drainage was optimized, thereby minimizing the risk of flooding.
To enhance the ecological value, all surrounding areas were upgraded with features such as infiltration stones, gravel lawns, meadows with low nutrient content, herbaceous margins, stone piles, brushwood piles, fruit trees, wooden nesting boxes, etc. The aim of these measures is to create new habitats for plants and animals. Invasive neophytes are consistently controlled, allowing Transitgas AG to make a valuable contribution to increasing biodiversity. The stated objective for the future is to assess the enhancement potential of all possible green spaces owned by Transitgas AG and implement measures similar to the pilot project in Rothenfluh wherever possible. The redesign will enhance the facilities in ecological terms while simultaneously reducing maintenance effort.
(This image was created before the redesign)
(Immediately after the redesign – the final result with the species-rich flower meadow will only be seen in its full splendor in spring 2024 – picture follows)