In June 2007, Mrs Jasmine Audemars, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Audemars Piguet, and Mr. Georges-Henri Meylan, then CEO, laid the first stone of the new Manufacture des Forges in Le Brassus, the brand’s historical home. This ceremony marked the start of work on this new production facility designed in accordance with the criteria of the new Swiss MINERGIE-ECO® label, implemented for the first time in the conception of an industrial building.
The new Manufacture des Forges meets the MINERGIE-ECO® standards which are expressed through enhanced user comfort and energy savings within a healthy and environment-friendly construction. Materials that are either recycled or boast a low environmental impact have been used throughout: fibro-cement for the outer walls, eloxed aluminium for the window frames, non-toxic solvent-free floor coverings, FSC-certified wooden floors, water-based paints, etc.
A wood-fired heating plant that is neutral with respect to carbon emissions has been built near the site in order to ensure remote heating of the Audemars Piguet, and in due course of a hundred or so either buildings in the village. In parallel, a free-cooling system has been chosen for the premises. Entirely in tune with the typical weather conditions in the Vallée de Joux, this system uses outside air for cooling, thereby avoiding the need to use high-energy consuming air-conditioning.
Also driven by the same concern for its employees’ comfort and well-being, Audemars Piguet applied the same precaution principle to the electrical and telecommunications equipment. All sources of magnetic fields were carefully controlled so as to avoid any waves that might potentially be detrimental to health.
The construction was also designed in such a way as to optimise the working areas while integrating a maximum of functional criteria. The production flow has therefore been organised by profession and by production stage.
At the end of 2008, thanks to the commitment of the contracted companies and their teams, the first workshops were installed within this pleasant setting featuring modern architectural lines, resolutely geared towards the quality of working conditions and meeting optimal environment and energy-saving standards.
The exterior landscaping contributes to ensuring the harmonious integration of the building within this residential area. The stream running through Le Brassus has been revitalised so as to run through its original bed.
In selecting the type of plants destined to enhance the site, clear preference was given to regional trees and flowers, such as the rosemary leaf willow that will help stabilise the banks of the stream. Within a few months, this greenery will have sprung up and spread out for all to admire.
In 2010, the former station will be torn down to make room for an open, welcoming and completely redesigned village entrance.
The Manufacture des Forges embodies the brand values of tradition, excellence and daring, associating concern for users’ well-being with technological innovations and respect for the environment.