The Crystal: Siemens’ sustainability hub to launch in London

Siemens has completed the first major stage of construction on a centre of sustainability in Royal Victoria Docks, London.

The £30 million Siemens Centre for Urban Sustainability — also known as  the Crystal — will be one of the capital’s greenest buildings and will act as a think tank where engineers and city experts will collaborate on projects that drive  sustainable urban innovation.

The building consists of two crystal-shaped sections will cover an area of 3,687 metres squared. One section will be dedicated loosely to corporate activities, complete with 180 desks for Siemens R&D teams and collaborators and a 300-seat auditorium for events and seminars. The second section will house a public exhibition space that will showcase best practice in urban planning and design.

The entire development has been designed to «walk the talk», showcasing the best sustainable technology available. It is an «all electric» building, which operates  free from fossil fuels, thanks to a large number of solar panels on the roof. Battery storage will ensure that any excess energy generated doesn’t go to waste.

The entire building will be fitted with sensors linked to a building management system that will adjust the heat, light and ventilation in the building automatically to conserve as much energy as possible. Every kilowatt of electricity used for heat and cooling and ever litre of water consumed or generated will be measured and made accessible via easy-to-read dashboards around the building.

For most of the building’s spaces, artificial light won’t be needed at all in during the day thanks to the large amounts of glass used in the design.  LED lighting will be used and controlled where necessary. The building will be ventilated naturally using motorised vents in the roof and façade. Air conditioning is taken from a ground source heat pump. On hot days, it takes heat from the building and puts it back into the ground to keep it cool.

The Crystal will also harvest rainwater and convert it into drinking water. A black water recycling plant will ensure that all of the water used in the building including toilet water will be recycled.

The development forms part of the  Mayor’s Green Enterprise District that aims to attract low carbon investment and create green collar jobs to make London a leading centre of environmental goods, services and skills.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said at a «topping-out» ceremony for the development this week: «In the same way the wharves and warehouses of East London led the capital’s global dominance of the industrial age, so I want this area to be economically vibrant in the 21st century. As part of this vision, we are working to attract the best new high tech industries and environmental businesses to the capital bringing investment and jobs to Londoners. Siemens’ Crystal is a perfect platform to help kick-start this regeneration demonstrating the type of dynamic partnership I want London to forge with global innovators in order to create the best big city in the world.»

The Crystal is scheduled to open for business in June 2012.

Source / Fuente:

Author / Autor: Olivia Solon

Date / Fecha: 26/10/11

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