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Siemens has opened its first centre for sustainable urban development in London. The heart of the 30 million euros Crystal is the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to sustainable urban development.
Located in the Borough of Newham, at the historic Royal Victoria Docks and scheduled to be open to the public on September 29, the crystal-shaped building will serve as a conference centre, urban dialogue platform and technology and innovation centre all in one, bringing together political decision-makers, infrastructure experts and the general public in order to develop concepts for the future of cities and their infrastructures.
Encompassing an area of more than 6,300 square metres, the Crystal is a paragon of energy efficiency. The facility consumes 50 per cent less power and emits 65 per cent less carbon dioxide than comparable office buildings. Renewable energy sources meet the Crystal’s heating and cooling needs, a photovoltaic system generates green electricity, and rainwater is harvested for use. On the BREEAM and LEED international assessments for energy-efficient buildings, the
Crystal will receive top scores (Outstanding and Platinum, respectively) – making it one of the greenest facilities in the world.
“Cities are the engines of the world economy and also have the greatest impact on the environment. The development of our planet will stand or fall with the development of cities. Looking ahead to the urban future, the Crystal showcases a wide variety of opportunities and concrete solutions,” said Siemens president and chief executive officer (CEO) Peter Löscher.
After a construction phase of about a year and a half, the Crystal brings an architectural highlight and one of the world’s greenest buildings to the British capital.
Designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, the building features a 270-seat auditorium as well as the world’s largest exhibition on urban sustainability. Boasting an area of 2,000 square metres, the exhibition presents existing infrastructure solutions that make life in cities more sustainable and environmentally friendly while enhancing its quality.
At the Crystal, experts from the Siemens Centre of Competence Cities engage in research and development geared to technologies and innovations for tomorrow’s urban infrastructures. In addition, the Infrastructure & Cities Sector will coordinate its City Account Managers from the Crystal.
“Cities worldwide are making investments to improve their water supplies, power grids, transportation systems and building infrastructures. Our addressable market alone has a volume of €300 billion. In this growth market, the Crystal will help us intensify dialogue with our customers. The Crystal is our sector’s showcase, contact point and mastermind,” said Roland Busch, member of the managing board of Siemens AG and CEO of the Infrastructure & Cities Sector.
With roughly 87,000 employees, the sector provides sustainable technologies for urban areas and their infrastructures.
The Crystal is home to the first and largest of three centres of competence cities. The centre in London offers Siemens experts and external professionals a platform for conducting research and exchanging ideas. The two smaller centres are slated to be built in Shanghai and Washington in the coming years.