Siemens has opened its first center for sustainable urban development – the Crystal in London. The heart of the Crystal is the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to sustainable urban development. The crystal-shaped building will serve as a conference center, urban dialogue platform and technology and innovation center 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.
“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,” says Siemens President and CEO Peter Loscher.
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. Siemens invested some Eur35 million in the project. 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 meters, 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 Center 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
Encompassing an area of more than 6,300 square meters, the Crystal is a paragon of energy efficiency. The facility consumes 50 percent less power and emits 65 percent 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.