At the end of September, electronics giant Siemens is set to open The Crystal, a think tank dedicated to improving our knowledge of urban sustainability. The crystalline building houses offices, exhibition space and conference facilities to bring leaders together to advance sustainability. Located at the end of the Royal Victoria Docks in London, The Crystal is a solar powered, super sustainable project with the ambitious aim of achieving both LEED and BREEAM certification.
The Crystal is a landmark building from the electronics powerhouse, and it serves as Siemens’ flagship hub dedicated to urban sustainability. Inspired by London’s Crystal Palace, which showcased the newest technologies of the Industrial Revolution back in 1851, the new Crystal showcases the latest sustainable technologies. The center is located right next to the Emirates Air Line tram across the Thames and houses public exhibition space, conference facilities, research offices as well as a restaurant, café and shop. Siemens hopes to use the £30 million building to bring together mayors, city decision makers, urban planners, architects, engineers, policy makers and experts from around the world in order to advance knowledge and improve urban sustainability.
Designed to meet both LEED and BREEAM certification standards, The Crystal is composed of numerous integrated sustainability strategies. The all electric building utilizes ground source heat pumps for energy efficient heating and cooling, which is powered by rooftop photovoltaics and supplemented with solar hot water heating. State of the art building energy management ensures that electricity is used efficiently, while natural ventilation and daylighting help reduce energy use. Rainwater is harvested and blackwater is recycled for toilet flushing and for landscape irrigation. The facility also provides electric vehicle charging and sends excess energy back to the grid when it is not needed.
The Crystal officially opens on September 29th to begin its journey towards building sustainable cities.
Images ©The Crystal