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Siemens opens first centre for sustainable urban development in London
German engineering conglomerate Siemens AG has opened its first centre for sustainable urban development called The Crystal in London.
Designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, The Crystal will feature 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.
Encompassing an area of more than 6,300 square metres, the facility was designed to achieve BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum building ratings. The building consumes 50% less power and emits 65% less carbon dioxide than comparable office buildings. The building is 90% more water-efficient and is the first building in the UK to achieve an approved Water Safety Plan. Further water efficiency is achieved by means of rainwater harvesting system.
Renewable energy sources meet the Crystal's heating and cooling needs. It features a 1,580 square metre photovoltaic system that generates up to 20% of the total electricity requirement. The power scheme of the building is fully monitored, which allows continuous performance monitoring to ensure peak energy performance at all times.
The Crystal is a new conference centre, urban dialogue platform and technology and innovation centre, which will bring together political decision-makers, infrastructure experts and the general public in order to develop concepts for the future of cities and their infrastructures.
The scheme has been built on the waterfront at the western end of the Royal Victoria Docks in East London. Crystal entailed an outlay of €35 million ($45 million).
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