The Crystal, a sustainable cities initiative by Siemens, has been certified Outstanding by BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment), the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings.
The unique, crystalline-shaped, all electric building located in the Royal Docks at the heart of the Mayor of London‘s Green Enterprise District uses solar power and ground source heat pumps to generate its own energy, meaning no fossil fuels are burnt in the building. The design of the building’s structure, including its innovative glass-clad façade, provides additional insulation, solar control and natural daylight, taking energy efficiency to a new level. The Crystal incorporates rainwater harvesting, black water treatment, solar heating and automated building management systems. The building features charging stations for electric vehicles and will be part of the Source London charging network.
Pedro Miranda, Head of the Global Center of Competence Cities at Siemens, said: “The Crystal is setting the benchmark for sustainable building, design, technology and operation. It was designed and built to be one of the most sustainable buildings in the world with the highest BREEAM and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Achieving Outstanding in BREEAM is a significant step in cementing the Crystal’s reputation as one of the world’s most innovative and iconic sustainable landmarks.”
The Crystal covers an area of more than 6,300 square metres, including the world’s largest high-tech exhibition on the future of cities which opened to the public in September 2012 and has already attracted 83,000 visitors. The exhibition is fully interactive with two immersive film theatres and more than 50 screens with a host of games and experiences that help visitors explore the cities of the future. The exhibition has been designed in conjunction with the UK national curriculum and the content was mapped to Key Stage 3 (age eleven to fourteen) and upwards.
The Crystal also houses a conference centre with a 270-seat auditorium which successfully hosts many major international conferences, bringing together international urban planners and exploring visions for urban development and smart cities. In addition, the Crystal is also a global technology and innovation centre and home to the Global Center of Competence Cities at Siemens.