Architecture

New super-efficient Siemens HQ slashes energy use, ups style

New super-efficient Siemens HQ...
Siemens headquarters is the Ludwig Ferdinand Palais at Wittelsbacherplatz in Munich, Germany
Siemens headquarters is the Ludwig Ferdinand Palais at Wittelsbacherplatz in Munich, Germany
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Siemens headquarters is the Ludwig Ferdinand Palais at Wittelsbacherplatz in Munich, Germany
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Siemens headquarters is the Ludwig Ferdinand Palais at Wittelsbacherplatz in Munich, Germany
The headquarters also comprise the building adjacent to the Ludwig Ferdinand Palais
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The headquarters also comprise the building adjacent to the Ludwig Ferdinand Palais
The decision to renovate the buildings was made in 2010
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The decision to renovate the buildings was made in 2010
Siemens worked with the City of Munich to launch the construction project and organize an architectural competition
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Siemens worked with the City of Munich to launch the construction project and organize an architectural competition
Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects won the architectural competition
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Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects won the architectural competition
The design is said to combine "tradition with the future"
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The design is said to combine "tradition with the future"
The building is wrapped in a 16,000-sq m (172,200-sq ft) glass façade
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The building is wrapped in a 16,000-sq m (172,200-sq ft) glass façade
The building covers 45,000 sq m (485,000 sq ft)
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The building covers 45,000 sq m (485,000 sq ft)
A sculptural artwork is located outside the building
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A sculptural artwork is located outside the building
A tilted inner facade is designed to allow plenty of natural light into the building
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A tilted inner facade is designed to allow plenty of natural light into the building
The building is located around four courtyards that are cut out from the main volume
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The building is located around four courtyards that are cut out from the main volume
The tilted façade is aimed at reducing the amount of artificial light required insude the building
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The tilted façade is aimed at reducing the amount of artificial light required insude the building
The courtyards themselves each have different designs
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The courtyards themselves each have different designs
There are places to sit and relax outside
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There are places to sit and relax outside
Footbridges connect the offices
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Footbridges connect the offices
The outside spaces can be used as informal meeting spaces
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The outside spaces can be used as informal meeting spaces
One of the main architectural ambitions for the project was to promote knowledge-sharing and social interaction across the organization
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One of the main architectural ambitions for the project was to promote knowledge-sharing and social interaction across the organization
The building has a newly accessible ground floor, with a new public footpath running through it
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The building has a newly accessible ground floor, with a new public footpath running through it
The publicly accessible ground floor links downtown Munich with the city's museum district
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The publicly accessible ground floor links downtown Munich with the city's museum district
Large swathes of glass fill the atrium with natural light
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Large swathes of glass fill the atrium with natural light
The design typicaly employs curved rather than angled corners
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The design typicaly employs curved rather than angled corners
There are break-out spaces for information sharing and collaboration
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There are break-out spaces for information sharing and collaboration
Expanses of glass along the footbridges provide views out over the building
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Expanses of glass along the footbridges provide views out over the building
The break-out spaces vary in type and location
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The break-out spaces vary in type and location
There are quiet zones for focused work
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There are quiet zones for focused work
The layout allows the 1,200 employees that the building accommodates to have visual contact with each other
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The layout allows the 1,200 employees that the building accommodates to have visual contact with each other
The building is Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGNB) Platinum certified
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The building is Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGNB) Platinum certified
The building is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified
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The building is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified
On the ground floor there are green inner courtyards, a café, a restaurant and a fountain
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On the ground floor there are green inner courtyards, a café, a restaurant and a fountain
View gallery - 29 images

After three years of construction work, Siemens has moved into its new headquarters in Munich, Germany. It has apparently cut its annual CO2 emissions by the equivalent of 5.6 million km (3.5 million mi) of air travel, consumes 90 percent less electricity than Siemen's previous HQ and uses 75 percent less water.

Following Siemens' decision to redesign its HQ on the Wittelsbacherplatz square, the company worked with the City of Munich to launch its construction project and organize an architectural competition. The winning design, by Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects, is said to combine "tradition with the future."

Covering 45,000 sq m (485,000 sq ft), the building is wrapped in a 16,000-sq m (172,200-sq ft) glass façade. It has a newly accessible ground floor, with a new public footpath running through it that links downtown Munich with the city's museum district, and the space also houses green inner courtyards, a café, a restaurant and a fountain.

One of the main architectural ambitions for the project was to promote knowledge-sharing and social interaction across the organization
One of the main architectural ambitions for the project was to promote knowledge-sharing and social interaction across the organization

Louis Becker, design principal and partner at Henning Larsen Architects, explained that one of the main architectural ambitions for the project was to promote knowledge-sharing and social interaction across the organization. It has done this by way of the building's layout, which comprises four courtyards that are cut out from one larger volume.

The layout allows the 1,200 employees that the building accommodates to have visual contact with each other across the courtyards, and there are break-out spaces for information sharing and collaboration, as well as quiet zones for focused work. There are floor-to-ceiling windows in all of the workspaces, allowing them to be filled with natural light. A tilted inner façade is also designed to allow plenty of natural light into the building and to reduce the need for artificial lighting.

There are break-out spaces for information sharing and collaboration
There are break-out spaces for information sharing and collaboration

A third of the power the building consumes is produced by a 1,300-sq m (14,000-sq ft) photovoltaic array installed on the roof, which has more than 800 panels and a capacity of about 300 kW.

Nearly 7,400 LED lights help to minimize the electricity required to run the building, while daylight sensors and presence detectors reduce power consumption by a reported 25 percent. A further 30,000 data points around the building collect data for the control of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, with employees also able to adjust these in their areas as required. CO2 sensors in meeting rooms, meanwhile, measure air quality so as to optimize the intake of fresh air.

On the ground floor there are green inner courtyards, a café, a restaurant and a fountain
On the ground floor there are green inner courtyards, a café, a restaurant and a fountain

There are around 70 km (44 mi) of water pipes running through the building's foundation plate, with around 100,000 l (26,400 gal) of water being pumped through them. This "bivalent heating system" uses heat pumps that double as chillers and uses ambient air and groundwater as regenerative energy sources. In this way, it is able to provide an efficient means of heating and cooling the building. Around an additional 1,500 cu m (53,000 cu ft) of rainwater are to be recycled every year for use in flushing toilets and watering exterior grounds.

Even the materials with which the building was constructed were considered, with some sourced from the surrounding region. These include more than 23,000 natural stone tiles used for the front façade and flooring that came from the Altmühltal nature reserve, north of Munich.

Among the building's other sustainability features are 21 parking spaces (out of a total of 450) that are equipped with e-car charging stations and a 200-capacity bike store with charging units for about 20 electric bikes.

The building's sustainability credentials include certification to the highest "Platinum" level by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGNB), the German Sustainable Building Council. It was inaugurated at the end of last month.

Source: Siemens, Henning Larsen Architects

View gallery - 29 images
2 comments
Robert Walther
Great LEED new building. Doesn't this mean that the old, inefficient and wasteful Siemens building is still out there polluting? So even with the new efficient structure there is now more waste?
habakak
Robert, if the other building is still in operation, then it means there are more people working generating more economic value. And I'm sure the old HQ was pretty efficient for it's day. Think about the hundreds of thousands of old buildings out there that are not that efficient. We can't just shut them all down.
World energy production is going renewable (as electric transportation takes off, less energy will be generated/used from oil) over the next two decades. We should always work on being more efficient, but the electric grid going clean is in full swing. Although it's not the full energy picture going green, more of energy demand will be filled by electric instead of oil.