A recently-completed Munich-based commercial property, dubbed NuOffice, is being hailed as the world's most sustainable office building. Commissioned by Haupt Immobilien, and created with the help of both European-funded research group DIRECTION and the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, NuOffice breezed through LEED Platinum certification. It snagged the highest rating ever issued by the body for a building of its type.

Though LEED is only one of several competing green building certifications – and not necessarily the most stringent – a Platinum award is certainly an achievement of note. To achieve this highest-level certification, buildings must receive a score of at least 80 points, based on energy efficiency, waste reduction, sustainable site development, and indoor air quality.

NuOffice received 94 points in LEED's Core and Shell category, which is the highest score doled out in the category, for a building of its type, to date. Core and Shell concerns the entire base building, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems, and it is typically used for commercial buildings of this nature.

NuOffice is equipped with a photovoltaic solar system covering most of the building's roof, and it boasts excellent insulation courtesy of triple-glazed windows. Efficient LED lighting is managed by a monitoring system which calculates the amount of natural daylight available at a given time, and the designers were careful to limit light pollution where possible.

All the sustainable technology in the world is somewhat undermined if your employees turn up for work in large fleets of gas-guzzling cars, so ample public transportation options and electric-vehicle charging services are sensibly provided too.

The building also contains a complex passive-cooling system which appears to tap into subterranean groundwater, perhaps operating as a heat-sink. Unfortunately, finer details on this system, and indeed much of the sustainable technology used in the build, are rather thin on the ground. That said, if we can take the LEED certification as a guide, the results speak for themselves.

View gallery - 10 images