Siemens opens new centre in London to pioneer smarter, greener cities

19 Sep 2012

The new Crystal centre in London. Photo by Siemens

Siemens is today opening a new centre in London called the Crystal, which the engineering and electronics giant is claiming will be the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to sustainable urban development.

Termed the Crystal as a result of its shape, the building took about a year and a half to build and covers a total area of 6,300 sq metres. According to Siemens, the centre, which cost around €35m to build, has been designed to showcase how energy-efficient solutions can be deployed in buildings of the future. For instance, it claims that the facility will consume 50pc less power and emit 65pc less CO2 than comparable office buildings.

Renewable energy features of the building apparently include a solar photovoltaic system to generate cleaner electricity and rainwater harvesting technologies. Siemens said the Crystal will get top scores on the BREEAM and LEED international assessments for energy-efficient buildings.

The building itself is located at the Royal Victoria Docks in London and will open to the public on 29 September.

Siemens said the Crystal will be used as a conference centre and as a space to bring together city infrastructure experts and the public to explore concepts for the future of cities.

As well as this, experts from the Siemens Center of Competence Cities are also set to engage in research and development focused on technologies and innovations for urban infrastructures.

“Cities worldwide are making investments to improve their water supplies, power grids, transportation systems and building infrastructures. Our addressable market alone has a volume of €300bn,” said Roland Busch, member of the managing board of Siemens AG and CEO of its infrastructure and cities sector.

He said the Crystal will help Siemens “intensify dialogue” with its customers.

As for the exhibition area, Siemens said this space will give visitors insights on possibilities for sustainable mobility, building technologies, power and water supplies, and healthcare.

The company is also planning to build two smaller, but similar, centres in Shanghai and Washington in the coming years.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic