LEED Platinum Siemens Headquarters Opens in Masdar City

by Zachary Shahan.

Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE
Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE, is a LEED Certified Platinum building.

Masdar and Siemens just opened another cornerstone to young and exciting Masdar City. The LEED Platinum Siemens headquarters is an amazing example of how energy efficiency and quality design can offer huge benefits to the environment as well as the personnel working in the building.

An initial requirement of the building was that it not cost more than the average Siemens office building of its size. That target was achieved, while also cutting energy use ~50% compared to a conventional building of its size.

The building’s facade is very carefully designed to prevent heat gain from excess light while still bringing in enough daylight to prevent the need for artificial lighting during much of the day. The building is oriented and designed to maximize the flow of cool air, especially in the public space under the building, something very helpful in Abu Dhabi’s extremely hot climate. Lighting, cooling, and other building needs are automated using Siemens’ state-of-the-art building automation technologies. Building materials aimed at maximizing energy efficiency and comfort are used throughout the building. The building is designed to minimize the use of unnecessary materials. And a tremendous amount more has gone into making this building extremely efficient, cost competitive, and very comfortable for its tenants. It would probably take days or weeks to go through everything.

Masdar City actually contracted the architecture firm and developer of this project, and is leasing the building to Siemens. However, Masdar City, Siemens, and the architects designing the build worked very closely to make sure the building achieved requirements on everyone’s end. Here an exclusive video for a little more info on the building as well as some inner and outer view:

Siemens will house employees ~800 employees in this Middle East headquarters. Along with dignitaries from the region, Siemens executives, and Masdar executives, I was able to enjoy the unveiling of the building yesterday. Sometime in the coming days, I’ll publish another video about the high-tech insides building (an interview with some high-level Siemens employees), but for now, here are some images and quotes from today’s event:

Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE
Siemens LEED Certified Platinum building in Masdar City, UAE 1
Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE
Siemens LEED Certified Platinum building in Masdar City, UAE 2

“This LEED Platinum certified building demonstrates that resource efficiency can be cost competitive in our market and represents the standard of buildings that need to be more widely adopted across the UAE and the region,” said H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.

The building is the first LEED Platinum building in the region, and the most efficient.

This Masdar City anchor building “has won 16 prestigious awards, including the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards 2012 in the Offices Category and the International Property Award Winners – Arabia 2012 for Best Office Architecture,” Siemens and Masdar noted in a joint press release.

*Full disclosure: My trip to Abu Dhabi  for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week was provided by Masdar. Nonetheless, I was not required to write on any particular topics and am free to voice my genuine opinions on everything I cover — which I do.

First two images courtesy Siemens & Masdar. Other images by CleanTechnica / Zachary Shahan.

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This article, Siemens & Masdar Open LEED Platinum Building In Masdar City (Exclusive Video), is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

 

Zachary ShahanZachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

Renewable Energy Hits the Roof

by John Brian Shannon

Several major retailers with worldwide operations are busily installing solar panels on top of their ‘big-box’ retail stores and offices. Walmart, Walgreens, IKEA and others, are spending huge sums of money to cover their rooftop spaces with solar panels — and are installing wind turbines at, or near, their retail store locations.

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and is fully committed to obtaining 100% of the energy it uses from renewable sources. As Walmart continues to add stores around the world and increase its car and truck fleets, it bases its calculations for CO2 emissions (from all sources) on the calculation of tonnes of CO2 used/emitted – per $1 million U.S. dollars of retail sales.

In 2005, Walmart operations emitted just over 60 tons of CO2 per $1 million (USD) it took in from retail sales. While adding more stores and adding capacity to existing stores, that ratio had decreased to just over 50 tons of CO2 per $1 million (USD) by 2009. This lowering of CO2 emissions occurred during a period of unprecedented growth for the chain, which means that Walmart got a lot more energy-efficient.

In addition to solar panels on its rooftops and wind turbines on its properties, Walmart is purchasing green energy from utility companies which operate solar and wind power plants, via power purchase agreements (PPA’s).

We are in the second year of a four-year agreement to purchase clean energy from a state-of-the-art Duke Energy wind farm in Notrees, Texas. The agreement supplies up to 15 percent of the energy needs in 350 of our Texas locations. It has reduced our carbon emissions by 139,000 metric tons per year, which is the equivalent of taking 25,000 cars off the road or eliminating the CO2 produced by 18,000 homes annually, raising environmental quality and quality of life in the communities we serve. — Walmart

And in Canada: The opening of the Balzac Fresh Food Distribution Centre on November 10, 2010, marked a major ­milestone. With hydrogen fuel cells used to power forklifts, as well as solar thermal and wind power, the 400,000-square-foot facility serves as a living lab for ­sustainability. It will boost energy efficiency by an estimated 60 percent over the company’s traditional refrigerated centres, while cutting costs by USD $4.83 million over the next five years. – Walmart

Walgreens, which owns and operates 8000 stores is building the first of many Net Zero Buildings – so designated for producing as much electricity as they use and often producing surplus electricity to sell to the local grid.

The first such store will be located at Evanston, Illinois, and according to Energy Manager Today, the store will include:

  • more than 800 roof-top solar panels,
  • two wind turbines,
  • geothermal energy obtained by drilling 550-feet into the ground below the store, where temperatures are more constant and can be tapped to heat or cool the store in winter and summer,
  • LED lighting and daylight harvesting,
  • carbon dioxide refrigerant for heating, cooling and refrigeration equipment,
  • and energy efficient building materials.

Engineering estimates, which can vary due to factors such as weather, store operations and systems performance, indicate the store will use 200,000 kWh per year while generating 256,000 kWh per year.

Walgreens will attempt to have the store achieve LEED Platinum status from the US Green Building Council, and plans to enter the store into the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge. The store will be Walgreens second showcase project in the Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Walgreens has committed to a chain-wide 20 percent energy reduction by 2020.

The Better Buildings Challenge is gaining momentum. Recently, Sprint became the first telecommunications company to join the program. And more than 100 companies have joined the DOE’s Better Plants program. – Energy Manager Today

IKEA has a robust renewable energy program dedicated to 100% energy self-sufficiency by 2020 with plans to spend 1.5 billion euros by 2015 towards that goal.

IKEA Group’s chief sustainability officer, Steve Howard said “within three years, IKEA will receive 70% of its electricity from renewable energy [which] we own and operate” adding, “We’ll expand that from 2015 – 2020 to 100 per cent”.

In reference to utility-supplied electricity rate spikes anticipated by IKEA, Howard said, “We know we’re going to be using energy in 20 years’ time. If we can own our own renewable energy plants, it gives us complete price certainty.”

It appears that major users of electricity such as ‘big box’ stores and other large commercial spaces are predicting higher prices for utility-supplied electricity — and rather than pay those higher rates, are opting for their own solar and wind power plants. As polysilicon solar panel prices have fallen in price almost every month since September 2010 and continue to fall in price (bottoming-out in June or July of 2013) you may see solar panel installations appearing on large buildings featuring (largely empty) rooftop spaces, such as the rooftop of your favourite retail store.

JOHN BRIAN SHANNON

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