London's Crystal in global first achieves the highest standards in building sustainability

The Crystal is a showcase for state-of-the-art technologies to aid energy efficiency

The Crystal – a Sustainable Cities Initiative by Siemens, developed in the Docklands, London – has been awarded both a BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum rating, making it the only building in the world to have achieved this status.

The project has also just won the British Council for Offices Innovation Award for its significant innovation in sustainability and contribution to sustainable development.

The Crystal is home to Siemens’ global Center of Competence Cities, a team of multi-disciplinary urban experts, who aim to encourage the growth of sustainable cities through partnerships, research and expert collaboration on solutions.

In a uniquely shaped, glass-clad structure on the waterfront of Royal Victoria Docks in East London, the Crystal houses conference facilities and a technology and innovation centre.

It also provides a showcase for state-of-the-art technologies to aid energy efficiency. Designed as an ‘all electric’ building, the Crystal uses solar power, ground source heat pumps and energy-efficient LED lighting. No fossil fuels are burnt in the building. Rainwater is harvested for re-use or recycling and the Crystal is ready to be connected to London’s smart grid.

Inside the Crystal is the world’s largest exhibition on the future of cities. The interactive exhibition guides visitors through the urban infrastructure of the future, focusing on possibilities for sustainable mobility, building technologies, power and water supplies, and healthcare.

Designed as a hub for dialogue on sustainable urban living and development, the Crystal is open to the public and city decision makers. Along with a 270-seat auditorium in the conference centre, the building also contains office space, electric vehicle recharging points and a café.

London based multi-disciplinary architectural practice, Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will was the lead consultant and interior architect on the project. Chris Brandon, the company's managing principal, commented: “The Crystal is a stunning building which acts as an international centre of excellence for sustainability. To be awarded both BREEAM and LEED ratings at the highest standard makes this project an exemplar of what can be achieved.”

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The Crystal -

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The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings setting standards for best practice in sustainable design.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a suite of rating systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings – platinum being the highest score a building can achieve.

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