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HafenCity Ecolabel awarded for the first time

The first building in HafenCity has been awarded the Ecolabel for exemplary sustainable construction, following preliminary certification. The Unilever building on Strandkai has received the HafenCity Ecolabel in gold, subsequent to external validation. The award will be presented to the owner of the building, RREEF Investment GmbH, and project developer HOCHTIEF Projektentwicklung GmbH, in the present of Unilever’s management and entire staff.

The Unilever-building in the HafenCity: sustainable and futuristic (© ELBE&FLUT)

The first building in HafenCity has been awarded the Ecolabel for exemplary sustainable construction, following preliminary certification. The Unilever building on Strandkai has received the HafenCity Ecolabel in gold, subsequent to external validation. The award will be presented to the owner of the building, RREEF Investment GmbH, and project developer HOCHTIEF Projektentwicklung GmbH, in the present of Unilever’s management and entire staff.

Preliminary certification was given to the green corporate headquarters building before its completion in March 2009. It fulfilled three of the five categories required by the gold standard: extremely low primary energy requirements, outstanding management of public goods, and sustainable building operations.

This allows Unilever to make savings of around 60 per cent on electricity and 70 per cent on heating compared with its previous headquarters building. New and sustainable standards are being achieved for instance through innovative LED lighting, a cooling double-layered outer shell, heat exchangers on the roof as well as the concrete core conditioning system (here the cold temperature of ground water is used to cool the building).

The architects, Behnisch of Stuttgart, had ensured in the original design that the building would need little energy for lighting thanks to its optimal exposure to daylight and that optimal protection against sun, wind and cold is possible even when controlled individually in work stations. The innovative outer shell of the façade is particularly spectacular: the transparent foil that protects against strong wind and other weather influences also allows airing of the building through operable windows. Another special feature is the public accessibility of the atrium and other spaces around the building.

The building, which provides 25,000 sq. m gross floor area, was completed in 2009. It houses around 1,200 employees of Unilever’s headquarters for German-speaking countries. It was designed by Behnisch architects of Stuttgart and was developed by HOCHTIEF. The building has been the property of RREEF Investment GmbH since the beginning of 2010. It has already been showered with accolades, including World’s Best Office Building at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in 2009.

 

Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, chief executive, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

"The HafenCity Ecolabel is an important incentive instrument for sustainable construction. Its innovative character and quality requirements are reflected in the quality of HafenCity’s buildings. With its sustainability solutions, the Unilever building is setting high standards for the future."

 

Thomas Ehrhardt, director fund management, RREEF Investment GmbH

"As one of the largest managers of investment property products around the globe, investment in sustainable products is very important to RREEF.  In addition to certification of buildings, the focus is also on their sustainable operation. Unilever Haus unites both qualities in an outstanding way."

 

Matthias Tscheu, head of HOCHTIEF Project Development North

"Sustainability is a given these days. As a founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council, we at HOCHTIEF feel a special obligation to this topic. The award of the HafenCity Ecolabel to Unilever Haus is for us project developers both an endorsement and incentive."

 

Harry Brouwer, CEO Unilever Deutschland Holding GmbH

"Sustainability is an integral element of our corporate strategy. By 2020, we plan as Unilever to have halved our ecological footprint. This building also contributes to our goal, so we are delighted about the award."