The goal of a fossil-free life within one generation and two new, particularly sustainable office locations in Berlin and Hamburg: these are clear signs of the strategic and cultural change at Vattenfall.
We need to rethink our ways on our way into the future. As one of the largest producers of electricity and heat in Europe, the company sets high requirements for the office locations of the future with regard to sustainability and contemporary work culture.
Approximately 2,100 employees will move into the new Vattenfall headquarters near Berlin’s Südkreuz transit station in 2021. The two planned office buildings will have a total of 29,000 m² of rental space and will be connected by an underground parking structure.
Designed by the architecture firm Tchoban Voss Architekten, the offices will features an innovative wood-concrete hybrid design. Compared with a conventional reinforced concrete design, the CO2 emissions generated during construction are reduced by up to 80 percent per square meter of floor space. Low-emission building materials that are also low in pollutants round off the office buildings. The German Sustainable Building Council will award its platinum certificate – the highest rating level – for this sustainable design.
Sustainable and beautiful: The interior of the new Berlin building is open and green. Photo: EDGE Berlin
The new building in Hamburg will also be constructed using sustainable construction methods and will therefore receive the Platinum HafenCity Ecolabel. The architecture firm Behnisch Architekten designed the 16-story building with 18,000 m² of rental space. The approximately 1,300 Vattenfall employees in Hamburg will move into the new building in Elbbrückenquartier (Elbbrücken district) in 2023 under the name ElbSide Hamburg (ESH). The project developer of both locations is EDGE Technologies, whose buildings are known for their particularly sustainable operation capability.
Photovoltaic systems ensure environmentally friendly and efficient energy use in Hamburg. The ElbSide Hamburg building is 30 percent below the permissible total primary energy requirement and the permissible average heat transfer coefficient of the German Energy Saving Ordinance.
The carbon footprint in Berlin is just as stellar. The energy supply is provided by three combined heat and power plants, which operate using biomethane. The building also achieves an energy-efficiency standard KfW 70 (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau/Reconstruction Loan Corporation) or higher, which attests to the low energy requirement of the property. The standard of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau consists of two criteria: the total energy requirement of the property and the thermal insulation of the building envelope.
Both locations also rely on the use of smart building solutions for energy balance-optimized building operation. The concept of networked automation is based on users interacting with the building – for example, via LED lighting with human presence sensing and daylight-dependent control. A cloud-based building management system enables the monitoring of energy and other resources.
New working environments in modern office buildings are all about being able to work in a healthier and more efficient manner. Starting points are a multispace office with a hotdesking solution and the concept of activity-based working. There will be an optimal working environment in Berlin and Hamburg for each activity. Both locations have workstations for more focused working, phone calls, videoconferencing, project work, informal communication, and much more, in addition to hotdesking workstations. The areas are also arranged into team bases with personal lockers, team kitchens, and workout rooms. Central meeting points are the atrium, the staff cafeteria, sky lounge, and outdoor areas such as the roof terraces.
The new Vattenfall building in Berlin Südkreuz is dedicated to better and healthier work. Photo: EDGE Berlin
Good acoustics, lighting, and air conditioning ensure an optimal atmosphere indoors. In addition, there are ergonomic workstations with state-of-the-art technology. These special requirements for the working environment were awarded the WELL Core Gold Certification. It only attests to the fact that the health and well-being of employees is the focus of attention.
A decisive factor in the choice of locations in Berlin and Hamburg was, in particular, their ease of accessibility. In terms of transportation, both new buildings are very well connected thanks to their direct proximity to local and regional public transportation, roadways, and the airport.
A comprehensive electromobility charging infrastructure is also part of the traffic concept. Vattenfall has developed a roadmap to reduce CO2 emissions by 75 percent by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. One important step towards this pledge is the electrification of the company’s vehicle fleet. For this reason, both Berlin and Hamburg will have an electromobility charging infrastructure for fleet vehicles implemented by the in-house Vattenfall InCharge electromobility initiative. In addition, there are electric car and bikesharing stations from external providers and hundreds of secure bicycle parking spaces, which also have charging stations for electric bikes.
Sustainability requires companies to act as groundbreakers and pioneers. Vattenfall sees itself in this role. The ecological, innovative, and sustainable offices in Berlin and Hamburg are all about this. The company would like to pass on the know-how for such modern utilization of real estate, especially in the areas of energy supply and efficiency as well as electromobility, to other companies. Vattenfall is your competent partner on our way to a greener future.