Berlin’s greenest commercial complex
Situated in the very heart of Berlin, amongst important government buildings and adjacent to the historic ground of the former Berlin Wall, the HumboldtHafenEins is a striking development.
Covering an area of 45,000 m2, this trailblazing commercial centre boasts 30,000 m2 of highly contemporary, energy efficient office accommodation and 15,000 m2 of food, retail and leisure facilities.
As this development occupies such a prominent position in the city, it was important to deliver a building that was innovative in every way. A competition was held to find the best architectural concept, during which BuroHappold Engineering provided our client with energy performance and sustainability analysis of each entry. We then worked closely with the winning architect to develop designs that would comply with strict German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) criteria.
One of the signature features of the winning entry was a sweeping 6 storey suspended cantilever gallery that offers views out over the city. To realise this complex element, our structural engineers devised a lightweight composite steel construction, reinforced with additional steel elements, to render a safe support system for the 1,500 tonne cantilever.
Our sustainability consultants liaised with the architect to incorporate strategies that would ensure DGNB certification. The materials used throughout were selected for their long life cycle and minimal CO2 emissions, and interior spaces served by highly efficient systems. These include a cutting edge cogeneration plant that uses bio-gas to power the whole complex, a ventilation system with 75% heat recovery, energy optimised air conditioning, and intelligent lighting that reacts to the amount of available daylight.
As a result of these initiatives, the HumboldtHafenEins became the first building to receive the new DGNB Platinum plaque in 2015. Today, it stands as the greenest office complex in Berlin, and among the top ten most sustainable buildings in Germany.
When we integrate our engineering specialisms around a core theme, the benefits to the client multiply