Sustainable by design 2050

An initiative of the UIA

Velux model home 2020

Activehouse

Sapienza_Universit___di_Roma

Architekturclips

Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Unilever Headquarters Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Architect
Behnisch Architekten - Stefan Behnisch, David Cook, Martin Haas
Engineers/Specialists
Structure - Weber Poll, Design structure for Weber Poll - Pfefferkorn Ingenieure, Energy concept competition - Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, MEP Engineer - HKP Ingenieure GmbH
Location
Western Europe - Germany - Hamburg
Climate Zone
temperate
Design status
build
Date of completion
2008
Type
Office
Site area (m²)
7820
Footprint (m²)
4060
GFA (m²)
38000
NFA (m²)
24000
NFA/GFA
0.632
Density
4.859
Gross Volume (GV) (m³)
170000
Primary Energy (kWh/m²a)
100
Cooling / Heating-System

Cooling: Thermally activated reinforced concrete ceilings and precooled ventilation via raised-access floor. Heating: Peripheral convector heater supported by heat recuperation system for waste air.

Use of renewable ressources - low tech
natural cross ventilation, evapoartive cooling, use of high thermal mass, others
Use of renewable ressources - high tech
energy recuperation, thermal building mass activation, other
Key Sustainability aspects
solar building integration, vernacular building strategies, public spaces, accessability for disabled, renewable building materials, recycling and reuse, ecological building materials, innovative bulding materials, integrated planning process, participation of users in planning process, low cost design, use of innovative design tools
Sustainability rated
Other
Social and ethical responsibility

The Unilever building fosters an atmosphere of openness and communication. The generous atrium the heart of the design; the central location for people to meet and communicate. As in a city, bridges, ramps and steps connect central spaces with each other. So-called "Meeting Points" encourage informal meetings. By opening the ground floor of the building to the public, Unilever offers visitors the opportunity to use the site as a place to linger and, also, as a thoroughfare to the river.

Ressource efficiency and environmental impact

The building follows the idea of holistic, sustainable architecture. While implementing technologies that help save resources, the energy concept adheres to the principle of avoiding technical solutions wherever possible. Thermally activated reinforced concrete ceilings and a newly developed SMD-LED system contribute to saving energy. A single-layer film placed in front of the building's insulation glazing protects the daylight-optimized blinds from strong wind and other weather influences.

Economic lifecycle perfomance

The layout of the individual levels assures the optimal use of daylight spread over all the areas. Designed flexibility makes it easier to accommodate future changes in use, and the cut and arrangement of spaces was made for optimal microclimate conditions. The building's primary energy consumption during operation is under 100 Kwh/a m2. The Unilever building received the newly established HafenCity EcoLabel in gold.

All employees have the possibility to influence their own direct environment, by manually operated heating radiators, individually controlled sun blinds and shades, and windows which can be individually and manually opened, even on the inside wall of the Atrium.

Contextual performance and impact

Unilever's new building is only a stone's throw from the Cruise Ship Terminal. Here, everything is influenced by the harbour's maritime character. The new headquarters slips easily into this environment, acting as an interface, with a dynamic gesture opening outwards to the world and also inwards, within itself. It marks the end of a new city axis, radiating out from the inner city, directly through the Unilever headquarters, to the water's edge.