Green project aims to achieve top rating in three sustainability markers
The initial signs of Germany’s first entirely sustainable creative-industrial corporate development are sprouting up
on the shores of Hamburg-Harburg Harbour. Once the site of Hercules Sägemann’s Kamm world-renowned
comb factory, and a ship building area before that in the late 19th century, the new
ECO CITY Hamburg-Harburg is situated on a site well associated
with German entrepreneurship and ingenuity and aims to revive the flagging harbour.
Comprising ten major structures, ECO CITY offers a variety of different spaces for different purposes, bringing both
large-scale industry and creative start-ups together in one, cooperative, and ecofriendly
business community. The spaces range from studios to large warehouse and production facilities.
International design firm tec architecture and global engineering company ARUP teamed up to blend futuristic, environmentally-progressive architectural design with state-ofthe-art technology and engineering to create a working city that challenges the notion how an
urban, working environment should look and function.
“ECO CITY represents a synergistic approach to urban development,” explains tec Principal
Sebastian Knorr. “By working in close cooperation with all the stakeholders and taking into
consideration the immediate environmental context of the project, we’ve created a different type
of sustainable, creative-industrial complex. We hope that iconic ECO CITY project becomes a
model for sustainable urban development.”
ECO CITY is the is one of very few projects in the world designed to achieve a globally green
rating from the three major green building rating systems on the planet: USGBC’s Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program, the Building Research Establishment
Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), and the German Sustainable Building
Council (DGNB)’s Program. Currently, ECO CITY is seeking the highest level of environmental
certification from all three programs.
Capitalizing on the predominantly westerly winds that blow in off the North Sea, the design
proposes two large wind turbines atop high-rise towers. These building-integrated turbines will generate more than 10% of the complex’s power,
surpassing any other high-rise project in the world. Solar water heating will be used to offset
the use of natural gas. Site lighting will be powered by solar technology. Over forty percent of
ECO CITY’s footprint will consist of open air.
The majority of all visible roofs will be green roofs,
serving to slow storm water runoff and significantly reducing the heat island effect of ECO CITY.
Green areas will be elevated to the second story where there is more access to air and sunlight.
In addition to roof gardens, more than half the site will be covered with vertical gardens, further
minimizing the development’s carbon footprint and maximizing leisure space. These raised
green beltways will create a microclimate of sorts, allowing workers and visitors ample outdoor
The project will utilize environmentally friendly materials that will help promote
a healthy indoor building atmosphere. Passive design techniques and efficient façade and
building design will reduce energy consumption by about 30%. Existing structures from
the original site have been rehabilitated and materials from demolished structures re-used
whenever possible. Located within walking distance from several major transportation nodes,
ECO CITY is an easy commute or quick bike ride for most visitors.
With Phase 1 completed, ECO CITY has secured its first major tenant with the arrival of
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, the global manufacturer of printing presses that can trace
its history back to the 1800s.
During Phase 2, construction will begin on the first high-rise tower that will house a luxury hotel,
restaurant, and retail space, attracting people from beyond ECO CITY to the location, making
it a destination in and of itself. Construction will also begin on B05, a major office complex
located on the very visible corner site of the development. The five-storey office block is slated
for completion in Spring / Summer 2010.