Siemens this week opened its new Crystal conference centre at the Royal Victoria Docks, London.

The glass-clad structure covers 6,300sqm and is designed to achieve top scores on the BREEAM and LEED international assessments for energy-efficient buildings.

The Crystal represents a £30m investment by Siemens and will be home to the company’s global Centre of Competence Cities, a team of multi-disciplinary urban experts, who aim to encourage the growth of sustainable cities through partnerships, research and expert collaboration.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The futuristic Crystal is a fantastic new landmark for London which has breathed new life into the historic Royal Docks. Siemens’ £30m investment is a great boost to our ambitious plans to redevelop swathes of former industrial land in order to bring jobs to the capital. It continues the rebirth of East London witnessed by the world this summer and I am determined to ensure this regeneration continues apace.”

Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector said: “Cities worldwide are making investments to improve their water supplies, power grids, transportation systems and building infrastructures. In this growth market, the Crystal will help us intensify dialogue with our customers. The Crystal is our sector’s showcase, contact point and mastermind.”

The Crystal already has two major international conferences on its books. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) opened its conference on 20 September bringing together urban decision makers. And, 21 September, Hubert Burda Media’s DLD cities conference is devoting itself to ’Digital-Life-Design in the Urban Arena’.

Designed as an ‘all electric’ building, The Crystal uses solar power, ground source heat pumps and energy-efficient LED lighting. No fossil fuels are burnt in the building. Rainwater is harvested for re-use or recycling and the Crystal is ready to be connected to London’s smart grid.