We were tasked with delivering a 15,000 sq m facility at the Achalaich business park in Weilheim, Upper Bavaria. Xylem’s analytics division manufactures physical-chemical analysis devices for applications in the areas of water, wastewater, marine and coastal waters, food, beverages, the environment, chemistry and pharmaceuticals.
Verdion was appointed by Xylem, in partnership with the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), because our design went beyond simply creating an efficient building. We wanted to reflect the company’s corporate ethos by providing a stimulating and productive place to work, with a production plant, distribution centre, research and development laboratory, and offices and communal areas surrounded by landscaping and open space on a 27,000 sq m plot.
Maintaining a sterile environment is key to the purity of the analysis work Xylem carries out, so movements around its facility need to be carefully managed. A key feature of our design is the physical separation of the office accommodation, with its looser requirements, from the production and R&D areas. People are less likely to move between the two, and when they do the demarcation will be clear. Office staff won’t need to concern themselves with clothing changes or cross sensitive areas to reach communal space. More importantly, the reduction in movement will significantly reduce the risk of cross-contamination throughout the facility.
The zoning requirements for the building stipulated that the roof must either be fitted with photovoltaic cells or be planted as a green roof. Our design does both. The office building will feature a green roof, and other roof areas will be equipped with a photovoltaic system providing power to the site, ‘sun collectors’ for producing warm water for the heating system, and a rainwater recycling system that improves the way water is used, conserved and re-used.
The location of the R&D building offers a spectacular view of the Bavarian Alps, so at the earliest stages we designed a spacious terrace on the roof – a space with potential for hosting customer events and team gatherings as well as an area for quiet contemplation. The idea was so well received that the company is also considering adding an outdoor workout area to the terrace.