Forward marketing also means cooperating with other future-focused companies located in the regions. One such firm is Al Falah Ready Mix, a leading producer of building materials in the Middle East, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions in concrete production by 30 percent. The company will also use materials from other network partners: Makrolon from Bayer Sheet Europe and insulating foam from the German company Puren. “Fast, more intensive market penetration is part of the strategy,” explains Lisa Ketelsen, who, as Opportunity Manager, is constantly looking at how the network can be usefully extended.
One important step is the cooperation agreement just signed by Bayer MaterialScience and Züblin. Explaining the reasons for the cooperation, Jörn Beckmann, a member of the Board of Management of the international construction company, says, “Through this cooperation, we can also increase the sustainability and the value of Züblin’s turnkey buildings.”
Another partner is the “planquadrat” architects office of Elfers, Geskes and Krämer, based in Darmstadt. This group has plenty of international experience, especially in the hotter parts of the world. They have designed, for example, a skyscraper office complex in Dubai and the Business Bay Hotel. “In Bayer MaterialScience, we have at our side a partner with an outstanding reputation that is also at the leading edge of technology in the field of insulation materials and coatings,” explains Martin Geskes, a managing partner of planquadrat.
The EcoCommercial Building program has already chalked up points with its past reference projects. In Pittsburgh in the United States, a zero-energy house has been built with eleven products and technologies supplied by Bayer MaterialScience or its customers. It came about through a cooperation arrangement with students from Pennsylvania State University. The solar house combines a photovoltaic system with a green landscaped roof, which means that sunlight is converted into energy, while at the same time heat is kept away from the building.
Another showpiece project is the Bayer CropScience kindergarten at the company’s headquarters in Monheim, Germany. All the energy needed for the heating, ventilation, lighting and day-to-day operation of the building is obtained from renewable sources: namely geothermal heat and sunlight. In conjunction with an insulation concept consisting of polyurethane raw materials from Bayer MaterialScience, this building achieves an emission-neutral energy balance over the course of a year.
Another example is the Bayer administration building in Diegem, Belgium, which received an energy efficiency award from the European Commission as a “green building.” Michele van Hove and Sybille de Pierpont, who work in the Congress Service there, love the building’s climate. “The atmosphere here is always pleasant, with no major temperature fluctuations,” says van Hove. It’s all down to a self-regulating concrete core activation system, which either heats or cools the rooms depending on the time of the year. This means there are no cold currents of air in the summer and no uneven distribution of heat in the winter. The integrated planning concept combines a number of different features – a geothermal plant with heat storage, condensing boiler heating, and efficient heat insulation of the facades, roof and floor. Rainwater is used to flush the toilets.
The ecological approach also influences normal day-to-day operations. “We use porcelain cups instead of plastic beakers,” says Sybille de Pierpont, “and only print documents when it is really necessary.” There is one thing she and her colleagues do not need to worry about: the lighting system in the rooms is fitted with movement detectors which automatically switch off the lights if somebody is away from his or her desk for longer than 15 minutes.