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Festo Completes Development of Company Headquarters in Esslingen

As part of its long-term location strategy, Festo started developing the company headquarters in Esslingen with its technological fields of expertise and turning it into a high technology site.

The AutomationCenter is opened. Besides creating a landmark for the region, however, above all Festo's new building provides a meeting place and modern space for future-oriented ideas and innovations. Photo: Festo

The first construction stage in the Zollberg area has now been completed this year with the AutomationCenter. The new building was officially opened today, Friday 16th October. Baden-Württemberg's Minister for Economic Affairs, Dr. Nils Schmid, and Mayor of Esslingen, Dr. Jürgen Zieger, acknowledged Festo during the official ceremony as a “creator of impetus for the engineering city of  Esslingen and the economy in the region”. Besides creating a landmark for the region, however, above all Festo's new building provides a meeting place and modern space for future-oriented ideas and innovations.

Worldwide growth makes expansion necessary

Festo, one of the world's leading companies in automation technology and for industrial training and development, is well-known for its innovative strength and has been on a growth course worldwide for years. “Over the past four years (2010 to 2014), Festo has grown by 8% a year on average. We have driven forward the expansion of our locations in the global growth markets, without which it would no longer have been possible to service the world markets today. In order to give our full support to our planned worldwide growth from the headquarters in Esslingen with central functions and to be able to put it into practice, this expansion of the site was also necessary at this time,” emphasises Dr. Veit, Chairman of the Management Board.

Dr. Ansgar Kriwet, Member of the Management Board Sales, explained at the inauguration of the new building: “The German sales department, our biggest and most important sales company, is getting a new home. The innovative building design matches the strengths of our company and at the same time stands for the development, innovative strength and the future of Festo. The 67-metre high building with the symbolic address, Festo Campus 1, creates the ideal framework for a place that inspires new ideas and brings about innovative sales approaches.”

Baden-Württemberg's Minister for Economic Affairs, Nils Schmid, acknowledged the company: “The new construction and expansion of the headquarters show a clear commitment by Festo to the high technology location and economic region of Baden-Württemberg. As one of the world's leading companies in automation technology and a world market leader for technical training and development, with the newly erected landmark, once again Festo proves its innovative strength and underlines its role as a creator of impetus for the whole region.”

Mayor of Esslingen, Dr. Jürgen Zieger, emphasised the significance of the expansion for the city: “The clear commitment by the world market leader to its roots through the current expansion of the headquarters with the new AutomationCenter is very good news for the city of Esslingen am Neckar. Festo thereby shows in an impressive manner that international success, based on the foundations of a company's own history and the local unity associated with this, remains a viable approach for the future. I am also pleased personally about the underlying urban development concept. It takes account of the city's air corridors and of the prudent building design of the skyscraper: it sets particular energy standards and elegantly and majestically combines technological brilliance with sustainability in its design.”

Securing the future of the engineering city of Esslingen

The foundations were already laid three decades ago with the expansion measures at the site for a development aimed at continuity, growth and commitment. An expert urban development report back in 2006 showed that it was possible to build on the planning area of Zollberg-Süd in line with ecological and contractual requirements. Based on this, the concept for the planning area was further developed and presented to the public in January 2012. The development work started opposite the TechnologyCenter in 2013 - to become Festo Campus 1.

The city of Esslingen am Neckar welcomed Festo's expansion plans to secure the future of the engineering city of Esslingen am Neckar. The municipal council, the Esslingen business community, the Verband Region Stuttgart and the city administration see the extensive course-setting plans by the high technology company, Festo, with the concentration and expansion of the company headquarters, of the research, development and nationwide sales divisions at the Esslingen location in the Berkheim and Zollberg parts of the city, as a clear commitment to Esslingen as a centre of technology. The successful implementation of the development plans would trigger additional added value of the entire public infrastructure of Esslingen and of the dynamic economic region of Stuttgart at the centre of a European metropolitan region. The whole city of Esslingen would benefit from this, Esslingen's mayor, Dr. Jürgen Zieger, underlined when the plans were presented.

Top performance that stands out

With the AutomationCenter, Festo wants to set new standards and a sign for its innovative strength and that of the economic region. Altogether, 27 million euros have been invested in the building and the first construction stage on the grounds of the new Festo campus. It now offers employees the most modern working worlds and new perspectives, which enable top performances and inspire innovations.

The ultra-modern character of the building and its combination of aesthetics, technology and energy efficiency make Festo's high standards in terms of quality and progress clear in every detail.

The rhombus as the basic shape: aligned with the overall ecological plan and taking the cold air flows into account, the rhombic shape of the building emerged. Like a needle of a compass, one of the ends points to the adjoining company headquarters.

Erected on the base shape are 16 floors that rise skywards, with two more
built underground. The four glass lifts in the two ends of the building promise the best views, and there are also three interior lifts – for quickly moving employees and customers, thoughts, plans and ideas.

Building provides convenience and energy efficiency

Not only in terms of the architecture of the building did Festo opt for a holistic concept with intelligent solutions during the implementation stage. The building automation covers all areas of the technical infrastructure, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical installations, lighting, shading, access control, safety and energy management, and is thus aimed at energy efficiency and convenience. The control system is automatic.

The façade of the AutomationCenter impresses with special technical features: designed as an internally ventilated façade, it achieves the best values with regard to energy efficiency and thus protects the environment and conserves resources. The internal glare protection, the four-sided aluminium components of the unitised façade and the glazing work together to limit a volume of air which is permanently extracted when exposed to direct sunshine. The heated air is thus not able to reach the offices in the first place, so there is therefore less need to cool them.

In addition, electrochromic glazing ensures reduced light and heat transmittance. The unobstructed view is preserved and natural ventilation is possible at any time, as the windows can be opened manually. Optimal light and climate conditions thus ensure a more pleasant working environment.

The new working worlds also contribute towards this: with both private and open working areas as well as meeting rooms and multifunctional counter areas, the company creates a modern working environment for the development of outstanding solutions – with this building Festo wants to do justice to its role at the forefront of automation and as a top employer.

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