New Building at SAP North America’s Philadelphia-Area Campus Features Energy-Efficient, Sustainable Design

May 01, 2009

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.. - May 01, 2009 - A suburban office building with a grass roof, toilets that use rainwater for flushing and an air-conditioning system that makes its own ice for cooling? It's a reality at SAP AG's (NYSE: SAP) office expansion on its Newtown Square campus. Designed by FXFOWLE Architects, known for its innovative sustainable designs, the new 200,000-square-foot building unveiled today includes numerous sustainable design features and is built to comply with the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standard. At present, there are fewer than 125 office buildings in the U.S. that have obtained USGBC's highest environmental rating. The SAP building is currently under review by the USGBC, with LEED Platinum certification anticipated in 2010.

Worldwide, SAP is committed to incorporating sustainable design features into all of its new building projects and strives to design its new buildings to at least a LEED Silver standard. This effort is part of the company's strategic focus on sustainability, which includes both a commitment to managing its internal operations in a sustainable way and delivering solutions that support its customers' sustainable business practices.

"SAP's commitment to long-term growth in the North American region and the Philadelphia area is clearly reflected in this expansion of our North American campus," said Bill McDermott, president, Global Field Operations, SAP AG, and member of the SAP Executive Board. "The sustainable attributes of this new building are a natural outgrowth of SAP's holistic and strategic corporate focus on sustainability. The building's design not only significantly reduces its environmental impact, it also provides our nearly 2,000 Philadelphia-area employees with an innovative, state-of-the-art workplace."

Located on the 110-acre campus of SAP North America and adjacent to its existing LEED-certified building, the new building features a floor-to-ceiling glass exterior and an open-space plan that takes maximum advantage of daylight. The "green" grass roofs, the use of native and regional vegetation species in landscaping and the maintenance of extensive open space highlight SAP's goal of integrating the building with the surrounding natural environment.

The new building also incorporates numerous innovative features to reduce water use. Rainwater from the green roof and other areas is collected in a 50,000-gallon cistern, which supplies water for landscape irrigation and the flushing of toilets in some of the building's bathrooms. Additionally, low-flow bathroom fixtures will greatly reduce water usage, with an expected saving of over one million gallons of water per year.

Energy-efficient features abound in the building. Geothermal wells use the constant ground temperature of the earth to both heat and cool areas of the building. Lighting systems based on the concept of "daylight harvesting" are controlled by sensors that dim the lighting levels and raise or lower window shades based on the level of sunlight coming through the triple-glazed glass exterior wall. A hybrid air conditioning system produces ice during the overnight hours when energy demands and electric rates are lowest, with the chilled water from the melting ice used to cool the building during the heat of the day.

These and other energy-efficient features are projected to reduce the building's energy use by as much as 49 percent compared to conventional buildings, and will contribute to global efforts from SAP to meet its recently announced aggressive carbon reduction targets (see "SAP Increases Focus on Sustainable Business"). It is expected that the additional costs of implementing the LEED Platinum features will be recovered within seven to 10 years, making the new building sustainable from both a resource and financial standpoint. The new building has also achieved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR (DEES) rating, which acknowledges energy-efficient architecture and engineering in new buildings. Fewer than 120 projects have earned the DEES rating since the program began in 2004.

Green building standards were also a priority during construction. Strict waste-management and recycling practices were followed, resulting in more than 1,200 tons of waste being diverted from landfills. Environmentally friendly materials were used whenever possible, with the materials, finishes and furnishings incorporating sustainable features such as high recycled content and being locally sourced to reduce the carbon footprint. For example, the building features wood from trees harvested on the site during the construction phase. Construction of the new building generated 1,900 jobs for local tradespeople, adding between $30-40 million to the local economy.

More information about sustainability efforts from SAP may be found at the Sustainability at SAP section on To preview and download broadcast-standard stock footage and press photos of the new building and its sustainability features, please visit

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