Last February, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain inaugurated the Torre Iberdrola in Bilbao, which is the company’s new corporate headquarters and has become an emblem of the city. The monarchs were accompanied on this historic day for the company by the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, the President of the Basque Government (lehendakari), Patxi López, and the Chairman of the group, Ignacio Galán.
In fact, one of the most recent and most important investments made by the Iberdrola group was for the construction of the Torre Iberdrola. Located on Plaza de Euskadi and integrated in the new Abandoibarra urban development, the total amount allocated to this venture was €200 million.
During the inauguration ceremony, Ignacio Galán said that the Tower symbolises Iberdrola’s roots and firm commitment with Euskadi, “an independent, global, Spanish company with its headquarters in Bilbao”. The Chairman of the group highlighted the symbiotic relationship between Euskadi and Iberdrola from the outset. These special ties are reflected, on the one hand, in the support provided by the institutions and tens of thousands of private shareholders, “who give us their unconditional support year after year at the General Meeting, placing their full trust in us and in this project”, and, on the other, in the contribution that the company makes to Basque society.
In this regard, Iberdrola has consolidated its position over the years as one of the economic engines in this autonomous region, where it currently has some 1.2 million customers and a staff of around 4,000 workers.
Designed by the prestigious Argentinean architect César Pelli, Iberdrola’s recently opened corporate headquarters is already a symbol of the new Bilbao. Some 8,500 tonnes of steel and 60,000 tonnes of concrete was used in the construction. The tower occupies a total surface area of 50,000 m2 and stands 165 high, with 41 storeys above the ground. It has 485 parking spaces and has the capacity to house some 3,500 workers.
The occupation rate of this emblematic building is now around 50%, following the transfer of around 700 professionals from ten different companies to the premises, including Norbolsa and Biharko, BBK holdings, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers or Aenor. The occupation percentage is expected to vary between 75% and 80% by the end of this year.
The tower, which is “elegant and sustainable”, to quote Pelli, is a work of art in tertiary architecture and a landmark for its design, technology and sustainability. Its impressive triangular prism shape, with clear curves slightly tapered towards the sky, suggests a great glass obelisk. The façades, which consist of a double-glazed skin, provide a sustainable solution, efficient climate control and extensive views over Bilbao and its estuary.
These bioclimatic walls have double-glazing on the outside, with single-glazed windows that can be opened and closed from the inside, with adjustable curtains installed in the resulting space. An automatic system regulates the lighting and air-conditioning inside the building based on the weather conditions on the outside, with associated energy-savings.
Leader in energy efficiency and sustainable design
In fact, as part of its commitment to sustainable development, the Torre Iberdrola will be the first building of this kind in Europe to receive the highest score in the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Awarded by the Green Building Council in the United States, this is a voluntary international standards system that assesses and acknowledges projects that implement the most environmentally friendly and healthy practices, and which have the most cost-effective structures.
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