Textiles & Apparel / Garment

2021-03-04

The new Zara.com building fuses sustainability and technology

Zara.com building (c) 2021 Inditex
is set to inaugurate its new smart, ecoefficient and cutting-edge building at its head offices in Arteixo (A Coruña, Spain), which will house the new www.zara.com studios and the Zara Man central design department, on 17 March. Surrounded by a natural ecosystem landscaped with plants and trees, and as part of a total investment of €130 million to improve Inditex’s head office complex in Arteixo (A Coruña, Spain), the building features the latest developments in sustainability and technology.

• As part of a total investment of €130 million to improve Inditex’s head office complex in Arteixo, the new building, which spans 67,000m2 , runs on photovoltaic solar power and features WiFi 6 and 5G connectivity.

• Inditex’s Executive Chairman, Pablo Isla, highlights the importance of the new building, which represents the “best visual example of the company’s strategy, due to its investment in store and online integration technology and advanced sustainability systems”.

• It expects to obtain the most stringent green building seal - LEED Platinum - thanks to environmental novelties such as the façades clad with high-efficiency glass and the rainwater reusage systems.

Inditex’s Executive Chairman, Pablo Isla, highlights the importance of the new building as ”representing the best visual example of the company’s strategic transformation, due to its investment in store and online integration technology and advanced sustainability systems”.

Spanning 67,000m2 and with a height of 28m, the building stands out for the 720 high-energy-efficiency glass modules that clad the entire façade, intertwined with structural pillars made from aluminium. The modules allow the interior to be flooded with natural light.

The use of innovative engineering solutions, whereby all the structural weight runs through the external supports, paves the way for spacious and diaphanous interior work areas. Modular solutions will enable a highly flexible configuration of the new studios, enlarging or shrinking them as required. All of the interiors are open-plan and are articulated around a central agora, or open space, designed to provide a meeting point and area for relaxation, exchange of ideas and innovation that characterise the other recent expansions of the Arteixo head offices, which were designed by the same team of architects, Batlle i Roig, who have also worked with Inditex on the headquarters for Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius.

The building is equipped with the latest connectivity solutions -WiFi 6 and 5G -, which facilitates the use of innovative technology such as double-sided LED screens allowing users to project on them wirelessly through the local Wifi connection.

The ground floor and the first floor will be occupied by Zara Man's central design department and will provide room for an extensive pattern design area and extended showrooms. The pattern design area is an essential part of the designers' creative process: the designers work constantly with the pattern experts to create samples and prototypes which, following input from all the members of the product department, are destined for the new collections that arrive in store and on customers' devices. All those samples are displayed in the showrooms, where the upcoming collections are presented, debated and coordinated.

The second and third floors will accommodate the large, multidisciplinary Zara.com team: from the image professionals who work with the designers on the best way to present Zara's collections each season to the team of engineers and programmers who tirelessly service the needs of the integrated store and online platform. The latter do so enabled by the proprietary digital architecture known as the Inditex Open Platform (IOP), developed in-house, which services each phase of Inditex's business model. Thanks to modular solutions that are being added to the general architecture, the IOP responds to customers' needs in real time.





Integrated management

Those floors will also be home to the process teams devoted to the integrated management of store and online platform inventory, all customer service operations and R&D initiatives; such as the sustainability team working on new sustainable packaging solutions.

Located on the 9,000-m2 fourth floor are the studios, all filled with natural light, in which the photographers, models, stylists and make-up artists bring the clothing and looks available on www.zara.com to life. The fifth floor, which is currently fitted with eight permanent cycloramas, but is designed to cater to the versatility required by Zara's campaigns, is also home to the editors who select the best shots to upload onto the product pages and strive to ensure customers can visualise each product exactly as it is.

The new facilities are connected with the rest of Inditex's head office complex via a glass walkway located on the third floor, while the building's five floors are interconnected by means of three wide stairwells: a main staircase articulated around a 32m-tall vertical atrium and another two staircases which also allow in daylight and provide views outside. They are similarly connected with the underground floors, devoted to parking, including spaces for electric vehicle charging and places for bikes.

Energy efficiency and sustainable materials

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the new building, and one of the areas prioritised when designed, is its sustainability credentials. The building was designed using bioclimatic parameters and environmentally-friendly materials and is equipped with high-efficiency installations. It complies with the stringent requirements of the sustainable building benchmark US Green Building Council (USGBC) –and which it hopes to achieve its highest certification, LEED Platinum.

The building as a whole fosters conservation and efficient use of resources. The roof is fitted with 554 photovoltaic panels which, together with the 2,826 panels installed in the outdoor car park, supply half of the building's electricity. All the building’s energy comes from renewable sources. It also reuses rainwater for watering and sanitation thanks to a subterranean tank. The façade's design, with its high-performance glass modules and light-coloured finishes, also replicated on the roof, delivers energy savings of 22% with respect to the USGBC threshold.

The systems, managed centrally from a monitoring room, also play an essential role in energy efficiency and water consumption. Notably:

• A high-efficiency aerothermal HVAC system that can be adapted for room-specific requirements bringing a 15% energy saving versus a conventional system.

• A lighting system that can be modulated as a function of outside light and indoor occupancy.

• Energy-efficient direct-drive lifts with variable speeds and a stand-by mode for when they are not in use.

• Flushes and taps equipped with flow reduction devices.

• Water-efficient landscaping, comprised of indigenous plants and species adapted to the local climate to help with the water conservation efforts outdoors and preservation of regional biodiversity.

By the same token, the materials used comply with Inditex's environmental and circularity commitments. The pre-fabricated structure was made from recycled materials; the interior finishes are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so helping improve indoor air quality, and the furniture and fittings come with environmental product certification (EDP); specifically the timber fittings boast FSC certification.



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