Modern, green, inspiring

AEB moves into new headquarters

Euphoria was in the air as, precisely 600 days after the cornerstone was laid, when some 400 employees of AEB moved into their new company headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany in June 2017.

AEB GmbH moved into its new company headquarters on the old Hansa site at Sigmaringer Straße 109 in Stuttgart-Möhringen on Monday, June 19. 

“All our employees were really looking forward to this new environment, which actually exceeded our expectations,” reports AEB Managing Director Markus Meissner. “Not only that, but we managed to complete the €32 million project on time and within budget.” 

The company decided the make the move after its former offices in the Tränke business district in Stuttgart-Degerloch grew too small for the ever-growing company. Since its founding 38 years ago, AEB has developed from a team of software developers into an international provider of software and IT services for global trade and logistics. 

The company now serves customers in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and beyond. The new company headquarters is also a statement of AEB’s commitment to its Stuttgart base. “This is consistent with our principle of remaining rooted in this region while thriving on the global stage,” Meissner explains. 

New headquarters offers flexible workspaces 

The headquarters boasts 8,950 square meters of office space and is designed to accommodate 500 employees. The building features an open and transparent central atrium and over 400 workstations in bright, flexible-use open-office spaces – without fixed workstations for the various members of a team. 

The idea is to make communication, collaboration, and creativity part of the everyday experience. The open spaces alternate with “think tanks,” private retreats, project rooms, and creative spaces. 

The outside area even features open-air work spaces. “The new building supports every working style – and also features communication and meeting spaces such as bistros, a cafeteria, and athletic areas,” adds Meissner. 

“Nine employee working groups contributed ideas about how to design the working and socializing areas, the data center, and the mobility concept. That heightened the interest during the construction phase and the excitement in the run-up to the move-in date,” says Matthias Kiess, AEB’s other Managing Director. 

The result is a grand concept – from the architecture to the energy concept to the work spaces – that reflects the software company’s culture. 

Energy usage 45% below mandates 

The new building also includes two data centers that house both the heart of the in-house IT infrastructure and the cloud-based and on-demand software for over 5,000 businesses. The transactions processed here include some 3.8 million export declarations sent to the customs office each year. 

The AEB headquarters also implemented an innovative energy concept: A photovoltaic system generates solar energy, the differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures help cool the building, and waste heat from the two data centers feed into the heating system. This earned the building the status of “Effizienzhaus 55” – meaning it uses under 55% of the primary energy of a standard low-energy building as defined under Germany’s latest energy conservation mandates. 

The official “housewarming” of AEB’s new company headquarters will take place on September 19, 2017. 

Fun facts about the new headquarters:

  • It sounds contradictory, but it’s true: When AEB’s data center runs at higher capacity, it’s not only good for business, it also lowers the heating costs. This is made possible by an energy concept that uses waste heat from the data center to warm the building. Together with other energy-efficiency measures, the AEB project reduces CO2 emissions by about 265 metric tons annually.
  • The 150 cubic meters of water in the sprinkler tank not only ensures safety in the event of fires, it also stores energy: The water mass warms more slowly after cool summer nights than the air, so it can be used during the day to cool the building and data center. In the winter, this same mechanism works the other way around. With a temperature difference of just 5 degrees Celsius, the water tank can store 1,000 kWh of heat energy.
  • A rooftop array of 276 photovoltaic panels generates some 72 kWh of sustainable solar energy.
  • An athletic area is available for a spontaneous game of basketball during the lunch break or a game of soccer at the end of the day. 
  • Fruit trees, berry bushes, and an herb garden are also available for hobby gardeners or any employee who prefers a slower pace.
  • Four bistros offer employees the opportunity to join colleagues for a quick conversation or sit and browse through the industry-themed magazines and books.
  • Several electric vehicle charging stations and an underground bike garage with e-bike charging stations support green commuting options.