Innovation puts the brakes on resource consumption

headquarter Knorr-Bremse

The redesigned headquarters of Knorr-Bremse offers state-of-the-art, highly functional work spaces that are also impressive in terms of sustainability. As the company’s partner in the implementation process, Siemens contributed a wealth of ideas to the project and took charge of its execution.

The challenge

Revitalizing a location on sustainable principles

As a global market leader in brake systems and a leading provider of safety-related subsystems for rail and utility vehicles, Knorr-Bremse has committed to a policy of sustainable governance. This goal also applied to the conversion of its central business location in Munich, Germany. The historic location became the site for state-of-the-art work spaces for about 2,600 employees in Development and HR that set new standards for sustainability.

Innovative details that make the difference

Sustainability is a marathon event, not a sprint. Reaching the finish line takes a lot of smaller steps.


Thinking along familiar lines quickly reaches its limits. Anyone hoping to progress will question long-established solutions and develop new answers to familiar challenges. This kind of innovative thinking has become a tradition at Knorr-Bremse, and Siemens has proven itself an equal partner for more than 25 years. It was therefore logical that Siemens Smart Infrastructure would contribute a full range of ideas to this project in its capacity as implementation partner and put smart solutions in place to ensure that everything worked smoothly.

Siemens and Knorr-Bremse are connected by more than 25 years as equal partners. We’re united by the courage to try new things – creating new solutions, forging ahead with them, and implementing them impressively.
Frank Berkemeier | Vice President Industrial Engineering & General Service Munich | Knorr-Bremse

Just three of many innovative sustainability solutions

With Siemens alongside as its partner, Knorr-Bremse put many innovations into practice in its new headquarters to set completely new standards for sustainability in action.

Recovering process heat

The new Technology Center of Competence includes a test bench 15 meters high and weighing 760 metric tons that simulates rail travel – at speeds of up to 350 km/h. Waste heat released in braking tests, for example, is recovered and used by the building control technology: Nothing is wasted.

Giving energy costs shade

Smart use of shade helps reduce the energy needed for cooling, heating, and lighting in buildings. The blinds used to provide shade are controlled to ensure that they’re only lowered in areas that genuinely need shading. The Annual Shading system, developed exclusively by Siemens, also takes the shadows cast by adjacent buildings into account, which significantly reduces power costs.

Optimize canteen workflows

The operation of most canteens is less than ideal. There are queues at peak times, some meals run out early, others lose their freshness in the warming cabinets, and food is left over. That’s where the Siveillance Occupancy solution from Siemens comes in. This solution was customized for Knorr-Bremse; it uses integrated sensor technology and an app to control peak visitor flows and prevent wait time. Learning software also optimizes quantity calculations and preparation plans for the chef, which minimizes the number of unsold meals.


New standards serve as a role model

Knorr-Bremse has a sense of responsibility toward people and the environment. This means that it must always look for better solutions. With Siemens as its partner, the company has put a full range of innovations into practice at its principal location in Munich that set completely new standards for sustainability in action. These then radiate out to the company’s other locations in the form of best practices, which they are invited to adopt. This not only saves costs, energy, and carbon, it also contributes to employee comfort in many ways. In other words, it’s a perfect win-win situation.
Innovation is a tradition at Knorr-Bremse. With Siemens we have a partner that will continue to make good on this promise far into the future.
Michael Koch | Head of Facility Management | Knorr-Bremse