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Dow Corning strengthens innovation capacity in Europe, completes new research & development facility in Belgium
Two green buildings feature cutting-edge technology and Dow Corning
applications for optimized energy efficiency
€9m investment expands Dow Corning’s capacity for researching solar
cells and silicon-based materials in Europe
Dow Corning, a global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and
innovation, today announced the completion of its new state-of-the-art research
and development facility in Seneffe, Belgium. The Solar Energy Exploration and
Development (SEED) center includes a Solar Application Center and a Silicone
Synthesis Technology Center.
The 9 million Euro (13 million $) addition to Dow Corning’s global
innovation capacity aims to advance research in new silicon-based materials and
solar cell efficiency.
“This investment will accelerate innovation and growth,” said Dr. Gregg A.
Zank, vice president and chief technology officer of Dow Corning
Corporation. “By having this facility in Belgium, we will have access to
very talented scientific people throughout Europe to work collaboratively on
sound science and technology to develop sustainable products and applications
for our customers.”
“The completion of the SEED research center marks another milestone in Dow
Corning’s investments in Europe,” says Klaus Hoffmann, president, Europe,
Middle-East and Africa. “Europe provides access to a highly-skilled workforce
and a broad variety of research and innovation resources. SEED’s addition to
our European network demonstrates the regions’ strategic importance for the
company’s success.” Last week, Dow Corning announced the completion of its
32,000 m2 European distribution center, a €30m+ investment.
The SEED complex was designed and built with sustainability in mind, using novel Dow Corning technologies as well
as clean energy sources to achieve some of the highest energy efficiency
standards. It acts as a showcase for the extensive possibilities of
Dow Corning’s new Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIP) cover the entire
construction, providing high insulating value in materials up to five times
thinner than conventional insulation products, enabling maximal use of internal
The center usesgeothermal energy, coupled with a heat pump, for heating and
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), a set of PV modules mounted as
sun screens in front of the windows, reduce the need for cooling in the office
area and simultaneously serve as power generators.
Using Dow Corning’s structural glazed facade technology, the complex’s
large, modern windows allow for more natural daylight in the building, while
retaining insulation efficiency.
This combination of technologies has a measurable impact on the new
facilities’ environmental footprint:
Heating costs are anticipated to be 75% lower and electricity costs 70%
lower than an equivalent conventional construction.
An air-recycling system will allow the SEED laboratories to achieve a 65%
energy gain compared to conventionally designed labs, representing a saving of
290 tons of CO2 per year.
'We have used and protyped many of Dow Corning's innovations and novel
applications, pushing the limits of technical possibilities in optimizing
energy use for a laboratory, facility, and answering the sustainability demands
of new construction standards," says Patrick De Graeve, managing project
engineer at Group IPS, the architects who designed the SEED.
Installation of lab equipment in the facilities has started, and research
activities within the SEED are expected to start in the first half of 2012.
About Dow Corning
Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs
of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones,
silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000
products and services via the company’s Dow Corning® and XIAMETER
® brands. Dow
Corning is equally owned by The Dow
and Corning, Incorporated
More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States. Dow
Corning’s global operations adhere to the American Chemistry Council’s
Responsible Care® initiative
, a stringent set of standards designed
to advance the safe and secure management of chemical products and
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