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DB Schenker HQ Features Holistic Building, Safety and Security Control Using Siemens Desigo CC

Comfort and transparency for The Grid

Building, safety and security technology: a holistic concept for the new corporate headquarters of DB Schenker

International logistics giant DB Schenker has set benchmarks with its new headquarters in Essen. On 30,000 m² of floor space, the new building offers not only ideal working conditions, but it also features an impressive holistic building, safety and security technology concept from Siemens. All disciplines – room automation, access control, fire and intrusion detection, and video surveillance – are integrated in one central building management platform.

Architecturally speaking, the Ruhr region metropolis of Essen continues to reinvent itself. One recent example is the new corporate headquarters of DB Schenker, a leading international logistics provider. In the spring of 2016, the company moved into a new eight-story office building located just a few steps from the city’s main train station. It has 30,000 m2 of floor space for 900 employees. DB Schenker has dubbed the X-shaped, fully gazed structure The Grid. From here, the Deutsche Bahn AG subsidiary manages its logistics network of 700,000 customers worldwide.

An integrated solution for all disciplines

For its new corporate headquarters, DB Schenker wanted building technology from a single source. The building owners chose the Desigo building automation system from Siemens, a seamlessly integrated solution covering the entire range of building automation – from the field level to room automation to the management level. In addition, the Desigo solution can be adapted to new requirements at any time.

The dimensions alone made the job extremely demanding. The system includes 560 Desigo room automation controllers, a DALI lighting control system, shading control for 2,000 blinds, an access control system with 40 Siport readers, a fire detection system with 1,500 detectors, an intrusion detection system with 50 elements, as well as video surveillance equipment.

All the systems and devices at DB Schenker headquarters are interconnected via the Desigo CC building management platform. All disciplines can be centrally controlled, monitored and optimized from two operator screens. Support for open communication standards also allows the integration of third-party components. Even though DB Schenker uses an escape door control system from a specialized vendor, the doors can be unlocked via Desigo CC.

Advanced visualization of all building automation components

Desigo CC offers advanced visualization of the integrated building disciplines. With just a glance at the screen, operators can check the status of all the systems, devices and alarm management components – in each of the 431 rooms.

The setpoints for valve position, room temperature or lighting can be individually adjusted for every single device and room. On-screen graphics are used to control the various disciplines; Desigo CC displays floor plans identifying all the field devices installed in any given room or floor. This also allows central control of cross-disciplinary scenarios such as an event in a specific room or a fire in a particular area. In addition, cross-disciplinary timer groups can be defined. Alarms are displayed for all disciplines on one overview screen. Reports and trends can be displayed automatically if so desired: PDFs are created and e-mailed based on individual preferences.

For maintenance, all the fire detectors in an area can be switched off from the control center, eliminating the need to send technicians to each location. This saves DB Schenker building services a great deal of time and personnel costs.

Intelligent building automation receives LEED Silver certification

Every room at DB Schenker headquarters is equipped with integrated room automation controllers, allowing heating, cooling, lighting and shading to be adjusted for maximum energy efficiency. A total of 431 Desigo TRA individual room controllers were installed in offices, conference rooms and open spaces. They are equipped with sensors, but users can adjust the temperature, lighting and shading as desired using the room operator unit in each room. The panel displays a green or red leaf to indicate whether the settings are eco-friendly.

Open KNX communication standards make the room operator units freely programmable. For example, the presentation scenario can be programmed from the operator unit in a conference room to simultaneously dim the lights, close the blinds and lower the projector. The individual room controllers are connected to the central control system and can hence be operated centrally as well.

The DALI lighting controller uses the KNX standard as well, making the digital lighting systems efficient and easy to operate. Defective light fixtures are identified immediately so they can be replaced as quickly as possible to avoid repeated complaints. Optional motion sensors for autonomous DALI lighting systems were not installed at The Grid. Instead, they are replaced by occupancy buttons on the room operator units. To save even more energy, weather sensors on the roof of the building control the blinds for optimal incident light.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning use approximately 900 data points whose signals converge in seven plant rooms. Siemens supplied and installed the field devices for heating, cooling and ventilation and set up the control cabinets.

The measures taken to increase the energy efficiency of the building earned DB Schenker a LEED Silver certification, demonstrating that the logistics provider takes its sustainability strategy seriously.

Security at all levels

The Siport system controls access to The Grid. 40 readers and 200 door locks with electric rotary knobs (offline cylinders) were installed. At DB Schenker’s request, the access system forwards timestamps to a separate system. The electric locking system secures nearly 300 doors.

The fire protection system combines an EN 54-compliant FC2080 fire control panel with 1,500 fire detectors, 900 sounders and 40 loops. This latest and most powerful Siemens fire control panel was selected because of the size of the building. DB Schenker uses multi-protocol detectors that can be tailored to individual room parameters. If the room usage changes, i.e. if the space is converted to a computer or break room, the fire detection system can be adjusted without having to replace the sensors.

Siemens also installed a CIC 2000 intrusion detection system according to VdS standards. 50 elements were integrated, including motion sensors and door monitors. A SINVR video surveillance system with the SiteIQ Analytics video management system rounds out the solution. 30 cameras are interconnected, 24 of them around the building as a virtual fence solution. Any violation of the defined security distance triggers automatic recording. Because the building borders on public streets, the video system uses partial pixelation.


In the past, DB Schenker had to outsource building management to specialized vendors. Now Desigo CC gives the in-house building technicians everything they need on a central screen: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, shading, fire detection and building security. The technicians work independently, although a five-year service contract ensures they can request support at any time. Siemens technicians and experts are available to assist DB Schenker technicians via remote access.

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