Sustainable Infrastructure

Sustainable infrastructure strategy for a 27-hectare site in Prague.

Bubny, a former railway station, in central Prague, stands as a neighbourhood on the brink of historic transformation. Altered beyond its original bucolic ideal, in 1845 Bubny became Prague’s largest railway depot and then was further segregated by major roads and heavy traffic, it now stands abandoned, an island of disuse. Its most recent transformation began two years ago whereupon Orco Property Group purchased the site and are currently planning to revive the neighbourhood with development consisting of 1,000,000m² of new development incorporating new offices, residential, shopping mall, retail, hotel, university, hospital, arts, student housing, swimming pool, police and fire stations, schools and public parks.

Such an extensive redevelopment required a thoroughly deliberated sustainability strategy provided through the implementation of a Sustainability Design Code to ensure exemplar environmental targets are met. An extensive park running through the heart of the development will form an ecological link to Stromovka Park and, in conjunction with green roofs, will increase the site’s biodiversity, filter air and water pollution, buffer noise and create a heat sink to prevent summer urban over-heating.

Passive design techniques will lower operational energy required, creating high yield investment properties with a unique selling point. These homes, offices, retails spaces and recreational facilities will be healthy internal environments through the elimination of toxic materials, the introduction of natural light and natural ventilation. Renewable energy for hot water and electricity will be incorporated into each building and district heating will supply the entire site with an efficient, holistic system. The River Vltava, which wraps around the site, will be incorporated into an innovative neighbourhood cooling strategy using geothermal technology.

Water will be managed as a finite resource, through district water recycling and rainwater harvesting to ensure water availability through drought conditions.

Bubny will be a leading development in minimising, recycling and extracting value from waste and will abide by the waste hierarchy, promoting waste prevention, minimisation and reuse prior to recycling. Achieving waste reduction requires the encouragement and education of the community to maximise environmental awareness and capitalizing on the potential to reduce waste and increase resource efficiency.

"Sylvia was responsible for building a business case for the French developer in the Czech Republic to provide a holistic sustainable infrastructure solution that not only reduced the environmental impact of such a large development within an established city, but also stood up on economic terms within the eyes of a commercial developer. She did this through detailed research, meticulous understanding of the local and national objectives and processes and an ability to communicate complex variables to people outside of the normal sustainable infrastructure discussions. Again her passion and energy for best practice also led to other avenues for us as a design practice, including exploration of opportunities for the development in Modern Methods of Construction and Offsite Fabrication."
- James Warne, Environmental Engineering Director, BDP

"Sylvia led the development of a sustainability strategy for a new 27-hectare brownfield development at Bubny in Prague, Czech Republic. Sylvia approached this challenging business case comparison between a traditional waste collection in Prague, a new underground waste collection system, and a variety of other incentive systems to inform the public, increase waste reduction and improve the environment within the large development. Sylvia tackled the complexity of the project with thoroughness and clarity, examining the numerous issues involved and presenting her results in a comprehensive, graphically supported document, which proved most useful to the client."
- Richard Buckingham, Head of Sustainability, BDP
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