ECO Sustainable space improves living quality in every city

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Katowice promotes green building. Thanks to ambitious plans, new energy-efficient buildings are appearing in post-industrial areas of the city.

Does it mean that the central part of the Upper Silesian Metropolis has a chance to become a sustainable city friendly to all inhabitants. Participants of the seminar entitled “Sustainable design – the need for integrated design”, which was held on 24th April in the Euro-Center Science and Technology Park in Ligocka Street in Katowice,  tried to answer this question.

Michał Buszek Architect of Katowice, Mirosław Czarnik President of the Management Board of the Upper Silesian Industrial Park, Marek Dąbrowski from Buro Happold, architects Tomasz Konior and Sławomir Kostur, took part in the discussion during the meeting. Sławomir Kostur designed the first passive office building in Poland, which is being built in the Euro-Center.

That was the second meeting during this year within the third edition of the Polish cycle “Partnership for sustainable construction.” The first one was held on 29th March in Wrocław.

The Project initiator and sponsor is RD bud General Contractor. The aim of the project is to raise awareness of sustainable design through initiation of among branch representatives involved in investing in Polish regions. “Sustainable or green building entails higher costs, however it is recompensated by further exploitation. We don’t always realise it.” Jean Luc Darras, Technical Director and Sustainable Development Specialist in RD bud.

The company is experienced in construction of low-energy buildings, for instance in France. In Poland, the first building with BREEAM certificate constructed by RD bud is Mokotowska Square office building, which was available in October 2011.The company started also the construction of Oxygen Park office complex in Jerusalem Avenue in Warsaw, which may apply for this certificate.

Energy-efficient buildings are appearing also in Katowice. Therefore, it is a good place for organising a discussion on green building.

In the nearest time in the Euro-Center, which replaced Zakłady Aparatury Chemicznej “Wimach”, the first passive office building in Poland. New energy-efficient buildings are appearing in the area of the Upper Silesian Industrial Park and former Silesia foundry. According to Tomasz Konior, an architect, such solutions are not common in Poland, in contrast to London where the organisation of the nearest Olympic Games contributed to the revitalisation of the Lower Lea Valley. Marek Dąbrowski in his presentation stressed the fact that, “All objects in the Olympic village were designed with the aim of changing their functions after the competition.” Buro Happold worked on the revitalisation of Stratford, located in the area of the Olympic village.
The basis for sustainable construction is future planning. “A good land-use plan (master plan) equalises numerous functions and goals, and is elastic,” said Marek Dąbrowski from Buro Happold.

This topic dominated the second part of the seminar, during which Buro Happold and Tomasz Konior led a training course entitled “Thinking the City”. Participants worked in groups. Each group had to propose solutions which will enable to create a friendly public space in the centre of Katowice, between the Railway Station, new venue of Silesian Museum and Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The participants proposed: transformation of Korfantego Avenue into city passage, limitation of car traffic in this area, and enhancement of public transport. They also agreed that public space improves living quality in every city.

Honorary patronage over the event was taken by: Polska Rada Architektury, Stowarzyszenie Architektów Polskich, Polski Związek Firm Deweloperskich and Forum Odpowiedzialnego Rozwoju, Politechnika Śląska Wydział Architektury, Śląska Izba Budownictwa,  Towarzystwo Urbanistów Polskich Branch in Katowice, and Fundacja na Rzecz Efektywnego Wykorzystania Energii. Media patronage was taken by .

According to the project “Partnership for sustainable construction”, companies dealing with green building promotion formed a coalition. Among the participants are companies in various building branches, developers, general contractor, architects, building manufacturers and  managers. Expert partners during the seminar were: Kerakoll, Pilkington Polska, Buro Happold, and Konior Studio.

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