The full name of your EUKI project is “Architects design pro-climate innovations for buildings”. Can you give us a concrete example of such a pro-climate design solution?
Pro-climate design solutions perform a synergy of mitigation and adaptation measurements for buildings, which is very inspiring. There is an assumption that by the end of the century almost 70% of population will live in cities. That’s why our buildings need to become climate resilient.
There are already great examples and among all, Eco-cartier Clichy Batignoles in Paris stands out the most:
Clichy Batignolles is in the north-east of Paris, on 54 hectares around the park of Martin Luther King. The architecture of the buildings maximises the benefits of the park and the possibility of building apartment buildings up to 50 meters high. These individual projects represent an interesting mix of architectural approach and other sound names can be found among them, such as Renzo Piano, Odile Decq, Querkraft Architekten, Karawitz, Chartier-Dalix. The Clichy-Batignolles ecological district is a model of sustainable urban development, the project began in 2002. It implements the city’s ambitious goals in terms of functional and social diversity, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reduction, biodiversity and water management.
The Eco-district focuses on carbon neutrality through a combination of energy savings and renewable energy. All buildings must meet the criteria of a passive standard, to which the design of the buildings itself contributes. There are 35,000 m2 of photovoltaic panels on the roofs, which cover up to 40% of the district’s electricity consumption, 85% of the energy for heating and hot water comes from renewable geothermal energy. The 6,500 m2 of green spaces in the district are a place to relax in the middle of a busy city.
“Pro-climate design solutions perform a synergy of mitigation and adaptation measurements for buildings, which is very inspiring. There is an assumption that by the end of the century almost 70% of population will live in cities. That’s why our buildings need to become climate resilient.”
The construction sector, including buildings and their operation, accounts for up to 40% of CO2 emissions globally. How do you plan to raise this problem amongst Czech and Slovak architects and involve a larger public?
It is very important to identify legislative shortcomings and incorrectly set regulations. We have assembled a team of experts who will work within the round tables and workshops on improving the situation. We expect the improvement of conditions for better application of carbon neutrality requirements in the construction sector. We shall organise a study trip for architects and professionals and together we will visit innovative buildings and city districts in Austria and Germany.
A part of raising awareness will be a conference with international participation, which will mediate the exchange of know-how and networking of participants.
As part of the project, we are preparing the creation of an online platform ClimArchNet, through which we will share the recommendations of the expert group, publish examples of best practices leading to reducing the energy intensity of buildings and experience gained in cross-border cooperation. The online platform will also serve as an attractive environment for the commercial sector.
What are the major challenges for the transformation of the contemporary building design approach in Slovakia and the Czech Republic?
Both countries face, above all, the insufficient educational level of architects and little interest. The lack of interest stems mainly from a lack of information. To some extent, this is understandable, as architects do not yet have practical experience and do not know how significantly design, modern materials but also new technologies affect the energy consumption for operation, but also the amount of embeded energy, because the key parameter is primary energy consumption. It is a kind of vicious circle from which we need to find a way that leads directly to carbon neutrality.
Looking into the future: What do you think, where will the Czech and Slovak building sectors stand in 2030 and 2050 concerning its greenhouse gas emissions?
I would like to start with a famous quote “ I have a dream”. But it needn’t to be only a dream. Both countries have committed to reach a climate neutrality in 2050. The commitments were declared on COP25 Conference in Madrid last year.
Slovakia has adopted an Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan, which is to be implemented by 2030. The government adopted the Low Carbon Development Strategy of the Slovak Republic until 2030, where it assumes a reduction in emissions by 47 percent. In October, it came up with the National Integrated Reform Plan entitled Modern and Successful Slovakia, where it already says that Slovakia wants to reduce its emission limits by 53 percent by 2030.
Last year, the Passive House Institute Slovakia and the Passive House Center initiated calls for architects and the construction sector called Manifest 2020 and Architects for future. With their ambition, these initiatives also serve as inspiration and motivation to achieve the set goals.
Thank you very much for the interview, Lubica!