Prague Building in Karlin tops Europe's most Sustainable

The Praga Studios complex in Karlín has become the second greenest office building in Europe.

The Praga Studios complex in Karlín has become the second greenest office building in Europe. Skanska has broken its own record in the region

Prague can now boast of housing one of the two highest rated office buildings in terms of sustainability in Europe, according to the available data. The new Praga Studios building in Pernerova street, Karlín, obtained the LEED Platinum certification for Core & Shell with 97 points. The building has earned a shared third place worldwide and is on the first place in the Central and East European Region. It has replaced the Visionary office building in Holešovice. Both projects were carried out by the Scandinavian company, Skanska, which has long been a leader in sustainable construction and development. 

The Praga Studios project had attracted attention even before its completion, when the developer announced during the construction stage that the nearly 12,000 square metres of commercial space had already achieved full occupancy. The building was subsequently bought by CBRE Global Investors for 55 million EUR. This transaction is considered an unprecedented success in Karlín and has become a benchmark for similar projects, not only in this location, but throughout Prague. 

The LEED certificate received (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), is the most widespread global certification system for sustainable buildings. “For the second year in a row, our Czech projects have been ranked first among sustainable buildings, not only at a regional level, but also worldwide. We are delighted to see that our development activities in Prague are pushing the limits of technical solutions and we believe that not only the tenants of Praga Studios, but also the city as a whole, will benefit from this,” said Alexandra Tomášková, Managing Director of Skanska Property Czech Republic. 

Praga Studios uses only green energy from renewable sources for its operation.  The used innovative technical solutions will also bring additional energy savings of more than 40 %. Efficient LED lighting, occupancy and motion sensors or an ingenious heating, cooling and air conditioning system, help to minimise the building’s consumption. The high proportion of glassed areas guarantees maximum access to daylight, which has been shown to contribute to greater psychological well-being of the building’s occupants.
Water is also managed economically, and its consumption has been reduced by around 40 %, thanks to effective technological solutions and retention of rainwater, which is then used to irrigate the garden and the green roof. “The excellent outcome of the Praga Studios LEED evaluation confirms that in this time of climate change, the threat of scarcity of resources and the significant environmental impacts of the construction industry, the Skanska group is a leader in sustainable solutions to these challenges, “ said Michal Jurka, President of Skanska Central Europe.
Praga Studios is located on the site of a former industrial plant, meaning that the project did not seize any valuable green areas. On the contrary, the developer cleaned, revitalised and reused a brownfield site in the centre of the city. 
Skanska has placed all 115 parking spaces underground to prevent the expansion of thermal islands within the city. Praga Studios also provides facilities for those using alternative forms of transport. Cyclists will find fully equipped dressing rooms with showers and an area for bicycle maintenance. The Connected by Skanska operating system also provides up-to-date information on public transport in the area, which can either be accessed via an application with the same name, or directly, using a large touch screen located in the building’s atrium. The system’s other functions include facilitating access to the building via mobile phone, reserving common areas or a smart parking system. 

The building takes into consideration the well-being and comfort of the people inside. Skanska has followed the principles of what is referred to as “biophilic” design, emphasising the abundance of green and natural elements in the workplace. The design also includes a rugged interior environment, a community garden, bee hives and plenty of plants. Tenants are also be able to enjoy an abundance of open spaces, such as terraces. To achieve a healthy working environment, Skanska has exclusively used materials that have been thoroughly verified, for example, in terms of the volume of volatile substances inside the building.

The Platinum level of the LEED certification is a standard for almost all buildings Skanska has completed in the Czech Republic over the past six years. The first to obtain this certification was the City Green Court project, back in 2012, with a total of 83 points. Other projects such as Corso Court, Five and the aforementioned Visionary gradually followed. 

The developer is also targeting the new WELL certification at the Gold level, which assesses the quality and health of the indoor environment from the perspective of its users. The building should obtain this certificate at the beginning of 2020, as the second ever on the territory of the Czech Republic. The first was also the Visionary project, which only obtained both certifications last year. Skanska has therefore moved pushed its own limits in the area of sustainability in a very short time frame with the Praga Studios building.

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