June 17, 2010

Danube Passage – Hungary’s First Sustainable Neighbourhood

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PHA Consult have led the sustainability strategy for Budapest’s first sustainable, environmentally-friendly neighbourhood is being built according to the first ever Hungarian designs of world-leading architectural studio Foster + Partners. The project will be devloped by WING Zrt, one of the largest privately-owned real estate firms in Hungary.

Danube Passage is a city center project located on one of the last remaining undeveloped Danube-bank sites in Budapest, combining modern and environmentally-friendly offices, sunny apartments with panoramic views, restaurants, cafés, and a shopping and cultural centre, all in one place. All of this is complemented by the abundance of green space, public parks and a whole range of riverside leisure opportunities.

In terms of its development, the part of Budapest District IX located to the south of Lágymányosi Bridge on the Pest side of the city has, until now, been in a deep slumber. However this area, which at almost 15 hectares is currently Budapest’s largest riverside site still to be rehabilitated, is about to be reborn in a world-class, sustainable development by WING, one of the largest and most stable property concerns in Hungary.

Upon completion of the investment a unique part of the city’s environmental heritage, the Danube riverfront, will gain a new feature on a section of the riverbank that was hitherto inaccessible. The southern silhouette of the capital will be redrawn by the residential towers being built at the tip of the peninsula, which will be Budapest’s tallest new-build apartment buildings. The unique attraction of this new neighbourhood is that it is bordered by the river on two sides, as it will be constructed on the peninsula formed between the Danube itself and the Ráckeve Danube tributary, affording local residents and visitors convenient access to the riverbank, unimpeded and without the need to cross busy lanes of traffic or railway lines.

Throughout the development, priority is being given to environmental protection. The concept is built around sustainable planning and the use of green technologies. As a result of the solutions employed, Danube Passage is easy on the environment, and the offices and apartments of Danube Passage offer a healthier and more efficient setting in which to live and work. Meanwhile, the energy consumption of the buildings, and the related costs, will also be substantially lower.

The energy consumption of Danube Passage could be as much as 40-50% lower than is normal for projects of this kind.

The following environmentally-sound technologies will be used for the first time on the scale of an entire neighbourhood:

  • Green roofs
  • To improve air quality and the efficiency of cooling, the roofs of buildings in the new neighbourhood will be covered in green vegetation, instead of more conventional roof-covering techniques.
  • Use of ground water
  • The use of ground water for cooling, irrigation and the flushing of lavatories (grey water usage) is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Another environmentally-friendly solution only employed here is the use of water from the Danube for cooling the buildings.
  • Solar collectors
  • Much of the hot water is supplied from solar collectors located on roofs. In the case of an entire neighbourhood, these add up to a very substantial overall energy saving.
  • Optimal orientation of the buildings
  • The form and façade of the buildings is optimised by taking into account the path of the sun and the local climate. The special design can lead to considerable reductions in the cost of cooling, heating and lighting the buildings.
  • Environmentally friendly materials usage
  • Sustainable and recyclable materials will be used in the course of the construction work.
  • Construction of bicycle storage facilities and a cycle path
  • To encourage cycling, a section of the regional cycle-path network, and (in the underground car park) a bicycle storage facility and adjoining changing rooms, will be constructed.

Text: Foster + partners/WING Zrt

Environmental Strategy

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