Brno’s Špitálka Brownfield Site Aiming To Become The First “Smart” District in The Czech Republic

The Špitálka smart district is part of a project by the architecture studio A8000 and the City of Brno, which will transform this former industrial complex into a new high-tech neighbourhood within a few years. Photo credit: Špitálka archives.

Brno, Feb 20 (BD) – Špitálka, a former industrial area close to the centre of Brno, will undergo a lot of change in the next few years. The architecture studio A8000 and the City of Brno are creating a development concept that aims to transform the western part of the Brno heating plant into a lively, modern and, above all, smart urban district. It will offer cultural facilities, work and housing for about 600 people just 10 minutes from the city centre.

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This project is part of the larger European project RUGGEDISED. Besides Brno, other European cities involved in the project include Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Glasgow in Scotland, Umeå in Sweden, Gdańsk in Poland and Parma in Italy. Špitálka could make Brno the first place in the Czech Republic where the city itself is behind the creation of a smart neighbourhood.

The goal of the City of Brno and the A8000 studio is to build the first smart neighbourhood in Brno using modern technologies and innovative approaches, which should become a positive example of a responsible and sustainable approach to urban spaces. “Our goal is not to modify, destroy, or rebuild the space from scratch, but to develop it into a self-sustaining district with a strong character using all the available resources the city offers. Development areas are one of our major issues. We are happy to be able to try out the most modern technologies in Špitálka,” said architect Martin Krupauer.

To ensure the highest energy efficiency, renewable energy sources would be used for additional water heating or cooling. The waste heat from neighbouring heating plants should also be used. This will ensure the least possible dependence on fossil resources. The free areas of the buildings will also be put to use, equipped with photovoltaic panels for electricity generation.

Recycling of waste water that can be efficiently treated and reused for watering plants or flushing toilets is also a part of the vision. Ventilation could be regulated according to current occupancy, while fresh air is reheated by stale air in recovery units. All systems should be interconnected, measured and evaluated, enabling the intelligent management of the district.

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