Foto: Vojta Herout
Community Center – All Together (Všichni spolu)
Jury Award in the Adapterra Awards 2019
In addition to a meeting place for people, the Community Center All Together in Ostrava, Czech Republic pursues the resistance of its new building against drought and heat. Most roofs are covered with plants and paved areas allow water to soak in. Rainwater in the community center is retained in a tank and the centre uses a heat pump for heating and cooling.
The Adaptation Journey
The positive impact
Ostrava, just like other cities, is facing a gradual rise in average temperatures, heat waves and overheating of artificial surfaces. That is why the city district of Poruba considered climate change when building the community center and built a space where the temperature is pleasant even in hot summers. Partially green roofs retain water and relieve overloaded sewers during torrential rains. The so-called sensory garden full of perennials and herbs is also used for education. The idea of the project is to create a pleasant place for all members of the community even in times of heat and drought.
How does it work?
The Community Center uses several technical solutions that respond to climate change. Flat roofs are covered by plants. They protect the building from overheating in summer, while in winter they serve as insulation against cold. Gradual evaporation of water during hot days helps to cool the surrounding air. Outdoor sports grounds and playgrounds are built of permeable surfaces that allow water to soak into the soil. Rainwater from the roof and paved surfaces is drained into a retention tank and drained off into the lawn or the Pustkovec brook in a controlled manner.
The building uses an ecological heat pump to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. While it heats it in winter, in summer it cools the building down. Orientation of the building according to the cardinal points was also considered as well as shading of all kinds, including planting of 45 trees and 70 shrubs. The plan is to plant 1230 trees, 3400 ivy plants and 614 herbs. The area of renewed greenery thus reaches approximately 2300 square meters.
Originally the place was an unused sports ground drained by drainage. The water was drained directly into the Pustkovec brook.
The Ostrava city district cut down a number of trees, but only those for which it was not possible to ensure a good and safe growth. These were mostly aged senescent Canadian poplars that were heavily infested with mistletoe, had damaged or infected roots and their operational safety was significantly lowered.
The rest of the felled trees were airborne species with unevenly formed crowns. In the majority of cases, these were older trees that do not normally get a formative pruning because it would cause mechanical and irreversible damage to the skeletal branches.
Therefore, suitable trees with good prospect were selected and got arborist treatment. More trees of species suitable for the site were planted.
Operation and maintenance
The cost of operation and maintenance is estimated on the basis of experience with operation of similar facilities and amount to 140 000 CZK (5 500 EUR) per year.
Why was the measure chosen?
When it comes to water elements, only a drinking fountain is located in the Community Center and adding more water elements is not considered. However, there is a pond next to the complex that will be restored in the future. The roofs of the community center are covered with plants at the edges. The central part is lined with stones. This solution was chosen because there is a large room without columns under the roof and the roof covered by vegetation would be too heavy.
There is a risk for frogs that can jump from the pond nearby on the sloping roof all the way to the hot stones from where they may not be able to get back. Another risk is the visitors destroying the lawn, which is not yet properly estrablished, and, consequently, it disappearing. On the other hand, the plan is not to mow a part of the lawns at all and let the meadow species thrive.
Obstacles and challenges
The major obstacle was the local communities not accepting the felling of fully grown trees. The situation was inspected at their initiative by responsible authorities that did not find any problems or mistakes.
How much did it cost?
The cost of building the Community Center reached 50 million CZK. It was funded by the Integrated Regional Operational Program (18 million CZK), subsidies from the budget of the Moravian-Silesian Region (2 million CZK), the Statutory City of Ostrava (15 million CZK) and by the city district of Poruba (15 million CZK).
The nature of the project and its focus on socio-economic benefits for the public does not assume generating profit. The return on investment is therefore not quantified. The expected lifetime of the investment is at least 50 years.
Public buildings Urban greenery Water purification and recycling Use of rainwater Heating Green roof Heat waves and thermal island Floods and torrential rainfall Lack of water and drought