Green and sustainable

The redevelopment of the Bautz site offers a very special habitat for both residents and nature, in green surroundings right beside the Main river. At its center, a curved district park extends around 400 m east–west, parallel to the promenade along the Main. The design of the neighborhood promises plenty of key environmental and social benefits in future. We’ll keep you up to date with all the latest news as the planning status evolves.

Preserving, protecting, and planting

Sustainability starts with careful observation: existing trees and shrubs that are worth preserving will be integrated wherever possible during the redevelopment of the Bautz site. They will be carefully supplemented with extensive new planting of regional bushes and trees, including along the riverside promenade.

The new park will create a green ribbon running alongside the street through the neighborhood, combining various ecological functions with an open space that will enhance the urban climate. This park, designed for various kinds of use, will replace a previously tarmacked area.

As part of the construction work, any protected animal species currently living on the site will be documented by experts. After coordination with the relevant authorities, these species will be relocated to ecological compensation areas as part of species protection programs. BUWOG has already successfully carried out similar measures elsewhere, the relocation of sand lizards in Berlin being one notable example.

Great construction, great climate

The building sector is responsible for around 40% of CO2 emissions. As such, new residential construction can serve as an important impetus for climate and environmental protection, and an opportunity to achieve a great deal in this area, right from the laying of the first stone. Such objectives are an intrinsic part of plans for the Bautz site, resulting in buildings that meet modern energy standards. Crucially, BUWOG looks at the sustainability of building materials over the entire life cycle of a building, from the initial planning to the complete recycling of the materials. To accomplish this, BUWOG has joined Madaster, a digital library of building materials. Madaster is a central global registry for materials, buildings, and infrastructure and a platform to register, document, and archive the materials used in construction. It simplifies the process of reusing materials, promotes intelligent design, and avoids waste.

Most of the buildings will have green roofs, which ensure natural insulation and a pleasant living climate. Green roofs are also habitats for insects, birds, and microorganisms, and are important for rainwater retention. Green roof surfaces cool the air naturally when water evaporates via the leaves, thus ensuring a pleasant microclimate.

Recreation areas and green spaces for everyone

Walking, cycling, playing or taking the time to chat: the new Bautz development has been specifically designed with all these things in mind. A new public district park will be created along the street running through the neighborhood, with greenery radiating into the neighboring areas of the town. It will offer a wide range of recreational and exercise options for the neighborhood. A combined footpath and cycle path will run in a north-south direction, with side paths for crossing into the residential area. See the Neighborhood Park section for more info.

Clean-up and unsealing work

Areas that have previously been used for industrial or commercial purposes often need to undergo extensive soil remediation before new development can take place. As one of the leading property developers nationwide, BUWOG is familiar with such projects and has already successful carried out remediation of several contaminated properties that were formerly used for industry. Any soil contamination will be recorded and a remediation concept implemented as part of the redevelopment of the Bautz site.

The large-scale unsealing that will take place as part of work on the new neighborhood will also affect the soil. Unlike during the former commercial use of the area, where around 80% of the surfaces on front part of the site were sealed, the new neighborhood will have water infiltration areas and green roofs on the buildings. This has the significant environmental benefit of returning rainwater to the natural water cycle via infiltration or evaporation. Known as the ‘sponge city’ principle, this is an important factor in ensuring that towns and cities are resilient to climate change. BUWOG received the 2020 German Housing Award from bodies including the Bundesstiftung Baukultur for a similar project, the Quartier 52° Nord in Berlin.

Working together for the common good: social sustainability

The social sustainability of a neighborhood starts with its housing mix. In Hanau, for example, BUWOG is creating apartments of different sizes, designed for the needs of different user groups. There are compact apartments for single people or students, extra-spacious family apartments, and homes for older people who need accessible living. At the same time, condominiums and rental apartments will be created in the new neighborhood. Some of these will be rent-controlled and thus suitable for people on lower incomes. These will be furnished to a similar high standard of design and sustainable quality, including the attractive style of the façade, the layout, and the fittings for the individual units. Rental apartments will remain in the portfolio, demonstrating BUWOG’s long-term commitment to the development beyond the warranty period.

Social sustainability also includes creating quality features that benefit everyone. These include the planned day care center, with space for 100 children, and areas for play, exercise and relaxation around the neighborhood park and the riverside promenade.

This brings different areas together to create a diverse neighborhood with a good social mix. For more info, see the descriptions of the various sub-areas.

Read more

Individual issues relating to sustainability in the new neighborhood are currently being worked on and developed in greater depth in workshops. Look out for more information on this in the Current news section.