Meeting BREEAM Outstanding

At the Metro store in St. Pölten, meeting the standard regulations was easy enough. The real challenge, architect Andreas Prehal tells us, was making sure that the building complied with all the requirements to achieve an Outstanding BREEAM certification – a certification that only 2% of buildings achieve.

The elements that already make the building zero emissions – solar generated energy, no additional heating or cooling systems, LED lights, the use of sustainable, and sustainably sourced, building materials, automatic doors that only open when they need to, and insulated docking solutions – played a crucial role in achieving BREEAM Outstanding. But there were other requirements which had to be met too, elements which went beyond the regular understanding of what might make a building sustainable.

Air quality had to be proven throughout the large store. A park was built in the car parkto meet requirements of green space, and the car park itself had to be constructed from hollow concrete blocks filled with grass to ensure surface water was absorbed back into the water table – and minimizing the need to build extra drainage. Beyond that, little details, like providing showers for staff and customers who cycle to work,demonstrate the store’s commitment to a more sustainable way of life. And the effort was well worth it, the new Metro store is the first BREEAM Outstanding building in Austria in 10 years.

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