News Article circular economy Czech Republic development office Prague Skanska sustainability
by Property Forum | Office

In Prague 7, Skanska is preparing the first office project in the Czech Republic which is being built on the principle of the circular economy. The Mercury project is being built with materials from demolished buildings and will have 20,000 sqm of premium office and retail space.

Mercury will be the first Czech office building built according to the principles of the circular economy. In fact, the materials from the building that now stands on its site will be used for the construction of Mercury. The project will offer approximately 20,000 sqm of premium office and retail space and, by using materials from other buildings, will also significantly reduce the building's environmental impact. The Mercury will reuse materials from the brutalist Mercury Building, built in 1971. Skanska chose this circular approach both for its positive environmental impact and out of respect for the original building.

"We are constantly pushing the boundaries of sustainable development and circularity is one of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry. It makes perfect sense to use valuable materials from old buildings. But no one in the Czech Republic has done this to a comparable extent. And we decided to change that," says Martin Zemánek, Project Manager of Skanska's commercial development unit in Central and Eastern Europe.

An example of the circular approach to construction is the use of concrete from Mercuria, which the developer grinds and reprocesses to form the load-bearing structure of a new project. It will also preserve valuable materials and furnishings from the interior of the old building. Old kitchen cabinets have already found a new life in houses intended for refugees, and Skanska has donated around 100 doors to the Bulovka University Hospital. At the same time, Skanska is trying to limit the use of new building materials as much as possible during construction.

"To maximise the circularity of the Mercury project, we will salvage furniture from the old building and offer it to the furniture bank. We will even keep the name of the building, but give it a slightly more modern touch," adds Martin Zemánek.

The building will provide tenants with office and retail space of the highest quality with an emphasis on the environment and the well-being of its occupants and the surrounding area. To prove it, we are striving for the highest levels of LEED, WELL and WELL Health-Safety Rating certifications.

"The Mercury building will also be exceptional in that it will feature the largest green roofs and terraces ever built in the Czech Republic. At the same time, we always support community development in the neighbourhoods surrounding our projects. That's why we will contribute to Prague 7 to build a new park in close proximity to Mercury," concludes Martin Zemánek.