Solarstadt Linz

Location: Linz-Pichling, Oostenrijk
Design: Prof Rainer and the READ group
Client: Municipality Linz
Year: 1995-nowadays

Solarstadt Linz has been built in a scenic and ecological vulnerable area. The challenge was to preserve the natural qualities of the site. For water, to give an example, this meant that the original ground water level had to be preserved. An extensive system of gutters for rainwater, wadis, small lakes and small rivers brings rain water from the buildings towards the foreland forests. Dehydration must be prevented by permanent and temporary swamp areas. The installed swamp areas and green zones are currently populated by local flora and fauna and rare species can be found close to the built areas. A former dehydrated creek, the 'Aumuhlbeek' was restored and 1500 trees along this creek where planted in a new developed landscape park. The 25.000 new citizens of Linz-Pichling thus have a landscape park of twenty hectare completed with a lake to swim, a water playground and a fishing area.

As an experiment, a decentralized water cleaning system was initiated for 88 dwellings and a primary school. This systems functions as a research installation to examine the different aspects of decentralized water treatment. The results could possibly lead towards new legislations. In Austria, as in the Netherlands, people in urban areas are obliged to have a connection with the sewer system. In this case, faeces and urine are separated from each other, before going into this sewer system. Urine is cached in basements and is used as fertilizer. The fluid parts of faeces are cleaned by a helophyte filter and the fixed parts are composted. This helophyte filter is integrated in the landscape park, and has been protected out of security reasons. Not only the technical aspects, but also the acceptation by the citizens and the way the installation functions through time is monitored. The integral system must been adapted by all residents, and therefore the question is if this system is practical for large scale utilization.
Sun orientated division

Solarstadt Linz, containing 25.000 citizens, consists out of five districts. The accessibility and reachability by public transport, and minimizing the use of fossil fuels where important priorities. All developers involved in this development had to sign a 'sun commitment', what means that all dwellings had to be optimally oriented towards the sun and that all buildings had to anticipate on the characteristics offered by the climate. The concept 'Solar' has been leading from the first moment. This has resulted in dwellings that are optimally orientated towards the sun. This means also that in particular situations, interiors must be protected against sun and heat. In the end, this is the best way to save on conventional cooling and heating techniques.




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