New Frankfurt district obtains first DGNB Business District Certificate nationwide
Gateway Gardens is the first estate to be certified with the DGNB Certificate for business districts by the DGNB German Sustainable Building Council. The DGNB auditors awarded the district at Frankfurt's Airport City the Gold certificate, the highest possible rating. This means that Frankfurt's youngest district assumes a pioneering role for Germany's real estate industry.
The entire 35-hectare area of Gateway Gardens was planned with an eye to sustainability. Elements defining the character of the district include the ?Gateway Garden? park of 23,000 square metres with its old-growth stock of trees and handicap-accessible trails, the park forest to the north (51,000 square metres) with walkways, bicycle lanes and a fitness trail, and a stand of oak trees east of the district (18,500 square metres).
Gateway Gardens envisions an open layout for the outdoor areas. Property boundaries are not delineated from each other. There are smooth transitions between the buildings, and between buildings and adjacent green areas. To permanently fix this design quality, the development plan prescribes public access by easement for pedestrian travel, and stipulates the design of private outdoor areas that are open to public use. This design approach for a commercial quarter represents a unique selling proposition for Gateway Gardens.
Another key factor is rainwater management. Rain runoff from the roofs must soak into the ground and not be drained into the grey water system. Moreover, the rooftop surfaces of every building must have a green share of at least 50 percent.
Under the valid local development plan, all new buildings planned must comply with the statutory German Energy Saving Ordinance EnEV 2014. The HOLM building was actually raised according to the passive house standard. The heating supply for the entire district was hooked up to the district heating network of the City of Frankfurt. With the completion of the rapid transit station in 2019 and with the pedestrian walkways and bicycle lanes, the district has a decidedly green regional transportation access.
?The DGNB Certificate is yet another step toward sustainability for Gateway Gardens. This specific aspect is becoming more and more important for investors,? said Peter Buchholz, Managing Director of Gateway Gardens Projektentwicklungs-GmbH and a representative of the City of Frankfurt. ?We are also working in the subject of e-mobility, because Gateway Gardens offers the perfect platform for setting up and expanding the first e-city in Germany,? Buchholz said as he elaborated the plans for the future.
Analogously, DGNB considers sustainability a constant obligation: ?Starting today, we need to face up to current challenges like climate change and resource depletion, and keep an eye on sustainability,? said Dr. Christine Lemaitre, CEO of DGNB. ?The certificate for business districts is subject to the requirement that material loops be formed and synergies be exploited. As first-time adopter, Gateway Gardens has a knowledge head-start, and serves as role model for future applicants.?
The DGNB Certificate for business districts was created in 2013. Seen against the background that industrial areas and trading estates nationwide take up large tracts of land, the DGNB German Sustainable Building Council recognised the still largely untapped potential for a sustainability-driven development. Key characteristics of sustainable business districts include, for instance, a shared energy supply, advanced networking with the surrounding areas, as well as outdoor areas and concepts for higher quality of stay for the staff of resident companies.
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Gateway Gardens seen from the north;view when coming from Frankfurt
Background Details on Gateway Gardens
Gateway Gardens is a Global Business Village in the European heartland, and with a projected gross floor area of 700,000 sqm on an estate of 35 hectares one of the largest developments of any airport city in Europe.
In October 2014, Gateway Gardens became the first commercial quarter to be certified for its sustainability by the DGNB German Sustainable Building Council.
Until 2005, Gateway Gardens was a residential area for the families of US Air Force personnel working at the former US Rhein-Main Air Base. Since then, the compound has become not just a quarter within Frankfurt's Airport City, but also a new district of the city proper, billed as Frankfurt-Gateway Gardens. The driving force behind Gateway Gardens is the joint commitment of Fraport AG, Gross & Partner Grundstücksentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, OFB Projektentwicklung GmbH, and the City of Frankfurt am Main.
In the years since the completion of the first building at Gateway Gardens, which was the catering plant of LSG Sky Chefs in 2008, 30 percent of the area has already been sold. The combined workforce of the companies now domiciled here adds up to more than 4,000 people. By the end of the marketing drive, their ranks will have swelled to anywhere between 16,000 and 18,000 people.