Nature in the city – A biodiversity strategy for Campus West
Our society is becoming ever more conscious of the importance of species diversity for both people and nature. Tegel Projekt GmbH has commissioned its own biodiversity strategy for Campus West, which is the central part of the urban development project Berlin TXL – The Urban Tech Republic. All around the buildings of the former airport where there are predominantly areas of concrete tarmac, the groundwork is being laid to enable new native animal and plant species to become established. These range from meadow sage to the crested lark.
The Campus West biodiversity strategy will radiate throughout the entire Urban Tech Republic research and industrial park. The most important measures to be implemented for the purposes of strategy for Campus West include:
- increasing the amount of green space immediately surrounding the central airport building while complying with the framework conditions set for the Berlin Tegel Airport historic monument
- local production of foodstuffs and seeds
- [bird and insect] nesting aids, bird-friendly glazing, and nature-friendly lighting
- sustainable timber or hybrid construction
- public information events and advanced training courses on biodiversity and sustainability support for users
The biodiversity strategy was developed by the planning departments of Drees & Sommer and bgmr Landschaftsarchitekten, under contract from the State of Berlin represented by Tegel Projekt GmbH.
The new Campus West site covers the most heavily compacted part of the old airport, in which special requirements must be met for the preservation of the historic monument. In their new functions the terminals and the former tower form the heart of the Urban Tech Republic. Here is where the base camp will be, with offices, co-working spaces for start-ups, a congress centre, and the new premises for the Berliner Hochschule für Technik (Berlin University of Applied Sciences [until September 2021 Beuth Hochschule für Technik).
Four key themes for biodiversity
The four key themes of the Campus West biodiversity strategy are based on the topic areas of Berlin’s Strategy for Biological Diversity:
- making grey infrastructure greener
Green traffic areas, roofs, and facades create new habitat for animals and plants in the middle of cities and combine the demands for space of both people and nature. The Loop Park and the green interstices connecting with the surrounding areas will become central new green spaces.
- the urban metabolism
Water from anti-run-off measures is used on site, improving the urban climate, especially in summer. In the green spaces young plants can be cultivated and seeds can be extracted that are best suited to the location. Roof gardens are suitable for local food production.
- well-being for people and nature
The biodiverse vegetation will be adapted to native fauna. For example, nesting aids on buildings can pave the way for colonization by bats and kestrels. Nature-friendly lighting gives protection primarily to insects, which are very important for biodiversity.
- responsibility in the Anthropocene
Since industrialization human beings have fundamentally changed the planet and must therefore adjust their stewardship in light of their responsibility to nature. In the Urban Tech Republic’s Research and Industrial Park there are many points of reference, from the advisory services given to the companies located there to sustainable supply chains and the development of visitors’ awareness of biodiversity
Synergies for the Berlin TXL innovation site
Further synergies were identified for two issues and added to the Urban Tech Republic’s profile as a site for sustainable innovation:
- bio-based research and instruction
Nature is the greatest innovator: The Berlin University of Applied Sciences offers courses of study that take nature as their model. Where nature has developed sustainable solutions, the public should also be made aware.
- building with natural and recyclable materials
Renovation and new construction on Campus West offer possibilities for using materials made from renewable resources, sustainable production, recycled materials, and recyclable materials. This keeps decomposition of virgin raw materials to a minimum.
Certification for sustainable construction
Campus West is playing a leading role in urban development with its biodiversity strategy. The demands of nature and of people clash in spaces that are used intensively and have substantial areas with impervious surfaces. For a long time, the attempt was made to solve this conflict by means of compensation areas. But new concepts are discovering the value of urban spaces for expanding biodiversity. Through targeted planning, habitat for animals and plants is created along with a new interconnectedness of people and nature. The joy of experiencing nature in conjunction with an improved microclimate also improves the well-being of those using such spaces.
The pioneering role of Campus West has been recognised by its certification from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (German Sustainable Building Council, DGNB). In 2016 Campus West, as a commercial district, had already been awarded Platinum Certification, the highest level of pre-certification.