In the north,
west and
south …

A lot happened on Deutsche Wohnen estates in 2018. In Leipzig, Dresden, Braunschweig, Brandenburg and Berlin, for instance. Grounds were designed, walls were sprayed, estates refurbished and new ones built. Almost all the projects have one thing in common: sustainable thinking becomes sustainable action. Time for a little tour …

The new Marienhain estate

The tour begins in Berlin-Köpenick. Planning consent for the first two stages has been given for the Marienhain estate, with residential properties, a kindergarten, streets, and local shopping facilities. Construction work is due to start on the 150,000 sqm plot in early 2020, where some 1,200 residential units are to be developed in 63 different buildings. The site is exceptional, because it is right on the banks of the river Dahme. Then there is the old Villa Bolle that belonged to Carl Bolle. Anyone who knows a bit about the history of Berlin can guess that this was the famous “Bimmel Bolle”. His nickname, which means “jingle”, came because of the bells the milkmen had on their Bolle milk floats to attract customers. Around 1910 there were 250 of these milk floats on the streets of Berlin. Carl Bolle built himself a summer residence in Marienhain on the river Dahme. Following a fire the villa is a ruin today, which Deutsche Wohnen plans to rebuild.

Sustainable construction materials will be used for the new buildings. Window frames will be made of wood, the insulation will not include polystyrene and the aim is to have the buildings certified by the Society for Sustainable Construction.

Sustainable building with a system

When we build new housing we ensure that high-quality, sustainable materials are used. To document this transparently we use certification systems like the DGNB certification or the quality seal “Sustainable Construction”. The German Society for Sustainable Construction (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen – DGNB) evaluates various criteria relating to ecology, economy, technology, sociocultural and functional quality, as well as the quality of the site and processes. And while we’re on the subject: our house Argentinische Allee 221 in Berlin-Zehlendorf was the first building in its class in Germany to be awarded the Gold Status. The quality seal “Sustainable Construction”, which is recognised as a seal of approval by the Federal Construction Ministry (Bundesbauministerium), also rates a wide range of criteria relating to ecology, economy and social aspects. Our Schützengarten estate in Dresden and the Lindenauer Hafen project in Leipzig are being built according to these criteria, for example.

The roofing ceremony was held in the reporting year for four timber-built multi-family homes in Elstal, to the west of Berlin. All the load-bearing walls and ceilings are made of solid timber elements, which in turn consist of several layers of wood. “Normally these layers are laminated. But in Elstal we didn’t have to do that, because we used pegs that had been dried in an oven and then inserted into the prepared holes. The humidity in the air causes the pegs to swell again, which stabilises the joint”, explains Sebastian Höfker, the project manager at Deutsche Wohnen responsible for supervising the building work. That is what sustainable construction looks like in detail – to a standard that earned a DGNB-Platinum certificate.

Waterfront living in Leipzig

From Havelland in Brandenburg the tour continues a good way further south. One prominent feature of the Lindenau district of Leipzig is a canal with an old industrial port. The groundbreaking ceremony for a new chapter in its development took place here in 2018: Deutsche Wohnen is building 44 rental apartments on the new Lindenauer Hafen estate. The apartments range in size from 50 square metres to 120 square metres and are located in two five-storey buildings. All the units are easy-access and suitable for wheelchair users. The facades are insulated with cellular bricks. These are hollow bricks that are filled with insulating material and so have excellent insulating properties. What’s more, the facade will be made of clinker bricks that fit with the site’s history as an industrial port and which can last for up to 100 years without being replaced – that’s sustainable too.

About the demolition of a bunker and new apartments

Next stop is Dresden. “The Schützengarten project in Dresden is really exciting. As befits this central location, the city decided in favour of a residential neighbourhood that marks a return to the historical street layout and the proportions of the original urban planning, instead of the large-scale commercial buildings erected in the 1980s”, explains Delia Kraaß. The scope of the project is impressive, because a total of 540 apartments are to be built. And what is also interesting, as the project manager says, is that “at the time of the GDR the tower blocks were used by VEB Energiebau Dresden. Underneath the company canteen there was an air-raid bunker and at times a bowling alley too. So in the course of the demolition work we sometimes had to pull down concrete ceilings that were more than 1.6 metres thick.” Once the land has been prepared for redevelopment, construction work is expected to start in 2020 on the underground car parks and then on the apartment blocks in different designs, which will form the new estate that is situated not far from the river Elbe. Here too, the construction work is being carried out in accordance with the “Sustainable Construction” rating system. So when everything is finished, the Deutsche Wohnen portfolio will have another lively and sustainable inner-city estate.