The Partnership Foundation is the biggest Czech environmental foundation based in Brno. And it’s here, in the very centre of the city, where in 2014 it had its new offices built, surrounded by an educational garden. The aim was to remodel an existing building, add another one with more offices and a lecture hall, and re-cultivate its large garden at the foot of Špilberk Castle. Both buildings are surrounded by green vegetation which spreads onto the roof of the new building, too.

First of its kind

The Foundation wanted to build a modern headquarters as a passive building in an interesting architectural style. At the time, it seemed almost pointless to build a company headquarters as a passive building; also, there were no standards for passive administrative buildings and the entire know-how had to be brought over from neighbouring Austria. Today, however, the situation is different and the building is inspiring others and the Foundation is more than happy to share its know-how.

You know, building a passive office building is different from building a passive family house. With a family house, the main concern is making sure it’s warm enough in the winter. With office buildings, however, the problem is the very opposite – it can’t get too hot in summer, as a lot of people work there and a lot of devices are running and heating it up.


The designers fulfilled the assignment perfectly, though. They abandoned the original idea to build a wooden structure, as it wouldn’t ensure the building didn’t overheat in summer. Also, air-conditioning was out of question. It was necessary to use a material with better accumulation abilities, so they chose a ferro-concrete structure with concrete ceilings and what is called an “active core”. The ceilings radiate the accumulated heat or, on the other hand, cool down the rooms. Together with deep boreholes and a thermal pump, they make sure the temperature inside remains ideal.

The building boasts excellent accumulation abilities. Even when heating or cooling is completely turned off, the temperature never drops below 22 °C in winter or rises over 26 °C in summer, provided you don’t leave a window open overnight. If you do, it can take up to three days for the temperature to rise back up to normal in winter.

Smart building

In the entire premises, there are over 70 measuring devices and several hundred sensors to measure energy consumption while controlling all the active elements, such as blinds, lights, and a heat recovery unit. There’s a special sensor in each room which automatically turns off all the appliances upon detecting no people have been there for 15 minutes, thus helping to further reduce energy consumption. Also, there are no light switches, as the lights automatically detect when they need to turn on and off.



Anybody is free to display the real-time data from the sensors online. Operation manager Vlastimil Rieger adds: “Thanks to our monitoring we know that the consumption of energy spent on heating and cooling is seven times lower here than in any common administrative building.”

Precious water

Thanks to its three underground rainwater tanks, the building consumes 60% less drinking water than when it would use only tap water. Together with the water from its own wells, the rainwater is used for irrigation and flushing, and it also flows down the interactive educational element in the garden which simulates watercourse. Not once has it been necessary to use drinking water for flushing since the building was opened five years ago.



In the fight against drought as well as high temperatures, the intensive green roof of the building is an excellent aide. The designers extended the garden to cover the roof as well, so the temperature on its surface is lower in comparison with common roofs made of roofing tiles, sheet metal or asphalt. The green roof absorbs rainwater while water from the soil as well as the plants evaporates, cooling the surrounding air. The entire surface of the roof insulates the building as well.

“We discovered that the roof could absorb up to 70% of the energy radiated by the Sun. The temperature on a red roof can easily reach 70 °C, while on our green roof it’s only 25 °C,” describes Miroslav Kundrata, director of strategic development at the Partnership Foundation.

With several green roofs on its premises, all of them measuring and providing data, the Foundation helped create a subsidy program to promote the use of green roofs in Brno. And Brno was the first city in the Czech Republic to start such a program!

A green island in the middle of a city

The extensive system of green areas in Brno is enriched by Open Gardens that are open to general public. In this garden of four natural elements, literally anyone can discover the laws of nature through its interactive educational tools. And a small city farm where monastery gardens used to be shows the cycle of agriculture – the path food takes from soil onto the plate, as the vegetables grown there are served at the adjacent garden bistro.

One of the biggest challenges related to the construction of the gardens was to clear the land. The slopes under the castle were full of dens inhabited by drug users, pickpockets, and the homeless. Instead of simply expelling these people, the Foundation tried to get them involved, so some even helped build it.

The Open Gardens hold themed courses for the general public or programs for school kids, and anyone is welcome to come enjoy the pleasant atmosphere there, as long as you don’t miss the discreet entrance from the street.

Since the very beginning, both the building and garden have won various prizes, such as Building of the Year, Green Roof of the Year, and Passive House of the Year. So the headquarters of the Partnership Foundations keeps inspiring.

19. 09. 2019
Source: Nadace Partnerství, Ekolist.cz, ČT24   Photos: Aliance pro energetickou soběstačnost

More articles

World champion from the oldest velodrome in Europe Live

World champion from the oldest velodrome in Europe

What’s the magic of the world’s fastest cycling sport? According to Tomáš Bábek, one of the best sprinters in the world, it’s mainly about overcoming your fear of a bicycle with no... Read more
Czechs – the masters of hiking markers Live

Czechs – the masters of hiking markers

It’s free, healthy, enjoyable, and widely-accessible – what could that be? Hiking! A hobby the Czechs have been enjoying for over a century. And you can tell wherever you go, liter... Read more
Saving the rainforests Live

Saving the rainforests

In 2018 alone, around 8 thousand square kilometres of Amazonian rainforest were destroyed, and this number continues to grow at an alarming rate. This largest rainforest in the wor... Read more
Mendel is… A beekeeper! Live

Mendel is… A beekeeper!

We think highly of the giants from our region. And since Johann Gregor Mendel is one of the most interesting people to ever live in #brnoregion, we decided to throw him a huge birt... Read more
Music as a chemical reaction Live

Music as a chemical reaction

Have you ever wondered what sound carbon would produce? Yes, #brnoregion boasts top-quality research in chemistry, but sometimes we even provide answers to seemingly insane questio... Read more
Brno in maps Live

Brno in maps

Find the capital of South Moravia on a map? Easy. But where can you find out which part of the city people feel best in or where the largest number people live at the same place? T... Read more
Artist Kateřina Šedá connects people not only in #brnoregion Live

Artist Kateřina Šedá connects people not only in #brnoregion

Despite being a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Kateřina Šedá’s projects leave her working mainly with people, communities, and relationships. She conducts her soci... Read more
Journeys to the Beginning of Time Live

Journeys to the Beginning of Time

#brnoregion – not only hot now for its spirit of science and research, knowledge economy and universities, but equally interesting in the very distant past. If you’re a fan of preh... Read more
The air is our sea Live

The air is our sea

The Czech Republic is an aviation superpower. It’s one of a handful of countries that can manufacture an entire airplane – from nose to tail. In fact, the history of Czech as well ... Read more
Brno is a great place to do research and raise our daughter Live

Brno is a great place to do research and raise our daughter

Stefania Pagliari and Giancarlo Forte have been living in Brno since 2013 and aren’t planning to leave, not even after their daughter was born here in 2017. Read more
Brno Festival wins opera Oscar! Live

Brno Festival wins opera Oscar!

Janáček Brno won The International Opera Award for the best festival of last year. Read more
The things they call “impossible” are the most interesting Live

The things they call “impossible” are the most interesting

“A lot of innovations are made by the artists simply trying out various technologies without knowing exactly what they can do,” says Martin Králík from the 3D studio at the Faculty... Read more
The best gaming weekend is coming! Live

The best gaming weekend is coming!

Just two weeks from now, the gaming industry’s biggest developers, stars and fans will all come together in Brno to get inspired, share experience, and, above all, have some fun. O... Read more
Blue and white fairy-tale from #brnoregion Live

Blue and white fairy-tale from #brnoregion

Around four thousand years ago in far-off Asia, people learned to use the indigo plant to dye fabric. Then, via Silk Road, this art spread to Egypt and – several centuries later – ... Read more
From the computer to the stove and global success Live

From the computer to the stove and global success

Food and drinks are our never-ending passion. Just look at how many people – without any experience or relevant education – hurl themselves into the hospitality business and manage... Read more
Mendel University celebrates 100 years of stories Live

Mendel University celebrates 100 years of stories

Mendel University is yet another institution to celebrate its 100th birthday this year, as it was established right after independent Czechoslovakia. The celebration in the spirit ... Read more
Taste the whole world in #brnoregion Live

Taste the whole world in #brnoregion

Based on an analysis by Bott and Co Solicitors, you can find 94 national cuisines in New York, making it number one in the world. No, #brnoregion isn’t this cosmopolitan, but our s... Read more
Too crazy for ordinary sports events? Live

Too crazy for ordinary sports events?

Visit #brnoregion! We are just crazy. But laughter heals! (And strengthens your abs.) Fun is a crucial part of our lives – without it, things would just be boring. Here we love to ... Read more
The secret of Czech Christmas Live

The secret of Czech Christmas

Christmas in the Czech Republic may seem the same as in lots of other countries. It’s cold, the city is covered with colourful lights, a decorated Christmas tree, good food, gifts,... Read more
What the IT guys in #brnoregion do after work Live

What the IT guys in #brnoregion do after work

It’s always great if you truly enjoy your work, but sometimes it’s also good to take a break and spend some time on something a bit different. Or someone completely different. We w... Read more
Who’s changing the world for the better? Live

Who’s changing the world for the better?

Let’s talk about those who like to do things right while improving the world around them, no matter whether they’d like to fight the drought or invest the money into building the c... Read more
Do we speak English in #brnoregion? Live

Do we speak English in #brnoregion?

For many companies in #brnoregion, speaking English is completely normal, and – as Austria is so close – lots of us speak German as well. And even if it may not always be simple wi... Read more
Petra Střelecká: In Brno, sitting in a café is an experience Live

Petra Střelecká: In Brno, sitting in a café is an experience

Brno is a city of coffee. And top baristas! The baristas from Prague and Brno keep alternating on the first spot in Czech barista competitions. Petra Střelecká is one of them and s... Read more
The best climber in the world comes from #brnoregion Live

The best climber in the world comes from #brnoregion

Adam Ondra runs on rocks like a chamois and keeps breaking world records. He creates new grades (currently 9c) and reigns supreme in bouldering, vertical rock climbing and also on ... Read more
Long live the Marmalade Queens! Live

Long live the Marmalade Queens!

In #brnoregion we can only dream about trees heavy with juicy lemons and oranges. But this doesn’t stop us from making some of the best marmalades in the world! How is that possibl... Read more
In Vino Veritas in #brnoregion Live

In Vino Veritas in #brnoregion

Do you feel like having a glass of wine (or two, three, ehm…) from time to time? Right now? Cool! In that case #brnoregion is the right place for you because here you come across w... Read more
Gaming stars are coming to Brno Live

Gaming stars are coming to Brno

The third annual game developers conference and festival, Game Access ‘18, is about to kick off in Brno. Beyond novelties from the digital gaming world, it also promises its attend... Read more
Brno as the capital of European coffee culture Live

Brno as the capital of European coffee culture

Premium coffee is a huge trend all around Europe, but Brno is closer to it more than anyone else. That’s because we have been drinking it since the 18th century. We enjoy not only ... Read more
From A to B Live

From A to B

Speaking of transport and transportation, #brnoregion still has some issues to improve but also so much to be proud of. The public transport in Brno in particular is one of the c... Read more
Enjoy Majáles - the biggest student festival Live

Enjoy Majáles - the biggest student festival

The most entertaining part of the student year in #brnoregion? Definitely spring. Before the semester moves into the test period, it’s necessary to recharge one’s batteries and to ... Read more
#brnoregion, Excellent Starting Line Live

#brnoregion, Excellent Starting Line

Four year seasons, varied landscapes and nature, great city with sporting facilities, this is a fantastic background for everyone to find the best sporting activities in #brnoregio... Read more
Spank the Baby! Easter Volume Live

Spank the Baby! Easter Volume

Czech Easter is a big deal. Controversial. Loved and hated. And also magic. Let’s find out what “pomlázka” is, how a decorated Easter egg looks like, and how a bit of symbolic viol... Read more
Armin the Extraordinary Live

Armin the Extraordinary

What a funny paradox it is that insignificant trivia get in the spotlight while very important phenomena go unnoticed. Quite the same with people: there are so many so-called celeb... Read more
Our hearts beat for games in #brnoregion Live

Our hearts beat for games in #brnoregion

Do you like playing? No matter if you prefer board games with a gang of friends or online gaming, #brnoregion will feel like heaven. We enjoy playing games and we love creating the... Read more
INTERCONNECTION & #BRNOREGION Live

INTERCONNECTION & #BRNOREGION

In 2000 Stephen Hawking published his vision that the new century would be the age of complexity. If Mr. Hawking was not mistaken, this century is going to be the age of ... Read more
TO CREATE AND TO LIVE. Live

TO CREATE AND TO LIVE.

#brnoregion is strong and modern background for creators looking for support on their way to success as well as their real home. It provides everyone with high living standarts. ... Read more
15 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE MOVING IN TO #BRNOREGION Live

15 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE MOVING IN TO #BRNOREGION

Sure, the internet is full of practical information about living in the Czech republic. But not many guides will tell you the real deal of living in the astonishing #brnoregion. Read more
Innovate your travelling! Live

Innovate your travelling!

How can you save money on the road, entertain your kids on a trip or discover the world from your couch at home? We have a couple of great tips from creative and clever heads from ... Read more
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more