Newly opened Organica one of the smartest buildings in the Czech Republic

17/10 2023

On 11 October, the Czech developer Contera formally opened the new Organica building in Ostrava. The grand opening of this smart building was organized in conjunction with the Scandinavian IT giant Tietoevry, a key player in digital services and software development. The ceremony was also attended by leading political figures, including the Mayor of Ostrava and the Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region.

Newly opened Organica one of the smartest buildings in the Czech Republic

The Organica building in Ostrava. Photograph: Contera

The new Organica building has been one of the highest-profile construction projects in the entire Moravian-Silesian Region, and it formally opened its doors at 12:30 on 11 October. The investor in this smart building – located between the Forum Nová Karolina shopping centre and the Triple Hall – is the Czech developer Contera. The company’s project manager Martin Budina summed up Contera’s approach: “Organica is a pilot project for our office developments. We have taken a very responsible approach, and the project has been a great success.”

Contera’s managing director Dušan Kastl explained the building’s advantages: “The excellent location, high quality of construction, and outstanding architecture are the key attractions for customers and clients.” The main client at Organica is the Scandinavian IT giant Tietoevry, which occupies around two-thirds of the space in the building. Tietoevry’s country manager for Czechia, Petr Lukasík, gave more details: “The move to Organica represents an important step forward in our company’s development. In 2004 we started out in Ostrava with 50 staff, and since then we have grown to become Tietoevry’s largest centre anywhere in Europe. The Organica building reflects contemporary trends for hybrid working practices, as well as providing the necessary comfort for our employees. A key factor in our decision-making was also the building’s environmental credentials, which are compatible with our company’s long-term values. That’s why we decided to relocate to the most modern office premises in central Ostrava.”

A focus on regional development

Contera is well aware of the forward steps that Ostrava has taken – freeing itself from a reliance on heavy industry, working hard to improve parks and other public spaces, and transforming itself into a modern Western European-style city. Contera’s Dušan Kastl explained the company’s shift of focus: “Previously, our activities in Ostrava were focused mainly on developing industrial parks, but these are an important springboard for the development of services with high added value. The city is also a key commercial hub in Central Europe, and it forms part of an agglomeration with several million people. We’re delighted that our Organica building has contributed to this development.”

Contera has been a partner of the City of Ostrava for many years, collaborating on a number of projects. One example of this collaboration is the creation of the Hrušov industrial zone, which is still expanding. The Hrušov site was originally a brownfield, having been a residential area that was devasted in the floods of 1997. Organica is Contera’s latest exceptional contribution to Ostrava’s ongoing development, as the city’s Mayor Jan Dohnal explained: “Organica is an outstanding example of private-sector investors’ responsible approach to the place where they operate. On the one hand there is a globally successful IT company which is working alongside the city to drive its development forward, and on the other hand there is the developer, which has created a modern, fascinating and eco-friendly building. Both companies have achieved great success with this project.”

A 1.5 billion CZK project

The timeline of the Organica project began in the third quarter of 2020. Construction was launched in July 2021, and the completed building was handed over to its primary tenant Tietoevry in August of this year. Contera’s project manager Martin Budina gave more details: “The project was quite demanding – especially due to the circumstances that accompanied it. In 2022, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we had to deal with an unprecedented and sharp increase in the cost of building materials, which were also in very short supply. The HR situation was similar. Nevertheless, our team achieved outstanding progress, and precisely 24 months after construction began, we are now standing in the completed building. The total cost of the project came to around 1.5 billion CZK.”

Organica = smart and sustainable

Organica was not a greenfield project; it is one of a cluster of buildings that now occupies the former site of the Karolina coking plant. Martin Budina from Contera described how the project fits in to its wider context: “This has been the final phase in the revitalization of a huge brownfield site in the very heart of a city with 300,000 people. Once home to heavy industry, it is now a vibrant commercial and administrative centre with a large residential complex. The area has been completely transformed from its previous state.”

Part of Organica’s unique appeal is its use of modern technologies and its emphasis on environmental sustainability. Martin Budina listed the building’s key features: “Organica has its own smartphone app which connects the building’s users and makes things easier for them. On the roof there is a solar power plant that provides partial self-sufficiency, which is unusual for this type of building. The greenery is irrigated using captured rainwater. Another key feature is the ventilation system, with its smart fresh air distribution: sensors help the system to send air to parts of the building where there are people. Last but not least, Organica has been awarded the BREAAM Excellent certificate, emphasizing its environmental credentials.