Brighter Days Ahead for Apartments in Prague
The Prague City Council has adopted an amendment to the Prague Building Code which changes some of the requirements for sunlight in apartments. The amendment was prepared by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR). As it is currently written, the Building Code prevents the construction of neighborhoods similar in structure to the neighborhoods of Vinohrady or Dejvice. With the change in regulations, Prague will join countries like Holland, Germany and Denmark in its approach to urban construction.
“Construction had to meet the absurd condition that on March 1st, direct sunlight had to fall on at least one-third of the floor area of the apartment for a period of 90 minutes. Now, builders won’t have to design buildings in strange shapes and layouts to comply with the standard. I’m glad that we’re getting rid of regulations dating back to the time of Normalization,” said Prague MayorAdriana Krnáčová.
Those against the change in the regulation often mention the risk of the city becoming too dense, or current apartments becoming shaded. However, Prague’s Building Code addresses the distance between buildings and the lighting of existing units through the regulation of street boundaries, height levels and daylight requirements.
“Apartments will continue to be well-lit and healthy to live in - we don’t want to go back to the 19th century. But the existing sunlight regulation doesn’t accomplish this, it just basically keeps you from building a beautiful city. People need not worry about getting less sunlight in their apartments after the regulation is changed. They are protected by the Construction Act and the Prague Building Code, which establish requirements for daylight and for the distances between buildings,” said IPR Director Ondřej Boháč.
What is Prague’s Building Code?
The aim of Prague’s Building Code is for the city to employ the same standards of building as other developed European cities. Prague’s Building Code establishes the concept of street and building boundaries and rules for the relationship between buildings, streets and squares. It also addresses the quality of public space and embraces the idea of a compact city with short distances and low demands on transportation and technical infrastructure. In addition to this, it modifies some technical requirements for new construction that are too strict. The new regulations are inspired by time-tested building codes of cities such as Vienna or Berlin that are regularly found at the top of quality of life indexes.
More information available at www.iprapraha.cz/psp (Czech only).
The exact date the amendment to the Prague Building Code will take effect will be determined once the process of notifying the European Commission is completed.