Affordable housing is scarce. Currently, only about 10% of Potsdam's students are housed in a dormitory run by the Studentenwerk. The rent ranges from 175 euros to 320 euros, including all utilities, and is thus within the “BAföG-Wohnpauschale”. To ensure that even more students can find an affordable home in the future at the growing university location of Potsdam-Golm, a new student housing complex is to be built in the coming years. The current housing complex, Haus 3, will be demolished and a new building will be constructed. In this blog, we provide regular information on the project, record construction progress and address topics such as sustainability and environmental protection.
Why is the Studentenwerk Potsdam building another hall of residence on Golm campus?
Golm is growing: We are pleased that the campus continues to fill with student life. A well-developed social infrastructure is therefore all the more important. Back in August 2018, the then State Secretary for Science, Research and Culture, Dr. Ulrike Gutheil, advocated for another residential complex on campus. "Golm 2 is coming," she announced at the groundbreaking ceremony for houses 17 A+B, the latest new residential building on campus. Many discussions and feasibility studies later, the new student dormitory can finally become a reality.
How many dorm places will the new building provide? What are the projected costs?
According to the specifications of the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture (MWFK), the newly constructed building will provide about 350 dorm places. For comparison: The old dormitory only provided space for 50 students. The project costs of approx. 30 million euros will be financed by the MWFK as a grant or loan.
What is the schedule?
The building has been vacated by the residents for the winter semester 2020/21. All tenants have been offered a place in one of the other dormitories of the Studentenwerk. In addition, all furniture in good condition was given to other housing complexes (e.g. Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße in Potsdam, Schillerallee in Wildau). The University of Potsdam moved out of the previously used premises in October/November 2020.
Demolition of the old buildings is to begin at the start of 2021. This should be completed by the middle of 2021. According to the current planning status, a date for the completion of the new building cannot yet be given.
What will the new building look like?
We are currently still in the planning phase and cannot provide any information.
Who owns the property?
The land was given into the hands of the Studentenwerk by the state of Brandenburg within the framework of a heritable building right contract.
The former house 3 - a new building is being constructed on the site.
View of house 3: A new dormitory will soon be built at this location.
Why is the Studentenwerk constructing a new building at the site? Why can't the existing building be renovated?
The project was preceded by both an extensive feasibility study and a variant investigation. The purpose of this study was to discuss the extent to which the existing building (Haus 3) could continue to be used and thus preserve the historic ensemble of buildings on the campus. It turned out that a renovation of Haus 3, including a new building behind the existing building, would have created only about half of the possible dormitory spaces. Further investigation followed and confirmed the finding. Among other things, an increase in the height of the existing Haus 3 was examined. The result suggested that both the subsoil and the structural conditions would not have allowed an effective addition of 2 to 3 stories. The building is not a listed building.
Are nature and climate protection aspects also taken into account?
As with all of our construction projects, we take numerous nature conservation and climate protection aspects into account from the planning stage through tendering to implementation. The project is being planned and implemented in coordination with the lower nature conservation authority of the state capital Potsdam.
In the case of the property currently being built on, only the northern part of the site will be built on per se, as there is a great deal of tree population worthy of protection in the southern area. The old tree population will thus be predominantly preserved. Compensatory measures will be initiated in the usual manner for felled trees.
In addition, a species protection expert has been commissioned to conduct an ornithological survey. Based on this, the breeding periods of birds can be better coordinated with the respective construction phases. No protected animals were found in the old building during a site inspection.
The demolition of the building is planned to be as resource-conserving as possible. The basis for the planning of the demolition is provided by legal regulations and, in addition, technical rules and guidelines, which are intended to ensure that during the demolition of buildings the materials, in particular the mineral demolition waste, are recycled to a high standard and, if this is not possible, are disposed of in an environmentally compatible manner.
If you happen to be on campus Golm regularly, you may have noticed the excavator doing ist work: Since mid-February, we are in the process of deconstructing Haus 3. The building has been stripped to its core, well-preserved furniture has found a new home in other residential halls and the windows of Haus 3 will even live on as a greenhouse on campus! To ensure that trees and shrubs on the site are not damaged, we take various protective measures. Initially - until it is more precisely defined where the new building will be located - the longitudinal basement walls will remain in place to protect the tree roots. We are planning to cut as few trees as possible and are optimistic to maintain a 50-year-old copper beech on site, which later will be integrated into the future building ensemble. In the run-up to deconstruction, we made sure that animals would not be affected during their breeding and nesting periods. The deconstruction is scheduled tob e completed by the middle of this year.
A place full of memories: How many seminar papers have been written here?
The deconstruction of Haus 3 began in mid-February and was completed at the end of March. The deconstruction went smoothly and was completed earlier than originally planned.
Anyone currently walking past the grounds of former Haus 3 may be surprised to see the remaining walls of the basement. Until further notice, these walls are to protect the deep-lying roots of the trees located on the property. A decision on how to proceed with the affected trees will be made after the building application has been drawn. Tree felling, if necessary, should not take place until then. To respect bird nesting periods, we installed nesting boxes at Haus 7 (another student housing complex on campus) as a replacement for the former nesting places of Haus 3.
In the meantime, the complex tendering procedure has also come to an end. An experienced planning and architectural firm was won for the project in a Europe-wide tender. During the tendering procedure, the participating offices had to submit proposals, among other things, on how trees can be preserved on the site by means of an intelligent building structure design. The aim is to plan the building project with comprehensive consideration of nature and environmental aspects and to exhaust various possibilities for the preservation of trees.
The commissioned planner’s aim is to develop the greatest possible space potential on the site and to make the best possible use of the available area, taking into account the respective building and development plans of the town. A decision on the number of stories also yet has to be made.
We expect to submit an application for a building permit before the end of the year.
This is a challenging undertaking for everyone involved, always with the vision of building more affordable housing for students in mind. And yet: good things take time. The completion of the new housing complex is not expected until the winter semester of 2024/25 at the earliest.
We will keep you updated!
Almost leveled to the ground: The basement walls of the former Haus 3 are still standing so as not to damage the roots of the surrounding trees.