The environmental factor in the reuse of industrial shells
A case study on Lafarge-AGET Iraklis cement plant at Volos Greece
Abandonment of industrial facilities, due to deindustrialization or activities transfer, has a serious impact on the urban landscape, leaving a large number of vacant shells, already integrated in the environment in terms of form and scale, offered to host new functions, adapted to modern requirements. The strategy of reusing industrial buildings and complexes responds promptly to requests such as the need to preserve industrial heritage, redefine spatial relations in the post-industrial city, address urban discontinuities and revitalize existing shells as well as the need to house functions, create open spaces, preserve social cohesion while strengthening memory, ensure economic development and manage environmental problems. However, a question that arises refers to whether and how industrial heritage management could integrate the environmental factor into its practices.
The industrial complex of AGET Iraklis at the area of Agria in Volos, Greece, was studied, in the framework of a masters’ research thesis at the Architecture School of AUTh, in order to determine the way environmental design and sustainability could be incorporated in the reuse of industrial heritage. With the main objective being the sustainable reuse and minimization of the environmental footprint, methods are sought regarding the management of the industrial complex and the integration of new uses that meet environmental criteria. The proposed intervention is studied mainly at the level of strategic planning, based on both the shell itself and the environment in which it is integrated. The adopted practices include the selective conservation and energy upgrading of existing shells, the indicative application of water management systems, the integration of Renewable Energy Sources and the remediation of the soil, using selected plantings in designated areas. The conclusions of the study could contribute in formulating directions towards a sustainable management of the industrial heritage, with benefits in social, economic and environmental level.