The Supreme Audit Office has launched the construction of its new head office building which will also house the Parliamentary Library and the Archive of the Chamber of Deputies.
Press release — 26 August 2020
Today, in Prague Holešovice, the Supreme Audit Office has launched the construction of its head office with a symbolic knock on the foundation stone. The SAO will share the building with the Parliamentary Library and the Archive of the Chamber of Deputies. Two modern office buildings with the lowest possible life-cycle costs and a lifespan suitable for major public buildings are going to be built on the premises of a former brewery. This is the first major public construction contract in the Czech Republic in the field of building a construction commissioned under the current international FIDIC standards. It is also a pilot project which uses the Building Information Management (BIM) method. The adjacent area, a canteen and a new park will be accessible to the public. The Parliamentary Library and Archive of the Chamber of Deputies will also offer services for the public.
The project of the new head office was launched by the SAO in 2016. However, the SAO had strived for a much longer time to acquire its own head office that would be worthy of SAO’s status as an independent constitutional institution. As early as 2004, the SAO bought land on the premises of a former brewery in Holešovice. The total cost of the construction of the new head office will amount to around CZK 900 million, of which CZK 230 million will be paid by the SAO from its past savings. The remaining part of the sum will be covered by funds from the state budget. The SAO staff is scheduled to move to the new head office in the second quarter of 2023.
The foundation stone ceremony was attended by the Vicepresident of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr Vojtěch Filip, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Ms Alena Schillerová, and other constitutional officials.
“I am pleased that, after so many years, the SAO is going to have its own appropriate head office building, which will be worthy of SAO’s status as a constitutional institution and that it will also share it with another constitutional institution. This is the last stage of the endeavour that had begun under the first President of the SAO Mr Lubomír Voleník,” commented Mr Miloslav Kala, the current SAO President, on the project of the new head office.
The new head office building will be energy-efficient, environmental-friendly, with a green roof and a partly green façade, and a smart operation system; there will also be charging stations for electric cars and e-bikes. Two buildings, six and seven storeys high, will occupy about 40% of the land area and will not exceed in height the surrounding buildings. Five thousand square metres of office space will be available to the employees. Underground garages will offer space for 123 vehicles, while additional parking places will be available in the courtyard. The building will also include a conference room, child day care services, and a canteen accessible to the public.
The Parliament Library and the Archive of the Chamber of Deputies, which are facing a long-term lack of adequate spaces for their vast collections, will be able to use up 2.5 thousand m2 in the new building. The Parliamentary Library keeps over 200 thousand books from the social sciences and offers a wide range of journals. In the year 2000, the historically most valuable part of the library stock was declared a cultural heritage.
In the new building, the Library and the Archive will house their depositaries in spaces furnished with modern technologies, and there will also be spaces designated for a restoration studio and a digitizing laboratory. There will be enough space to store up to 15 km of books and archive materials, so this will allow the collection to grow for decades to come. At the same time, the Library and the Archive wish to expand their offer of services to the public, for example by providing a modern study hall.
Masák&Partner architectural studio created the blueprint for the new head office of the SAO, the Parliamentary Library and the Archive of the Chamber of Deputies. The blueprint was created by using the Building Information Management method, which allows the coordination of all necessary blueprint data and the creation of a virtual 3D model of the new head office. This is a current trend in the construction sector and the head office building of the SAO represents a pilot public project created by this method.
The construction contract for the head office was commissioned by the SAO according to the international standard for contracts, the so-called “FIDIC yellow book” and by using the Design&Build method, which is all in itself exceptional. This is the first major public construction contract in the Czech Republic in the field of building construction commissioned in this manner. The contract was awarded in a tender to the company PORR a.s., which participated in the tender with the lowest bid price of CZK 676 million, excluding VAT.
Supreme Audit Office