Skanska’s buildings will be more sustainable
Spark strives to be first Skanska office project in CEE region to achieve WELL Certification
Skanska helps introduce the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) to the market of Central and Eastern Europe and makes a major leap towards fully sustainable buildings. WELL is the preeminent building standard to focus on enhancing people’s health and well-being through the built environment. Spark is one of the first office buildings to pursue WELL Certification in Poland. Skanska will also apply for certification for its projects developed in the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary.
Administered by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™), the WELL Building Standard™ is the premier standard focusing on the influence that the places we work, live and play have on the well-being of their occupants. In order to achieve certification, WELL requires the property owner to submit documentation regarding their property, and have the property undergo rigorous testing and a final evaluation by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). GBCI is the third-party certification body for WELL that evaluates whether properties meet WELL performance requirements in areas such as water and air. In order to maintain certification, testing must be done every three years. Spark, developed in the Wola district of Warsaw by Skanska, will be one of the first such buildings in Poland to pursue this pioneering building standard. It will allow for the state-of-the-art implementation of WELL Certification into the Polish real estate market and will present an opportunity to popularize this standard throughout the whole CEE region.
“For us, this is a major business decision and another step towards futureproof workplaces that focus on the employees’ needs and comfort,” said Katarzyna Zawodna, President at Skanska Commercial Development Europe. “In 2009, we were the first developer in the CEE region to decide on developing all buildings in compliance with the LEED certification system and convince both tenants and investors, as well as the whole construction market that green buildings were a good thing. We are sure that it will not be any different this time. Now that LEED has become a commonplace standard, we are making yet another step and committing to one more sustainable trend. WELL is an innovative tool on the Central and Eastern Europe market that will allow us to put an even greater focus on creating friendly and healthy workplaces.”
WELL Certification is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being through the quality of air, water and access to light, as well as a focus on personal comfort, access to healthy foods, and the influence that buildings have on one’s body and mind. Office buildings recognized with this certification in the future may provide additional benefits for employees such as sports activities and vegetable gardens.
“We applaud Skanska’s global leadership in sustainable construction, and we are especially excited about this commitment in the CEE region, including Poland,” said Rick Fedrizzi, Chairman and CEO of IWBI. “It is increasingly one of the most important markets in terms of the development of sustainable real estate. In this respect, this is one of the most mature markets worldwide. Since the beginning, IWBI has worked to find ways that WELL can work harmoniously with the world’s leading sustainable building standards such as LEED, the Living Building Challenge, and international leading green building systems like Three Star, Green Star and BREEAM.
In the case of office buildings, green solutions have already become the standard. Skanska is the pioneer in this area in the CEE region. In 2012, the developer was the first to be recognized with a LEED Platinum Certification for its Green Towers complex in Wrocław. In 2015, it was recognized with the first LEED CI Platinum Certification in Poland for the interiors of its Atrium 1 office building in Warsaw.
Press release by Skanska.