Green certificates in practice

Quattro Business Park office complex in Kraków
Almost everybody knows what are the ecological certificates. However, many people wonder how their guidelines can be put into practice. Examples of ecological objects can be seen, among others, in Kraków.

The problem of polluted air in Polish cities is increasing. The biggest concentration of harmful substances was noted in the southern part of the country, but the issue has been tackled also by other regions of Poland. In Kraków, concentration of  PM10 dust, and, to slightly smaller degree, PM2.5 is the most dangerous. The main reasons for pollution are, as regarded, city transport and coal heating. However, the level of environmental pollution is also dependent on many other factors. Among others, our surroundings – the buildings.

Sustainable building, often called „green”, is becoming more and more popular in Poland and all over the world. Ecology stopped being associated with fanatic behaviour and started calling to mind the idea of practical actions for the profit of the environment and the humanity. People connected to building branch also are aware of the possible savings, following the usage of energy-saving solutions in the object.

The green building may still seem complicated and hermetic. Participants of the Polish building market are looking for the answers to the simplest questions. The gist of the problem is not different than it was before. It is no longer the question if to build an ecological building, but how to build it. That topic was interestingly and practically described in a recent publication of - Vademecum „Zielona Ideologia a Praktyka”. In the publication, there are answers to questions coming to mind of the investors, realising a green building, and the tenants who lease space in it.

Green benefits

The investor, deciding to build an object is certainly thinking about future profit, which is directly connected to the interest of possible tenants. Currently the supply on the commercial real estate market is high, which means that the market is more lucrative for the tenants. Thanks to that phenomenon, the tenants can actively influence the final effect of the investment – often its higher standard or its specification.

In order to provide higher quality, by the means of energy-saving, being ecological and the best possible way of finishing a building, the investors more and more often decide to apply for a certification. In Poland, two systems of certification are in practice – LEED and BREEAM. They allow to elevate the object’s values, and, in consequence – to raise the rents. In general, in the case of a certified, new building the number of tenants rises for over 6%, and the rents rise for 2,5%.

The tenants are becoming more and more interested in certified buildings. The reports clearly indicate a rise in the effectiveness of the employees, as well as the lessening of sick leaves and the costs connected to healthcare. A significant lessening of operating costs is also to be noticed. “Green” buildings use, on average, 30% less energy than traditional ones.

To build an ecological building

Building of a „green” object may seem complicated. As it turns out, it is not much different than constructing a traditional building. The difference is mainly in the materials used and energy-saving solutions.

The investors often do not want to certify their objects for fear of possible costs, but the disparity between building a sustainable place and a traditional one is not big. The sum is, in maximum, 4% bigger than the costs of a modern, traditional object. Bigger costs often pay off in time, because of the less energy usage.

Green Kraków

Investors in Kraków start to appreciate the profits brought by the certification of the buildings. Modern office buildings, currently constructed in the capital of Lesser Poland, are more and more often certified.

Skanska is currently realising an office complex Kapelanka 42, which will offer the tenants 30,000 m2 of modern, ecological space. The investor intends to have the object LEED certified on Gold level.

UBM also decided on that American certificate in the context of its new investment. Alma Tower office building is being realised on Pilotów street. Its main tenant will be Alma Market S.A. company.

Third building of the  Quattro Business Park complex is being constructed on Gen. Bora-Komorowskiego street. The investor, BUMA, decided to certify the office building in BREEAM system. The activities, undertaken by the company, have been described in detail in Vademecum „Zielona ideologia a praktyka”.

Orange Office Park is a modern office complex consisting of three buildings, localised in Zabłocie district. East-West Development Office sp. z o.o. committed to realising it. The investor also decided to apply for BREEAM certificate.

At the end of 2012, the first stage of Enterprise Park complex was opened for use. It consists of two buildings. The second stage of the realisation is said to start in April 2013. The investor is Avestus Real Estate, who applied for BREEAM certificate for the object.

It can be expected, that the next investments in Kraków will follow the principles of sustainable building. It is profitable both for the investors and the tenants, who will know they are moving into an energy-saving office building, having modern solutions and a high standard.

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