The green revolution

Construction of the project called Business Garden in Poznań, in the vicinity of Bułgarska and Marcelińska streets, will constitute an actual revolution at the office real estate market in Poznań.

Above all, due to a rapid increase (recorded on this local market) in modern office space, which is going to grow by 30% in the next three years owing to SwedeCenter’s project. Business Garden is an office center with the planned target area of 80 thousand m2, which – compared to the 240 thousand m2 thus far available in Poznań – will become a market dominant and the largest facility (complex) of this type in the city. The project will be executed in two phases, the first one (40 thousand m2) planned to be completed by the end of 2013.

Another reason why the changes on the local market are needed is that the volume of available A class office space needs to be increased, which corresponds to the prevailing tendency to move company (also local) seats from B and C class offices to higher class space. The purpose of doing so is – on the one hand – to increase the company’s prestige, and – on the other hand – to operate in a convenient and easy operating environment; the economic factor is also significant. Analyses demonstrate that the costs of operation of office space in a modern LEED  (Leadership in Energy and Enviromental Design) certified building is several percent lower than the same costs incurred in old B or C class buildings. It is primarily due to the quality of materials and technical solutions used, which are mainly responsible for the reduction of the electricity requirement by 20% - and it is one of the main factors affecting the operating costs.

Małgorzata Wojtoń says: We chose an American LEED for two reasons. For one thing it evaluates in a comprehensive manner whether the developed construction criteria are met, and for another we cooperate with architects experienced in designing buildings meeting the LEED requirements.

Other expenses which are equally important comprise the heating costs (or cooling costs which are sometimes higher than the heating costs) and water consumption costs. In buildings in the Business Garden complex, such costs may be reduced by using solutions such as e.g. chilled beam, which cools the air using much less energy than a classic air-conditioning system.

External shutters which the inflow of heat to offices were also used.

The solution serving the purposes of building operation in accordance with the balanced development principles makes it possible to retain some rainwater on the roofs and in special rainwater containers. Two thirds of the roof areas will be covered with the so-called green roofs, i.e. a biologically active area which will gather some rainwater and contribute to the improved thermal insulation of the building.

Other water will be used to water plants occupying 30 % of the area of the blooming business garden which will constitute such a garden not only due to its name. Responsible business cares about its surroundings and – above all – this is the reason why limited quantities of rainwater, which usually cause flooding in towns, are discharged to the municipal drainage system.

Another element of such responsibility is easy access to the complex using public transport, which at least partially prevents traffic problems. This is the case in Poznań – one may get to Business Garden by several tram and bus lines. Further, the basements of the buildings will contain parking garages for bike riders whose needs are taken into consideration already during the design period; a bike rider will be able to use a locker room and take a shower before entering his office. Garages are also equipped with electrical vehicle charging stations.

Another pro-social action of the responsible business is to create contact areas in which people working in office may easily meet during their breaks. One of them is a restaurant which is intentionally placed by the architect outside the main buildings in the garden part of the complex. Willingly or not, an office worker will have to leave his desk to get lunch and he may even meet someone in the restaurant and talk with them about matters other than calculation sheets.

The working time, even in offices, presently becomes less and less regulated; we stay in office buildings at various times of day and night, longer or shorter, which means that a relaxation zone, even the smallest one, is needed – says Rafał Przybył, Regional Manager of SwedeCenter. Hence, Business Garden contains basketball or boule courts.

The reduced operating costs, compared to the standard ones, will affect rental rates in Business Garden. But not only here. “New does not mean more expensive – says Mr. Przybył – since improved quality in this case results in reduced costs. The quality is not only guaranteed by materials but e.g. low common area ratio, which amounts to only 4%. The number of corridors and rooms used by all occupants was reduced to a minimum. Therefore, the tenant incurs only the costs of operation of the office space used by it. It also became a standard that the finished office space is adjusted to the individual client needs.

Large supply of A class office space at reasonable price will certainly cause a reduction of rental rates in Poznań, although it is not certain to what extent. It depends on several factors, among others the inflow of investors who are part of the reflexive relation; they do not settle down in Poznań since there is no appropriate office space for them here, and the lack of such space is caused by the fact that investors with such needs determined to stay here do not come to this town.

We are breaking the vicious circle, partially responding to the potential demand and partially creating it – says Małgorzata Wojtoń.

The Poznań project is one of three projects being carried out under the brand Business Garden by SwedeCenter in Poland. The first one, being developed in Warsaw, will be launched at the end of 2012, the Poznań complex will be the next to be completed and a project in Wrocław is still at the design phase.

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