Sustainable construction is becoming the standard in the commercial real estate business. Obtaining a certificate, attesting to the quality of the solutions and environmentally and human friendly, increases the chances of an office building on the international market. About how certification looks in practice and about new challenges associated with it - we speak with Krzysztof Olsza, Quattro Business Park project manager.
ECO To stand out in the market
About how certification looks in practice and about the new challenges associated with it - we speak with Krzysztof Olsza, Quattro Business Park project manager.
What prompted you to begin efforts to obtain a BREEAM certificate?
Due to the fact that our office tenants are usually multinational companies that have branches all over the world, we wanted the standard of our building to be comparable to the office buildings in Berlin, Barcelona and Paris. European standards are, among other things, investments constructed in accordance with the principles of respect for the environment and sustainable management. In addition, the resulting certificate is a kind of guarantee of quality and distinguishes us on the market in Krakow.
At which time of the investment process the building has been applied for certification?
Buildings C and D of the Quattro Business Park Office Complex has been applied for certification at the time of the preparation of design documentation, in order to get the most points in the overall standings in the BREEAM assessment, to obtain "very good" grade, that we are planning to get.
How does the process of certifying an office looks like in practice?
Currently, the certification process for building C of the Quattro Business Park Office Complex has started, carried out in the third stage of the project, with a total leasable area of 12 200 sq m At the beginning of March 2011, C building has been registered in the BREEAM register with expected grade: very good. Currently, our team of designers is working on the application of the inmplementing draft of all the requirements of BREEAM, in the following categories: sustainable management, health and wellbeing, energy, transport, water consumption, waste generation levels, the use of eco-friendly materials and pollution. The design phase will be completed in the first quarter of 2012 ith the issuance of a temporary, post-design certificate. The final certificate will be possible to achieve by the completion of construction and the total commercialization of the building. Its issuance is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013
In which aspects, investments in green office are different from dealing with a traditional office building?
The differences are noticeable at the very beginning of the construction process. Eco-friendly office requires the design in accordance with the certification, then the conduction of the entire construction process in a specific way (eg, use of appropriate building materials - paint, ceilings, partitions etc.). It is crucial to fulfil detailed rules, described in the certificate, of recycling construction waste and formal issues related to this.
What are the differences in the cost of investment?
Investment in green office buildings is usually more expensive by about 4-5 percent. than the investment in traditional buildings.
Have you noted increased interest of tenants in the building, which is trying to apply for BREEAM certification?
In both buildings - C and D - we are only at the stage of implementation of environmental solutions and have not yet started the commercialization of the office. We know, however, that many multinational corporations rent office space only in buildings that meet the requirements of BREEAM or LEED certification. Some companies have such provisions in the statutes. So we think that the certificate will positively differentiate our office on the market in Krakow.
Do prospective tenants can expect higher costs for the rental of office space in Quattro Business Park?
Rental costs are actually a bit higher, but they return to the long-term use (less charges for electricity, water, heating, etc..) And are virtually unnoticeable.
Do users need to be trained in the proper use of eco-friendly office in order to take full advantage of its potential?
I think that training, that would generally expand environmental awareness would be needed for each of us, not just eco-office users. It is important to inform tenants of the solutions used in concrete buildings.
What are the savings in operating costs in the green office?
After applying the simplest ecological solutions tenants save about 2 percent. operating costs, and with the implementation of modern, high-tech solutions - costs are reduced by up to 10 percent., which constitutes a significant savings for the tenant.
Are you already planning another green office?
Yes, each following investment of the "Grupa Buma" will be applying fo LEED or BREEAM certification.