Developing the perfect building begins with focusing on the future occupants: Skanska introduces the WELL Building Standard

Press release 7/26/2017 8:00 AM CET

Skanska announces the implementation of the WELL certification for developing projects in the CEE region.   

Bucharest, April 25 2017- Skanska will introduce the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) on the Central and Eastern European market, marking an important evolution of the principles in the development of office spaces and buildings. In addition to the environment certifications such as LEED or BREAM, WELL is the most important standard for buildings, focused on enhancing tenants’ health and comfort through the built environment. The Spark project, in Poland, is the first one in the region that intends to obtain the WELL Certification in Poland and it is being followed by Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

#running on the roof

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. This indicates that office buildings recognized with this certification in the future will provide additional benefits for employees that may include things like sports activities and vegetable gardens, for example. As stated in the “How to create a workplace that’s fit for the future” report compiled by JLL, up to 96% out of 6,500 of examined organizations introduced elements of well-being and up to three quarters of them plan to expand this proposition in the next two years as a result of improvements in productivity recognized among employees.

For us, this is a major business decision and another step towards futureproof workplaces that focus on the employees' needs and comfort. In 2009, we were the first developer in Poland 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” – says Katarzyna Zawodna, President at Skanska Commercial Development Europe. 

In Romania, Skanska’s initiative is represented by the technologies and characteristics that will be integrated in the Campus 6 project, in the Polytechnic University area. The project, of which construction has already started, will offer over 81,000 square meters of office spaces and 1100 parking lots, aboveground and underground. The first phase is already being developed and it is set to be delivered in Q3 2018.

“One of the main objectives oh Skanska is to develop innovative office spaces, prepared for the future, and one of the key elements of this mission is the person inhabiting this office. We may have the most daring design features and the newest technology, but the main feature of a building is to add value to the everyday life of the ones that it hosts. Therefore, we developed the concept of Campus 6 starting from essential things – like the air, light, space and community” – states Aurelia Luca, Country Director Skanska Property Romania.

Campus 6 brings a series of innovations on the office buildings market in Romania, like the advanced HVAC system that maintains in optimal interior parameters the environment of the projects’ buildings, the monitoring and control of water quality systems and the presence of a generous open green space, meant to encourage the social lifestyle and the interaction, both for tenants and the community.

In addition to these services offered by the complex, Campus 6 will be endowed, in premiere in Romania, with its own running track, arranged on the rooftop, offering space for physical exercise and a unique view over the area.

The architectural concept itself reflects Skanska’s intention of offering office spaces prepared for the future, that contribute not only to the teams efficiency, but also to the tenants’ well-being – the height of the stores is optimal in relation to the dimensions of each space and its arrangement assures wide open spaces and universal access to natural light.

WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) is the most important standard that focuses on the influence that the places we work, live and play have on the well-being of its users. In order to achieve certification, the standard requires the property owner to undergo rigorous testing and a final evaluation by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). GBCI is the third-party certification body for WELL that ensures it meets all WELL performance requirements in areas such as water and air. The standard is administered by International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) and the evaluation is being done every three years in order to maintain the certification.

Additional information on WELL Certification:

  • WELL Certification is based on seven criteria: air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, mind and comfort.
  • The WELL Building Standard was introduced for the first time in the United States in 2014.
  • WELL is grounded in a body of medical research that explores the connection between the buildings in which we spend most of our time, and the health and wellness impacts on us as occupants.
  • In Bucharest, Skanska wants the Campus 6 project to be the first building in Romania to be Well Certified, besides the LEED Gold certificate.

Unlimited advantages

The benefits for employees resulting from designing office buildings in accordance with the principles of sustainable development have already been confirmed by reports compiled by JLL. Convenient acoustics of the office space can improve memory by 66%, the high quality of air might result in 35% less short-term sick leave among employees, while good access to natural daylight and pleasant images ensure up to 46 minutes more sleep during the night. Furthermore, the report “Energy consumption in office buildings” prepared by Skanska, Go4Energy and Cushman & Wakefield indicates that, thanks to appropriate usage, objects developed in compliance with the principles of sustainable building are characterized by higher energy efficiency with the maintenance of a comfortable working environment. Analyses confirmed that energy savings might be up to 32% which indicates the benefits of appropriate solutions implemented during design and development stages. Such a nuanced approach towards development of buildings contributes to financial savings for the tenant as well as positive experiences at work, improvements in efficiency and the greater well-being of the users of office space.