The commercial office space market has faced numerous problems since the beginning of the pandemic. Tenants, initially passionate about working remotely, wanted to limit the rented space as much as possible. Building managers made every effort to ensure that their workplaces were disinfected and safe. Currently, both parties are trying to find a compromise in the form of flexible lease and hybrid work. All of these challenges come from one problem: the need to cut costs in uncertain times. There is only one answer to this: energy-efficient and sustainable office buildings.
The initial pandemic was accompanied by enthusiasm for working remotely. Many players reported that they were able to work this way without sacrificing productivity. However, it was enough for us to understand that working from home does not always work and gives the impression of living at work in the long run. Employees suffer from a drop in motivation and the difficulty of combining office and home functions in one place. Office space becomes more attractive again, but under slightly changed conditions – it must offer a safe environment and high comfort for office work to be efficient. Employers are constantly looking for savings in rented space, and rising electricity prices directly affects an increase in tenants’ fixed costs.
Sustainable office buildings are the answer to both of these problems: rising energy prices and a safe working environment during a pandemic. The implemented energy-saving solutions, such as photovoltaics and trigeneration, allow for the independent generation of electricity, heat and cooling, thanks to which the prices of utilities in such buildings are half lower than in standard office buildings, and the air purification and humidification systems used create a safe work space. The confirmation of the implementation of innovative energy-saving technologies, minimizing the negative impact on the natural environment and high work comfort is the international BREEAM Certificate with a sufficiently high rating. Granting such a certificate at the highest “Outstanding” level ensures that a given building meets the guidelines in several dozen categories at least 85%.
“For many years, we have been helping office space managers in Poland to go through the extremely complex Breeam certification process. What is more, future tenants are often the reason why developers decide to implement modern systems dedicated to sustainable buildings. Large companies with many branches in different countries know very well that only sustainable, low-energy office building is able to guarantee not only higher comfort of work, but above all significantly lower costs of utilities consumption. “- says Marcin Gawroński, Director of the Ecological Construction Department at Sweco Polska , member of the board of the Polish Green Building Association.
“Innovative technologies used in GPP Business Park turn out to be a response to the greatest challenges faced by employers: on the one hand, they actually reduce costs, and on the other, they ensure safe workplaces. Our use of an innovative combination of energy-saving solutions, including photovoltaics, trigeneration, light intensity sensors, electric energy recovery lifts, or the use of rainwater also allow us to significantly reduce tenants’ fixed costs. It means savings of EUR 1 / m2 / month, which, when renting 1000 sq.m., gives savings of EUR 12,000 per year, with the comfort of work unparalleled in other office buildings. In our complex, we have been using an air purification system at the stage of humidification with silver ions – this modern technology allows to eliminate as much as 99% of bacteria, viruses, fungi and mold. So far, this solution has worked mainly due to smog. We did not expect this technology to be even more valuable in terms of worker safety in a pandemic period. ” – says Mirosław Czarnik, CEO at GPP Business Park S.A.
Sustainable and energy-efficient office buildings are also a measurable contribution to climate protection. Since Poland’s accession to the European Union, over 9 million sq.m. of office space has been created in Poland. If all the newly built office buildings were built in the GPP Business Park standard, we would have over 1.062 million tonnes of CO2 emissions lower to the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of planting over 12 million trees. In the face of climate change, rising electricity prices and the need to create safe jobs, sustainable and energy-efficient office buildings are the only right choice.