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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 3, 2015
Innovative Poland
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Office and More
November 3, 2015   
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Kinga Nowakowska, Chief Operating Officer at Warsaw-based developer Capital Park Group

Until recently, environmentally-friendly construction was dismissed as an expensive whim. Today, a green building certificate is a guarantee that the project was carried out in line with the principles of sustainable construction.

Modern technologies used during a construction project help reduce the maintenance costs of the facility in the long term and make it easier to modernize it in the future. High air quality, access to daylight, and vegetation in offices and common spaces have a positive impact on employee health and comfort. Research shows that employees working in so-called green buildings spend 2 percent more time during the year in them on average compared with their counterparts in conventional office buildings, because they are less likely to take sick leave.

Environmentally-friendly design is important not only for developers and facility managers, but also for tenants and other users of the site. What is increasingly needed is an active approach on the part of the developer based on the consistent use of specific technology and efforts to promote environmental awareness and positive attitudes among tenants once the facility is completed.

Office as a component of corporate identity

To meet this need, Capital Park Group has created its own proprietary Office Plus concept, a strategy based on not only offering modern office space, but also reflecting a trend whereby the office becomes part of a company’s identity. The company’s solutions are tailor-made and adapted to each project, but they are invariably based on quality architecture, a focus on environmental issues and sustainable development, combined with greenery and quality surroundings, promotion of sports and physical activities, arts and culture in common areas, a wide range of services, and a creative approach to asset management.

The developer’s Eurocentrum Office Complex project in downtown Warsaw is a case in point. It took second place in the Commercial Investment Project category in the “Project: Space” competition held by the Polish Ministry of the Environment. The Eurocentrum Office Complex was singled out for praise for making sustainable construction part and parcel of the cityscape as well as for combining advanced technology and high architectural value and for treating technology as an inspiration for the creation of new architectural forms. At the same time, Capital Park Group, in its capacity as the facility manager, has been making every effort to pursue a sustainable development policy throughout the project and after its completion, from certification—at the stages of design, construction and operation—to initiatives such as the distribution of an environmental manual among the tenants and the promotion of cycling and carpooling as a way of commuting to work. This contributes to a higher value facility. In May employees voted to allocate a participatory budget for planting additional vegetation around the building.

Nowadays people spend most of the day in the office. For this reason, the Office Plus concept aims to improve work comfort for employees. At Eurocentrum, this is ensured by services such as a concierge, who can help organize a business meetings or arrange for tenants to spend their free time in an interesting way. The facility also offers a modern conference center whose largest auditorium can accommodate up to 200 people and offers modern presentation tools. The facility also houses a café and a bistro that are ready to cater for meetings and other events. Testifying to the success of the Office Plus concept is a satisfaction survey taken among Eurocentrum tenants: 100 percent of the respondents in the survey said they would recommend Capital Park Group as a landlord, and 94 percent said they were satisfied with the available business services.

No art for art’s sake

When designing a new facility, it is necessary to be aware that a whole new quarter of the city will sometimes be created in this way. Designs likely to create ghost office districts should be avoided. Hence the trend for developing multifunction projects. One example of an idea that seeks to build meaningful relationships with the surroundings and encourages tenants to spend free time and socialize together is the urban square concept used in the Royal Wilanów development, which opened in Warsaw’s Wilanów district in August. Later this year, sports fields and facilities such as trampolines, an outdoor chessboard and a petanque court will be created there as well. Restaurants—among them Naturel, Nama, Bierhalle and YeYe—will provide venues for business meetings and they are also where residents of one of Warsaw’s most rapidly developing districts will be able to spend leisure time with friends and family. There is also an attractive range of retail outlets, including a Piotr i Paweł supermarket, a Rossmann drugstore, Nike and Adventure Sports stores, and a ColibriConceptStore outlet with clothing designed by talented up-and-coming designers.
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