April 24, 2019

First office building in CEE awarded with prestigious WELL certification

First office building in CEE awarded with prestigious WELL certification

Visionary in Prague is the first office building in Central and Eastern Europe to be granted the demanding WELL Core & Shell certification. This recognition confirms Skanska’s position as a pioneer in providing sustainable and innovative developments in the region. The company intends to develop all its future projects in the CEE in accordance with WELL requirements.

People spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Correspondingly, the buildings we live, work and play in have an immense impact on our health. WELL is a building standard that is focused entirely on people’s health and well-being. Created through seven years of rigorous research and development with leading physicians, scientists, and industry professionals, it marries the best practices in design and construction with evidence-based scientific research.

The WELL certification system is performance-based and asses eight categories in total: Air, Water, Light, Nourishment, Fitness, Comfort, Mind and Innovations. WELL-certified office buildings can therefore be considered as workplaces that are optimal for people, their health and comfort. Skanska’s Visionary in Prague is the first office building in the CEE to receive such certification.

WELL really matters

Today’s employers are locked in a constant battle for the best talents. As a result, the well-being of employees and workplaces that support comfort at work have become valuable assets in giving employers an advantage over their competition.

The situation in CEE is no different. Stable GDP growth, a significant expansion of the shared services industry and ceaseless competition for the very best employees have all contributed to growing demand for A-class office buildings that are not just sustainable, but user-friendly above all. Such features are verified and confirmed by the WELL certification process.

“From a business perspective, a WELL-certified workplace provides significant advantages for both its tenants and investors alike. It has a positive impact on employees’ performance and therefore on the overall performance of their employer as well. Plus, tenants are keener to stay for longer, and the building itself is more likely to retain its value over an extended period of time. WELL-certified buildings are a truly futureproof investment, and consequently, WELL certification will become a must on the commercial real estate market over the coming years. We are proud that Skanska delivered the first WELL-certified building in the region,” said Adrian Karczewicz, Head of Divestments at Skanska Commercial Development CEE.

Skanska has been well aware of this trend and its impact on business performance and has adjusted its priorities accordingly.

“Sustainability has been at the very top of Skanska’s agenda for years, but our approach has evolved as time moves on. A decade ago, we were focused on the natural environment and introducing LEED standards to CEE markets, but began to focus increasingly more on people and their needs. We have been implementing solutions which aim to improve employees’ comfort, productivity and well-being, and have been creating friendly workplaces with such features as access to plenty of greenery, an abundance of natural daylight, lighting systems that correspond to a circadian rhythm, adaptable areas inside buildings, outside areas that can be used by tenants and their guests, fitness facilities and many other amenities. And we’re not stopping here. We plan to further develop and implement even more innovative solutions” said Adam Targowski, Sustainability Manager at Skanska’s Commercial Development CEE.

Visionary is Skanska’s first WELL-certified building in CEE, but there are more to come. Another project is Spark in Warsaw, which recently received WELL Commercial Interior certification for an office space and is expected to receive a Core & Shell Certificate very soon. The building is Skanska’s head office in Warsaw.

“As the first WELL Certified™ project in the Czech Republic, Skanska’s Visionary demonstrates to all employees and visitors that they are working in a space that supports their health and well-being," said Rick Fedrizzi, Chairman and CEO of International WELL Building Institute which administers the WELL Building Standard. “Congratulations to the entire team for their outstanding leadership to deliver a building that is putting people at the center of design decisions and helping to advance this movement in Europe and globally.”

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