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Ghelamco introduces unprecedented solutions in office buildings amid pandemic

Ghelamco, a leader on the commercial property market in Poland, is one of the first to introduce to its office buildings special solutions to prepare them for an epidemic. An innovative approach to HVAC systems will enable the buildings to operate in the so-called pandemic mode. 

The office buildings built by Ghelamco in Warsaw are to provide tenants with maximum comfort and safety. The developer has implemented in its projects an integrated suite of solutions yet unseen on the market. They will become a standard in the company’s future projects.

”Safety does not have a price. Today it has become a top priority when choosing an office building. We have rapidly responded to the new market need, which is to protect office tenants and their employees against the coronavirus and its impact. Together with our partners, we have developed a whole suite of state-of-the-art technology solutions which are already being implemented in Ghelamco’s latest office projects: The Warsaw HUB and Warsaw UNIT. This will also provide tangible benefits for the property and its investment potential. When it comes to protection against epidemics, the buildings which meet top safety standards will become far more attractive for the tenants as they will allow for minimizing the risk and avoiding disruptions. This will translate into higher property value and ultimately be a very important selection criterion for investment funds,” says Jeroen van der Toolen, Managing Director CEE, Ghelamco.

Pandemic mode

Ghelamco’s office buildings will be equipped with innovative technology solutions which, in the event that the government announces a state of epidemic threat, will enable them to immediately switch to the so called pandemic mode. The special mode of building operation has been developed based on Ghelamco’s internal analyses. In addition, the company commissioned a special report including recommendations on building systems in view of COVID-19. The document has been prepared by scientists from the Faculty of Building Services, Hydro and Environmental Engineering of Warsaw University of Technology.

In the pandemic mode, the air conditioning system will operate using only fresh air in order to avoid mixing the air extracted from office spaces with the one blown into them. This will prevent the spread of the virus within the entire office building. Procedures will also be introduced to control the number of persons using a lift at a time.

In The Warsaw HUB and Warsaw UNIT UV lamps will be installed: in lifts (the lamps will be activated in the cabin in a stand-by mode) and in air conditioning systems. This will ensure air disinfection as UV radiation is biocidal and quickly and effectively kills microorganisms and viruses.

One of the tools which will further ensure safety and help optimize office operation is a mobile application specially developed for the developer of the buildings. It has been developed for two years by Ghelamco’s internal innovation department. Its functionality could also be used in the state of epidemic threat. It will inform building users if the building is operating in the so called pandemic mode, which involves emergency procedures and safety rules. The employees will get up-to-date information, instructions and rules of conduct via the application. Chatbots and artificial intelligence will be used for communicating with the tenants.

Contactless communication

With the application and smartphones, entry to the office buildings will be contactless both for employees and guests, which is very important for curbing the spread of viruses. All entry gates will be integrated with the lifts. Once entered through, the system will call a programmed cabin which will take you right to the floor where you work.

Guests will be able to enter the building in a similar way. The invited person will receive a “digital ticket” which will enable them, contactless and without having to register at the reception, to directly get to the tenant’s office. The sender of such invitation will also get an automatic notification of the guest’s arrival into the building. Likewise, LPR cameras scanning registration plates will enable contactless access to garage space.

Emergency situations

And what if it turns out that one of the employees is infected? If the tenant notifies such case, the access control system will allow for verifying the scope of such employee’s stay and activity within the building as well as of the persons that were in their company in the same zones and at the same time. Consequently, this will allow for identifying the persons needing quarantine.

Ghelamco’s office buildings will also enable detecting access control anomalies, such as unauthorized entries and exits, to improve tenants’ safety.

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