This year, the new Visionary office building in Prague's Holešovice neighborhood, which has achieved 95 points in the LEED certification, was completed. The building is now striving for a new form of the WELL certification. Alexandra Tomaskova, the Managing Director of Skanska Property Czech Republic, explained, why The Visionary Building is exceptional and why Skanska has decided to receive the WELL certification.
Skanska has completed the construction of the Visionary office building in Holešovice this year. The building has been evaluated with the record score in the LEED certification that’s why it has achieved the highest LEED Platinum certification category. Could you describe its unique features and which of them received the highest number of points?
It's hard to sum it up in a few sentences. The Visionary building has been designed and constructed to be sustainable building at its highest level. Our goals were to create a remarkable piece of architecture, which succeeded in cooperation with Jakub Cigler’s architectural studio, and to design a project that will serve the needs of residents of Prague 7, in which we have also succeeded.
As far as sustainability of the construction and operation of the building are concerned, usage of non-hazardous materials with zero or low content of organic volatile materials, building materials with recycled content (16% ), FSC certified wood (58%) and materials from local sources (37%) were highly appreciated by the LEED certification commission. Thanks to its sophisticated design and technology, the Visionary has its cost of energy consumption reduced by 42.9% and saves 40% of drinking water consumption. The building has more than 85% of the permanent workplaces located in the closest possible proximity to the window, providing enough daylight access, and all workplaces have access to the view outside. Amper Market's green energy will be providing 100% of electricity from renewable sources for 3 years.
We’ve taken care of enough space and green spaces for the tenants of the building, its visitors and neighbors. Its big advantages include a multifunctional sports ground, a garden with a seating area and a fountain, outdoor terraces and balconies, a summer cinema and a rooftop running track. For employees of companies based in the building, the Visionary has enough bicycle racks, bicycle lockers, and a small bicycle repair station. There is a recharging station for electromobiles next to the building.
Skanska, in cooperation with the Municipal District of Prague 7, built a kindergarten on the ground floor of the building, equipped with an outdoor playground, which will be attended by children from the local neighborhood. There are also Medical Offices of Medicon, a pharmacy, a health food store, Oshatka, and the Vision Café - a Fresh & Tasty restaurant run by the Zátiší Group, in the building. All of them are open to tenants, as well as to the neighborhood residents and passengers from nearby train and bus stations.
In addition to the LEED certification, the Visionary building also seeks for the WELL certification. Why have you decided to apply for this certification as well?
The Skanska Property is a developer that brings new trends in sustainable development to the Czech market. The LEED Platinum certification has become the standard for all the buildings we have completed in Prague in the last six years. The first to receive this certification was the City Green Court project in 2012 and it achieved 83 points back then. Further projects followed: the Corso Court (86 points) and the Five (89 points). The Visionary project has achieved 95 points out of the total 110 and is currently the highest rated project in the Czech Republic and the second highest rated project in Europe. We want to continue improving our sustainability projects, proposing new innovative solutions and pushing forward environmental standards, also by means of the newly acquired WELL certification.
How does WELL certification complement other certification systems?
WELL focuses primarily on the healthy and comfortable indoor environment of the building and evaluates its impact on people who work in it. It monitors parameters that have not yet been evaluated or ranked so strictly by existing certifications. These include, in particular, the safety of materials such as the content of volatile organic compounds, where the requirements are very strict and are beyond the current legislative and other requirements and apply not only to built-in materials but also to furniture in shared areas, access to daily lighting in the context of permanent work places, the availability of safe drinking water with strict parameters met, adjustable working places and big emphasis on so called well-being.
The design of a building promotes a healthy lifestyle, motivates tenant to be physically active and relax with the help of building’s technical solution (sports facilities as a part of a building), education and the information system within buildings.
Which projects of Skanska are going to be certified with the WELL?
We want to have all our projects we are working on now certified. After the Visionary the Praga Studios (in Karlín), Parkview and Key (on Pankrác) and Port7 (in Holešovice) will follow.
Could you introduce Skanska's closest plans and projects?
We are currently working on three projects, two of which - the Prague Studios in Karlín and Parkview in Pankrác - are in the current construction.
Praga Studios is an administrative building located in Perner street just next to our headquarters in Corso Court, which is now in the middle of the construction phase. The motto of the building is to link art and business, since it’s going to be both an excellent business space and evening performances and shows (concerts, theater performances and art exhibitions) will be held in its interior atrium. After its completion in the spring of 2019, the building will offer a total of 11,800 square meters of administrative area of the highest standard. Currently we have the first tenant and we are negotiating with others.
This year we also started building the Parkview in Pankrác. This is a building by the American architect Richard Meier, which completes his vision of the Pankrác Plain. Parkview is a medium-sized project in this area. We build a total of 16,000 square meters of first-class offices that will be available at the beginning of 2020. We’ve also put a great emphasize on interior design - there are plenty of relaxation areas inside: a roof terrace with beautiful panoramic views of Prague, a green atrium on the lower ground floor or balcony on the facade with a view on a nearby park.
The Holešovice Port7 is in its advanced stage of preparation. During this summer it has received urban planning decision and we are preparing the documentation necessary to obtain the building permit now.
All Skanska Property buildings are designed and built to meet the LEED Platinum environmental certification criteria and to receive the WELL certification as well. We want our buildings to create a friendly working environment and to benefit life and business in the neighborhood.