News Article BREEAM development green HB Reavis office Poland Warsaw WELL wellbeing
by Property Forum | Office

HB Reavis’ flagship development in Warsaw’s city centre, Varso, has been awarded a WELL Core & Shell Precertification by the International WELL Building Institute. Through the introduction of solutions aimed at improving employee wellbeing at the building design stage, Varso is WELL Core & Shell Precertified at the Gold level, and could be awarded WELL Core & Shell Certification following final performance verification upon completion in 2020.


Designed to address issues well known to impact professionals who spend most of their working day indoors, the WELL Building Standard takes into account not only workplace air, water and lighting quality, but also issues related to nutrition as well as physical and mental well-being.
 
“When creating a healthy, welcoming workplace that stimulates creativity and productivity, we need to prioritise these elements from the beginning of the design stage and the very first day of construction. We are proud to be the Europe’s first to boast WELL Core & Shell Precertification. This is one of those elements that will make Varso a truly unique place, together with its location, scale and architectural quality,” said Stanislav Frnka, Country CEO at HB Reavis Poland.
 
To be awarded WELL Core & Shell Precertification by IWBI, Varso underwent thorough review and analysis to ensure it met all WELL Core & Shell Precertification performance requirements. Created through seven years of rigorous research and development, WELL is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being. WELL is composed of over 100 features that are applied to each building project. WELL sets performance requirements and objectives in seven categories, or concepts, relevant to occupant health and well-being in the built environment: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

Every building has to meet certain preconditions within each concept, including high air quality, for example by using low-emitting finishing materials, in order to provide an adequate air supply, and to properly monitor ventilation and air conditioning systems. WELL features also include an outdoor smoking ban within a close distance from the building, with a single designated outdoor smoking area. WELL Certified buildings also must ensure access to clean water, the quality of which must be regularly tested. Lighting guidelines help ensure beneficial access to natural and artificial light of proper intensity, colour and temperature, which adjusts to the human circadian rhythm. WELL Certification aims for spaces to be designed to provide supportive acoustics, including limiting exterior noise. Projects may also draw upon biophilic design, a method inspired from nature using greenery and natural materials. In terms of nutrition and fitness, WELL Certified buildings can meet certain performance requirements by providing healthy snack and beverage vending machine options, promoting sports and bicycle commuting.
 
WELL Precertification is an optional step in the certification process for WELL projects, which allows registered projects to review the work already completed and confirm that they are on the correct path towards achieving certification. Varso is the first to achieve WELL Core & Shell Precertification in Europe. Only three projects have achieved final WELL Certification in Europe, one each in the UK, France and Spain. Upon completion, earning WELL Core & Shell Certification will better enable Varso’s future tenants to achieve WELL Certification for their interior office spaces.
 
Varso is scheduled to be completed in 2020 and the underground part is currently under construction. It will feature a 230-metre tower designed by renowned British architectural practice Foster + Partners. At 230m tall (310m including a spire), it will be the tallest building in Poland, and one of the tallest in Europe. It will comprise first class office space and an impressive observation deck, which will be open to the public.

The project will also include two lower buildings designed by the Warsaw-based HRA Architects, combining office space with a ground floor covered walkway, lined with shops and restaurants. In addition to WELL, Varso is pursuing BREEAM certification requirements at the highest Outstanding level.
 
The WELL Certification process for Varso is managed by Adamas International, on behalf of HB Reavis. The developer is also planning to apply for WELL Certification for its future developments in Poland. The company has already registered three buildings in Slovakia and the Czech Republic for WELL Certification.