Sustainable construction is the future of the market
Sustainability and environmental issues have been at the forefront of public discourse for several years. This includes the broader construction and real estate sector, which is increasingly moving in the direction set by ESG, with the value of real estate also being measured in terms of environmental impact.
The first green building in Poland was constructed more than a decade ago. One of the parameters that best illustrates how sustainable construction has developed since then is the total surface area of buildings certified in the systems present in Poland: BREEAM, DGNB, GBS, HQE, LEED, WELL, and GREEN HOUSE. According to data from PLGBC (the Polish Green Building Council), at the end of March last year it was approaching 30 million sqm, a 24 percent year-on-year increase. Since the beginning of PLGBC’s analysis of the certified buildings market, Poland has remained the leader among CEE countries with 502 existing and 857 new certified buildings. Currently, 45% of all certified buildings in the region are located in Poland.
Not just offices anymore
In the case of commercial buildings, certification is a standard resulting from the steadily growing awareness of all market participants – developers, investors, and the occupants of the facilities themselves. The forerunner of change in the Polish market was the office real estate sector, which has held a leading position for more than a decade with a 48 percent share of the total number of all certified buildings. As the market has grown and developed, office buildings have faced serious competition from the retail market and, in recent years, the logistics industry, which is already in second place with a 29 percent share of the number of certified buildings. The most recent to join the sustainable construction competition have been investors who operate in the residential sector. Today, residential investment accounts for about 9 percent of certified buildings and is steadily growing. Over the past year alone, 29 new certified residential buildings have been completed, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. In total, there are already 118 of them in Poland. The Solea Mieszkania przy Wyścigach project, under construction by Apsys Poland, has also joined this group, having received a BREEAM Interim Certificate with a Very Good rating already at the design stage. As a leader in BREEAM certification in the shopping center market, Apsys Poland has consistently implemented good environmental practices in its development projects, so the certification of its first residential investment should come as no surprise.
Modern, sustainably built housing estatess are becoming an increasingly important part of developers’ strategies to balance the needs of residents with concerns for the environment. And it’s not just about environmental and energy-saving solutions, but first and foremost about the impact of the investment on the environment and the local community. This aligns with Apsys’ strategic goal of creating exceptional places, responsibly harnessing the potential of cities and transforming them into places where it is great to live. It’s a purpose that guides all of the company’s decisions and includes promoting closed-loop building design, preventing pollution, conserving water and energy, and minimizing the use of ozone-depleting substances. It’s also about initiating and stimulating changes in projects to make them social and comfortable places for different audiences, developing spaces for nature by applying biodiversity principles, revitalizing green areas and creating people-friendly places. Apartment complexes that integrate with the existing environment, incorporating environmental and wellness solutions, improve living comfort and strengthen local communities. This will be the case with Solea Mieszkania przy Wyścigach, a residential project developed by the Gilmerton consortium led by Apsys. It is a boutique project of a higher standard, which is being developed in the Mokotów district, at the intersection of Bartłomieja and Bokserska streets. The Służewiec racetrack and numerous recreational areas are located in the immediate vicinity of the development, which will allow residents to be close to nature and spend time actively. Also, the design of the complex, which was prepared based on the principles of sustainable development, will promote relaxation, close contact with nature and care for the well-being of residents.
Two five-storey buildings with cascading layouts are planned to house 91 comfortable apartments ranging from one to six rooms (25-140 sqm). The apartments will be characterized by their above-standard height (up to more than 3 meters) and large windows that will provide excellent natural sunlight. Owners will also be able to enjoy their individual outdoor spaces – gardens, terraces, balconies and loggias.
Ecological and energy-saving solutions will not only be found in buildings, but also in their immediate surroundings. A smart system consisting of low-energy luminaires will be used to illuminate streets and pathways, providing comfort to users and reducing energy consumption. The green areas have been designed according to the principle of biodiversity, based primarily on local plant species. In addition, an intelligent drip irrigation system conserves water. In a favorable natural environment, there will be no shortage of resting places and a multifunctional playground for the development’s youngest residents. There are also plans for the installation of bird and insect boxes. The investor will also take care of the immediate surroundings of the apartment complex, including landscaping and planting low and medium growing trees in the urban area directly adjacent to the development. Furthermore, anti-smog paving slabs made of photocatalytic concrete will be installed along the perimeter of the buildings.
The idea of sustainable construction is a priority for the general contractor, FinTech Construction, which pays special attention in its work to the economical use of raw materials, the reduction of pollution and the use of low-emission, maximum environmentally friendly materials. The buildings are being constructed using certified wood, among other materials. Durable, aesthetically pleasing materials will be used to finish the common areas: natural stone, glass, ceramics, wood and metal. Photovoltaic panels will be installed on the roofs.
The development provides access to an extensive public transportation infrastructure, including two nearby metro stations – Służew and Ursynów – as well as a wide range of retail, service, educational facilities and recreational areas that enhance the comfort of living in the development and support the well-being of its residents. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2024. Solea Mieszkania przy Wyścigach is Apsys’ first, but not its only, sustainable residential development. The company continues to look for locations that will allow it to develop city-building projects, and in early 2023 it secured a new 5,000-square-meter site in the center of Wrocław, where it plans to create a mixed-use project, including residential lofts, communal urban gardens and services for residents.
Benoit Charles, CEO of Apsys Poland, real estate developer and manager
Last Updated on April 26, 2023 by Anastazja Lach