Ghelamco Introduces Unprecedented Solutions in Office Buildings

Ghelamco, leader of the commercial property market in Poland, is the first to introduce in 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, contactlessly 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.

About Ghelamco’s projects

Warsaw is the main business center in Central and Eastern Europe and also the most dynamically developing city in this region. The capital of Poland is also a key area of activity for the one of the largest European developers – the Belgian company Ghelamco. Currently it has 4 high-rise buildings under construction in Warsaw.

One of them is The Warsaw HUB – a modern and multifunctional complex of high-rise buildings, which Ghelamco is building in the new business centre of Warsaw. The complex consists of three skyscrapers: the 86-metre hotel building and two 130-metre office towers, which will be joined by a five-storey foundation.

Currently it is Ghelamco’s the most innovative project, which will go far beyond the traditional concept of an office complex. On the 113,000 sq. m it will offer state-of-the-art office premises, a conference centre, hotels, a convenience centre, shops, restaurants, a fitness club, coworking space, and the centre of cooperation between corporations and start-ups. The project will provide its tenants with numerous sophisticated solutions including smartphone application, a car recognition system, and a charging station for electric cars. The Warsaw HUB will be the headquarters of many prestigious and well-known companies, including Standard Chartered, Getin Noble Bank and Cushman & Wakefield.

Another impressive Ghelamco’s project under construction is Warsaw UNIT. The over 200-metre skyscraper will provide around 57,000 sq. m of modern office space on 45 floors. Warsaw UNIT is being built in Wola, the most dynamically developing district of Warsaw and its new business centre. The business potential of this part of the city was discovered by Ghelamco, which built here the most spectacular skyscraper in the Polish capital – Warsaw Spire, awarded in 2017 at the MIPIM Awards with the title of the best office building in the world.

The Warsaw UNIT’s exceptional element will be its architecture, which will refer to modernist heritage enriched with innovative ideas, such as “dragon skin” façade. It will visibly react to every puff of wind, forming on its surface unique images modelled by forces of nature. The project is planned to be completed in the first half of 2021.

The building will host prestigious tenants, such as one of the biggest Polish insurance company Warta and international advisory firm CBRE.

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