Skanska, the largest office building developer in Europe, leased in 2019 21,000 square meters of office areas in its latest projects in Bucharest: Equilibrium 1, Campus 6.2 and 6.3. The three buildings have achieved the highest levels of certification and pre-certification such as LEED and WELL, to ensure their residents have access to a sustainable and healthy working environment.
The Swedish company worked at the same time for all of the three buildings, in 2019, when it continued to attract new tenants. Equilibrium 1 with a surface of 20,800 sqm for offices, is finalized and has reached an occupancy rate of 74%. Campus 6.2 and 6.3 will be finalized in the second half of 2020 and are already leased 99%. Among the tenants, there are companies such as Société Générale European Business Services, Filip Company, Contexpert, Signal Iduna, Mylan, Newton, Synergy Construct, World Class.
At the same time, having brief plans for the future and aiming to ensure its presence simultaneously in two submarkets, at the end of the last year, Skanska has bought a plot of land in Bucureștii Noi, through a 24 million euro transaction, to develop a new office complex.
”With the projects we develop we focus on innovation, experience offered to future occuppants of the buildings, but also on sustainability. We believe in a sustainable development of the city, in the role we play in the growing of communities. Our targets contiue to be ambitious, reason why we will further reduce the carbon footprint, with the goal to build with net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. All our efforts are oriented to the identification of partnerships, technologies and innovations that help us to achieve this goal and, finally, to build for a better society”, said Aurelia Luca, Executive Vice President for Operations in Romania.
Focus on the wellbeing at office
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard is one of the toughest in the development of green buildings, so we focus on health, high efficiency and solutions at low operating costs. As a promoter for LEED, in its new projects, Skanska implemented the highest standard of quality of life in the workplace. WELL takes into consideration all the elements that have an impact on the working environment: the air, water, food, light, and comfort, mental and physical state of the employees.
To find practical solutions to the issues related to sustainable development and digitization of office buildings, last year, in Bucharest, Skanska and Proptech Romania organized the first real-estate hackathon exclusively on the office segment, under the name On the Fast Track to Futureproof. The event brought together over 100 specialists from the tech and real estate industry. 18 finalist local and international teams had the opportunity to compete in the 6 categories of the competition, which focused on topics specific to the office industry.
Central and Eastern Europe, more competitive than the West
At the level of Central and Eastern Europe, the company’s portfolio will grow this year with almost 220,000 sqm of LEED-certified projects and almost 80,000 sqm WELL-certified office spaces.
The entire Central and Eastern European market recorded, in 2019, transactions worth 14 billion euro, an increase of 1 billion compared to the previous year, according to consulting company JLL. Poland accounted for 55% of these transactions. In all CEE markets where Skanska operates, including Romania, the market is dominated by office building projects.
“2019 was a very interesting year for CEE real estate market and office sector in particular and very successful for Skanska. Due to great quality of assets with stable tenants and higher return on investment than in Western Europe, the demand for prime office buildings in CEE remains very high among investors. Skanska again attracted new-commers to the market, for example South Koreans who were very active in our region this year. Our strategy of delivering futureproof projects proves to be successful over the years”, says Katarzyna Zawodna-Bijoch, President and CEO of Skanska Commercial Development in CEE.
In the region, Skanska operates in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, whereas in Nordics in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway.
In its European markets, Skanska sold, last year, 9 office buildings for EUR 545 million to European and Korean investors, completed 14 buildings with a total volume of almost 240,000 sqm and leased more than 171,000 sqm*. Currently, the developer has more than 472,000 sqm* of office space in 21 buildings under construction.
Towards an increasingly sustainable future
In 2019, Skanska announced that the goal of the group is to reach the net zero-carbon target by 2045, with a 50 percent decrease by 2030. Sustainability is one of the main values of the company, which defines the business strategy and its operations at all levels.
So far, the Swedish company has delivered in Central and Eastern Europe more than 700,000 sqm LEED and 34,600 sqm WELL-certified offices. For 2020, the Skanska’s sustainable space stock is expected to be supplemented with another 300,000 sqm.