Business The office building ‘k29’ in Vilnius received the highest sustainability assessment in the Baltic States By Evaldas Posted on 2017 May 17 10 min read 0 539 The office building ‘k29’ situated on Konstitucijos avenue, in the capital of Lithuania, received the highest evaluation for the harmony with the surroundings in the Baltic States. The building was granted Excellent BREEAM In-Use certificate. So far it is the first and the only building holding this type of certificate in the Baltic States. BREEAM certificate is a grade of the building for its harmony with people and environment. The essence of this certificate is that the building design or already constructed building is assessed by 130 criteria – starting with energy consumption, environmental impact and impact on people and finishing with harmony with the landscape. Evaluation of buildings by this methodology can be compared with the grades of different subjects – environmental impact, energy efficiency, etc. In simple words, the buildings with the highest BREEAM rating adorns the environment, protects nature and provides comfortable workplaces. By now, the BREEAM assessment was granted to over 500 thousand real estate objects in the world. However, only objects with exceptional technical and architectural solutions receive most stars in this six-grade system. While, the office building ‘k29’ is the first and the only building in the Baltic States with one of the highest Excellent (5 stars out of 6) scoring in the BREEAM In-Use certification system. When granting BREEAM In-Use certificate to a building, the materials used in building construction, energy consumption, connection with transport infrastructure, produced waste, water saving, power engineering and pollution are assessed. According to BREEAM In-Use certificate auditor Kęstutis Kvietkauskas, the building received the top ratings in the fields of used materials, waste management, transport and land use and environmental protection. ‘Universal construction solutions were used in the office building ‘k29′. The function of the building or layout of offices can be altered without major repairs. Also, if needed, the function of the building could be categorically changed without wasting building materials and by using the already existing constructional elements. While the facade of the building does not need frequent cosmetic renovation due to the design solutions protecting the materials against wear’, emphasised Mr. Kvietkauskas. He further noted that the building has a favourable location in the city, which can be easily accessed by public transport and bicycles, which is very important in the intense district of the right bank of the River Neris. ‘This location can be very easily reached by public transport from any districts of Vilnius or other cities. Besides, the project developers considered the growing trend of commuting to work by bicycle and mounted safe bicycle parking zones, showers and changing rooms. Access by bicycles is very easy and knowing the intense traffic on Konstitucijos avenue, it does encourages people working next to the building to choose this sustainable mode of transport to work’, told the expert. The building managers and architects emphasise that from the very beginning of the project, major attention was focused on harmony with nature and people, therefore the high rating of BREEAM In-Use did not come as a surprise, but it is pleasing. According to asset manager of investment management company Lords LB Asset Management Miglė Mačionytė, in order to construct a building which would be comfortable for people, environmental impact is also very important. ‘From the very beginning of the construction of the office building, we were aspiring the goal of making it comfortable for people working in it and meeting the rhythm of their day. The interior was designed to allow people to spend as much time as possible in motion. It goes without saying that certain attention must be paid to the surroundings of the building and harmony with nature. Solutions used in ‘k29′ allow lower consumption of energy resources, therefore its impact on environment is minimum’, said Ms. Mačionytė. One of the project authors, architect of Archinova architect office Aleksandras Gvildys describes the building as naturally merging with the city surroundings, while the nature itself helps to create its lighting and favourable climate. ‘A lot of attention in the building was paid to shared and working spaces, energy efficiency of the building and natural light. All the premises, except for sanitary rooms, are lit by daylight. In summer, at night time, windows can be opened in the facade and on the roof, thus creating an effect of a chimney – premises are effectively aired and cooled. Cooling and airing costs are optimised this way. In the morning, office workers come to fresh and cool offices. The double facade also allows climate control and protection against the noise caused by heavy traffic in the city’, told one of the building authors. The ‘k29’ office complex, opened in June 2015, is a modern and distinctive real estate object of peculiar architecture on the right bank of the River Neris. The eight-storey building of over 15 000 sq.m. hosts 1 253 modern workplaces. The business centre was designed by the Danish and Lithuanian architects. The project was developed by Lords LB Baltic Fund II, which specifically for this project founded by Lords LB Asset Management investment company. Over EUR 1,1 million was invested into the city infrastructure. At present, 100% of the ‘k29’ building is rented. Tenants of the building include AIG insurance company, Nasdaq Technology and Business Competence Centre Nasdaq Vilnius Services, IT company TIA Technology, KPMG auditing, tax and business consulting company, Lithuanian Branch of OP Corporate Bank Plc, Seesam insurance company, Lindorff debt management company, leasing company UniCredit Leasing, Miele domestic and commercial equipment manufacturer, Notary bureau No. 32. Lords LB Asset Management is investment management company licensed by the Bank of Lithuania, providing services to institutional and private investors since 2008. At present, Lords LB Asset Management controls 13 funds: eight real estate funds, three private capital funds and two energy and infrastructure funds. The total value of the assets controlled by the funds in the end of December 2016 was EUR 310 million.