H2Offices Awarded a Record Hungarian Leed ‘Platinum’ Score

Office Market

An interior at the H2Offices development.

The first phase of H2Offices, the latest Budapest development by Skanska, has been awarded a Leed “Platinum” rating with what is currently the highest score in Hungary, according to the developer.

The project scored 84 points in gaining its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Core and Shell version 4 certification. The developer says this achievement sets a new standard in sustainable office space development and confirms Skanska’s commitment to sustainability and care for the environment. The building has also obtained the highest Access4You certification.

“We shape sustainable places to support healthy living beyond our lifetime, and this milestone underscores our commitment towards such aspiration,” says András Ábrahám, project director of Skanska’s commercial development business unit in Hungary. “Achieving the highest Leed Core and Shell version 4 certification score in Hungary is proof of the thoughtful design and construction of H2Offices and of our overall mission to build for a better society.”

The development earned additional recognition for features such as a light pollution reduction strategy, significant reductions in irrigation of up to 98% for outdoor water use, and an innovative all-LED design that includes no mercury. This recently completed first 27,000 sqm phase fully complies with ESG principles, according to Skanska.

“H2Offices is designed to optimize energy efficiency, contributing to reduced operational costs. The complex was designed with sustainability-enhancing features including 40% water savings, an annual reduction of 540 tonnes of carbon emissions as well as a 37% decrease in energy consumption,” Ábrahám says.

“The architectural design concept was created by the Danish firm Arrow Architects, with general design work developed by Studio IN-EX and landscape design by Lépték-Terv. In addition to environmental solutions, accessibility is also an essential element and vital feature of the project, with H2Offices Skanska has created a truly inclusive environment and received the ‘Gold’ certification of Access4You, which evaluates accessibility features of the built environment,” the project director adds.

The Importance of Accessibility

Accessibility information is becoming more important for developers, landlords and owners. Access4you is a relatively new certification that doesn’t just aim to make life easier for those with special access needs. It also helps property owners and companies gain insights into their building’s accessibility and to reach their business goals.

“Based on their standardized assessment, they provide reliable and detailed data on the locations’ accessibility to people with special mobility, visual, hearing, and cognitive needs for free. This is good for business and a benefit for society. Certified accessibility information helps companies in many ways,” comments Regina Kurucz, an architect and Well assessor.

ESG-compliant processes and sustainability accreditation are basic requirements from tenants in the leasing market and a regulatory expectation from the EU and national governments. Combined, that makes them the norm at the higher end of a growing number of real estate sectors and all stages from planning, permitting, and financing to construction, leasing, PM & FM and investment. The industry and related industries are expected to reduce CO2 emissions, lower energy and natural resource usage (and therefore costs) and increase sustainable construction material usage.

Regional and Hungarian office developers such as Atenor, ConvergenCE, CPI, Futureal, GTC, HB Reavis, Horizon Development, Skanska, and Wing have sustainable development policies across their portfolios with accreditation from a third-party system such as the U.K.-based Breeam or the U.S.-based Leed and, from an interior and well-being perspective, increasingly from Well as well.

Further, from a market perspective, building owners need to react to demands from tenants and building users for the provision of space that enhances well-being through interior and locational elements.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of July 14, 2023.

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