The Sõpruse Ärimaja Awarded the BREEAM In-Use Certificate
The Sõpruse Ärimaja office building, situated on Sõpruse Avenue in Tallinn, has achieved a Very Good rating in the international BREEAM In-Use assessment, and awarded with the relevant certificate confirming the high quality of the building and its work environment. The owner of the building, real estate company Kapitel, has invested approximately 400 000 euros over the past few years in the improvement of the building’s energy efficiency, indoor climate and working environment. As a result, the Sõpruse Ärimaja is one of the most innovative office buildings of its kind.
“The awarded BREEAM In-Use certification proves that the building is technically in a very good condition and that its work environment – the factor that has the greatest impact on the wellbeing of the employees that work in the building, is of a high quality”, said Vahur Kaska, real estate manager of Kapitel. “In addition, the building is easily accessible using public transport and has all the main services required by the employees, located nearby. We have also created convenient options for waste collection by type, in order to minimize our environmental footprint. Moreover, we have created various recreation opportunities – there is an indoor health trail, and tenants are able to play various sports and games. In a few months, we plan to start offering massage services, firstly for the tenants of the building, then later opening up this service to clients outside the building.”
“Sõpruse Ärimaja clearly stands out with the notable production of its own electrical energy – 15% of its yearly energy requirement is generated by its natural gas-fired combined heat and power plant (CHP), and by renewable energy provided by the solar panels on its roof,” Vahur Kaska added. Since the solar-power plant generates electricity mostly in summer, and the cogeneration plant operates mostly in winter, the combination is ideal for maximising local electricity generation throughout the year. In addition to environmental sustainability, Kapitel has invested in more energy-efficient technical systems by installing sun control window films to the windows on the sunnier side of the building, and energy-saving LED lighting in the communal areas of the building. All this has significantly helped reduce any additional costs for the tenants of the building.
The BREEAM standard’s assessment process of the Sõpruse Ärimaja was conducted by Erkki Seinre from BuildingLabel OÜ.
Kapitel also follows the requirements of the international BREEAM certification for environmentally friendly buildings in developing and managing its other projects. In spring 2019, a Very Good rating in the BREEAM certification assessment was awarded to Kapitel’s Narbuto 5 office building in the centre of Vilnius. The design process of the two Elemental Skanste office buildings was rated as Excellent under the BREEAM certification, making them the first office buildings in Riga to achieve this rating. Kapitel also follows the BREEM standard requirements in the development of the Liivalaia office and residential quarters in Tallinn. The company is also a co-owner of the Viru Centre in Tallinn, which has been awarded the LEED O&M Platinum Certificate for a sustainable and environmentally friendly building.
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) is an environmental assessment method, where the quality, design and operational efficiency of the building are assessed. Various measurements are conducted in different categories based on performance benchmarks starting from energy up to ecology. The results of the assessment describe various factors of the building such as energy, water, indoor climate (health and wellbeing), pollution, transport, materials, waste management, ecology and management processes.