Ecology in warehouses

Adopting an environmental approach in both the construction and operation of warehouse facilities is an increasingly important trend in the Polish warehouse and industrial space market. What are — and most of all, what should be — the features of a sustainable warehouse?


Sustainable construction has attained immense significance, largely thanks to its potential in creating user-friendly work environments and optimising the costs of facility maintenance. This is especially true for commercial property, in which there is a strong trend to adopt solutions enabling sustainability certification within systems such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), which is particularly popular in the warehouse and industrial market.

For a facility to meet the criteria of sustainable construction, it must fulfil specific conditions relating to the development process and the used construction materials, as well as the management of the interior and the surroundings of the property. Developers increasingly take care to ensure that their warehouses are equipped with a wide range of systems monitoring the usage of water and other utilities, as well as energy-efficient air conditioning and ventilation systems. They also install lightning, heating and cooling systems that enable considerable savings when it comes to the consumption of utility services.

Factors such as location and reduced pollutant emission are no less important when it comes to environmental approaches to construction in the warehouse and industrial sector. The number of facilities meeting the criteria of sustainable construction has also been growing in Poland, especially considering the increasing interest among tenants.

“These solutions are usually adopted by companies who sign long-term leases. Many tenants who are willing to lease environmentally friendly buildings are not ready to bear the additional costs of sustainable solutions,” says Tomasz Mika, Head of Industrial Department Poland at JLL. However, JLL’s expert emphasises that in many cases it is worthwhile to incur additional costs. “The reason is very straightforward. An eco-friendly warehouse can often bring pure profit, not just because of the lower bills, but also because of the resulting improvement in the company’s image,” says Tomasz Mika, JLL.

Panattoni is developing a sustainable facility for H&M

“The idea of sustainable construction is very dear to us,” says Robert Dobrzycki, Chief Executive Officer Europe, Panattoni Europe. The developer has recently signed an agreement to build a BTS facility for H&M. It will be constructed in Grodzisk Mazowiecki as the developer’s second facility for this client. The previous warehouse in Gądki in Panattoni Park Poznań I was the first facility in Panattoni’s Europe portfolio using sustainable solutions on such a large scale. The new warehouse will also be constructed in line with the principles of sustainable development — it will be certified as Silver in the LEED system, which assesses the environmental impact of buildings.

“The sustainability of the development for H&M will be visible in the modern structure of the building, the environmental friendliness of the used materials, as well as its energy efficiency and location,” says Robert Dobrzycki, Panattoni Europe.

Eco-SEGRO

SEGRO has also introduced several changes in its warehouse construction standards. The developer’s strategy focuses on environmental solutions. “In accordance with the policy, each facility that will be constructed by SEGRO in the future will be BREEAM-certified,” says Magdalena Szulc, Business Unit Director CE at Segro. A BREAAM “Very Good” certificate has been recently awarded to the Tesco distribution centre in SEGRO Logistics Park Poznań, Komorniki. Only six warehouse facilities in Poland have received the certificate so far.

The procedure of awarding the certificate is a long-term process that often stretches over a one-year period, during which a detailed evaluation is carried out with regard to the quality of energy sources, water and air in the facility, the materials used in its construction and the adopted waste management solutions.

“It should be emphasised that the factors assessed within the BREEAM standard extend beyond sustainability. Features such as facility management, employee comfort and innovation are evaluated during the certification procedure as well. The Tesco distribution centre developed by us in Segro Logistics Park Poznań in Komorniki has been designed with all these details in mind,” comments Magdalena Szulc.

LED lighting

The Tesco distribution centre in Segro Logistics Park Poznań, Komorniki, is an investment project covering 30,200 sqm of warehouse space. It is a prime example of a project that was tailored by SEGRO to the individual needs of the client. Among others, smart LED area lighting that can be controlled by motion detection has been installed in the building. LED lighting is the most popular eco-friendly solution in warehouses. The building has also received special water distribution systems which can reduce its consumption by as much as 10 percent.

MLP Group emphasises low energy consumption

In Q1 2017 a facility constructed for the MAKRO wholesale chain will be opened in the MLP Pruszków II logistics park. The 10,000 sqm building will be developed by MLP Group. The facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art technological solutions, including a CO2 refrigeration system, which will ensure low energy consumption and a high level of environmental protection.

Market potential

A review of market data from 2016 and the record-breaking demand indicate that the boom in the warehouse and industrial space market continues. This shows the immense potential of modern investment projects that meet the criteria of sustainable construction.

Developers, as well as tenants, are increasingly aware that building and leasing certified buildings provides benefits in many areas — from optimisation of business costs to improvements in brand image. Considering the amount of warehouse and industrial space in construction, this approach will certainly result in an increase in the quality of offered space and greater investor satisfaction.


Tomasz Olszewski