The Westin Hotel in Warsaw has been awarded an LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance certificate. It is the first hotel in Poland to comply with the high requirements for environmental certification for existing buildings. The Westin Hotel received a 'Silver' grade.
Hotel Westin Warsaw had to undergo a thorough audit that evaluated both the building’s technical solutions and employees’ satisfaction in terms of working conditions. Polish research company Go4Energy in co-operation with Skanska Property Poland - the building’s developer - jointly collected the documentation required for obtaining the certificate. Specialists from Go4Energy were responsible for a number of aspects including the conducting of an energy audit, and an employee questionnaire. The hotel’s personnel answered questions on conditions in the hotel including air-conditioning and ventilation systems as well as the amount of natural daylight. Based on the questionnaire's results, Skanska adjusted the building to the high standards specified by the US Green Building Council.
- Since the hotel was completed 13 years ago, sustainability standards have become increasingly exacting. As a result, we can now develop buildings that are able to stand the test of time in terms of comfort and efficiency of use. In the Westin Warsaw, we took care, for example, to ensure that the energy the hotel uses comes from renewable sources. We also developed policies for ecological purchases, waste management and recycling. The certification of the hotel proves that it is worth focusing on existing buildings and assessing the possibility of adjusting them to the highest standards. Comfort within urban buildings and their energy efficiency plays an increasingly important role on the Polish market. Furthermore, investors have become more aware of the importance of environmentally- friendly buildings in the commercial sector. They attract clients who are more and more demanding but who also recognize that these buildings have the capacity to keep pace with constantly changing legal frameworks – comments Michał Marszałek, Sustainable Development Coordinator at Skanska Property Poland.
Westin Warsaw was the first hotel to be audited by Go4Energy,a firm which has a great deal of experience in co-operating with clients from the real estate market. The hotel’s engagement in ecological actions will serve as a role model for the whole industry.
- It is an important event on the Polish real estate market. It indicates the growing awareness of property owners, from all sectors of the market of sustainable development. In addition, green certificates in real estate projects serve as a confirmation of their high quality – says Tomasz Augustyniak, President, Go4Energy – Westin hotel in Warsaw was also highly rated in terms of drinking water consumption. High scores that the hotel received across the board confirm the building’s quality – adds Tomasz Augustyniak.
The management at the Westin hotel firmly believe that the certification will have a positive influence on the hotel’s image. The works conducted will result in an improvement in guest experience as well as the employees’ working environment.
- In Westin Warsaw, we believe that both economic growth and society’s wellbeing are inseparably intrinsically linked to with how we look after the natural environment. In compliance with our brand’s philosophy aimed at the improvement of the wellbeing of our guests, we focus on promoting good ecological practices among our employees and business partners. In co-operation with our suppliers and partners, we are actively engaged in protecting the natural environment by implementing ecological innovations. As a result, we have also gained the trust and loyalty of our guests - asserts Michael Hopf, Director at Westin Warsaw Hotel.
A summary of works conducted while adjusting the building to certification requirements:
By Skanska and representatives of Westin Warsaw hotel:
- signing of agreement with a supplier of energy from renewable sources,
- developing a policy of ecological purchases,
- developing a policy of waste management,
- preparing a program and purchase of ecological products with appropriate certificates such as paper products, multifunctional equipment – printer/copier/scanner, carpets,
- preparing and implementing a program of waste reduction and recycling aimed at highly-valued products (glass and veneered tables),
- preparing and implementing a non-smoking policy within the building which extends to a distance of 8 meters from its main entrances, weather resistant louvres and windows that open,
- ensuring individual control over at least 50% the lighting of individual and group working stations,
- preparing a program and purchase of ecological products with appropriate certificates,
- engagement of specialists with LEED AP certificates within the certification process.
- ASHRAE Level I walk-through assessment energy audit and ASHRAE Level II Energy Audit,
- conducting questionnaires among the hotel’s employees regarding their satisfaction of working conditions as well as the ease of commuting to work,
- measurements of energy centers’ efficiency,
- Custodial Effectiveness Assessment audit of cleanliness,
- comparison of the hotel’s energy results with other buildings of similar characteristics and verification of carbon dioxide emission.