Building C of the High5ive office complex in Kraków, developed by Skanska, has been awarded the "Building without barriers" certificate. This distinction awarded by the Integration Foundation confirms that the users of all buildings of the "Krakow's Five" can fully, without physical limitations, actively participate in everyday professional life.
Skanska’s project complies with Krakow's accessibility policy, which has been in force for many years. In 2020, the Municipality of Krakow appointed an Accessibility Coordinator, and a year later, the Krakow City Hall adopted an Action Plan for 2021-2024 to improve accessibility for people with special needs. Since 2007, the city has also organized a special competition "Krakow without barriers", which aims to draw attention to issues related to the removal of architectural barriers. It is also important that the capital of Małopolska is becoming more and more open to people with special requirements, including tourists. A special guide to Krakow was published with them in mind.
Accessible cities, available office buildings
The "Building without barriers" certificates, awarded by the Integracja Foundation, have already been awarded to over 350 architectural buildings all over Poland, including 22 office buildings constructed by Skanska. Now the last phase of the High5ive complex has joined this list. The investment, located in the heart of the city, has already become part of the business landscape of Krakow. It not only offers top-quality offices to its tenants, but also brings added value for residents, including a pavement made of special concrete that reduces air pollution, a bicycle center open to all, or a mural inspired by the works of Stanisław Lem.
The developer also decided to use elements of inclusive architecture and focused on solutions that remove architectural barriers. In this way, High5ive buildings are fully accessible for people with disabilities, but also for parents with children, the elderly, people with temporary disabilities, and even for couriers or suppliers.
- We work with Skanska on all new office investments. We have the opportunity to observe the entire process, we see how the surroundings of cities change, how new spaces are created. In the case of High5ive in Krakow, a lot has happened from the first to the last stage of the investment. The change that has taken place has a positive effect on the urban fabric, as well as the people in the vicinity and ultimately also tenants - says Jarosław Bogucki, an expert in the field of architectural accessibility at the Integracja Foundation, and adds - These transformations are particularly important in Krakow, where, due to the city’s age and historic character, making certain places accessible to people with disabilities is a considerable challenge. It is also worth adding that increasing accessibility in the case of the commercial real estate industry is the actual implementation of the "S" assumptions in the context of the ESG policy.
- We design functional and accessible spaces that enable freedom of movement for all who need it and in the way they need it. The "Building without barriers" certificate is the best confirmation of this - says Marcin Pędrak, Project Manager at Skanska Office Unit in Poland, and adds - Accessible architecture is architecture in which people feel good and comfortable, to which they want to return and where they also want to work. When creating new workplaces, it is very important to ensure accessibility in the offices to every employee, including people with special needs. Thanks to this, we build inclusive communities, integrate them and support diversity. This is in line with our ESG strategy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Skanska's flagship investment in Krakow is changing the face of the city
Experts from the Integracja Foundation drew attention to the impact of the entire investment on the environment. Prior to the construction of High5ive, the area that now houses the office complex was undeveloped. The new office buildings created a living space, which took on a completely different character. The High5ive C audit also noted the accessibility of communication routes for people with mobility problems, adapted changing rooms and showers for cyclists and people in wheelchairs, no other obstacles or threats on pedestrian communication routes, location and appropriate size of parking spaces for people with disabilities, adequate maneuvering space at the entrance, as well as proper signage of entrances to the facility for visually impaired people.