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Skanska breaks new barriers

Opr./edited TC 10 June 2019
Skanska breaks new barriers
A 'Building without Barriers' certificate was recently awarded to Holm House in Mokotów

POLAND Skanska’s residential division has announced that from now on each of its new projects in Poland are to be built to meet the requirements of Fundacja Integracja [The Integration Foundation]. The foundation is dedicated to encouraging the ​​elimination architectural barriers and creating friendly spaces for all users, regardless of their age and physical abilities.

A certificate was awarded by the foundation to Skanska’s main sales office in Warsaw recently. This followed the developer being granted an ‘Obiekt bez Barier’ [‘Building without Barriers’] certificate for the first time for a residential project in Poland: Holm House in Warsaw’s Mokotów district, which was completed at the end of last year.

“At the design stage of Holm House, we tried to avoid having any possible architectural barriers in the common areas and apartments, and we used only environmentally-friendly materials while building it. Because of our accessible construction approach, all the residents of the buildings can take full advantage of all these features,” insists Bartosz Kalinowski, the managing director of Skanska’s residential division.

The amenability of space to various levels of physical ability is already standard in the design of public places and office buildings, but now the residential market has also started to move in this direction.

“More than 40 pct of apartments have been individually designed for people with special needs, including level entry to the balconies, which is still a remarkable feature, along with level entry to the building, non-slip surfaces, switches at heights suitable for people in wheelchairs, and contrasting elements for those with visual impairments as well as open space and obstacle-free transport routes– these are the hallmarks of the Holm House residential project and conform to our own conception of accessibility,” points out Ewa Pawłowska, the president of the Fundacja Integracja.

In 2015, Skanska was the first developer in Poland to introduce BREEAM certification to its housing developments. This is now applied in all of its residential projects.

“We don’t just follow the competition, we just build homes and develop the urban fabric according to our convictions and our own definition of corporate social responsibility. We focus on the essentials of sustainable, environment-friendly construction as well as on the comfort and health of the buildings’ users,” adds Bartosz Kalinowski.

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