О1 Standard offers in-house environmental certification to top international standards

O1 Standard has launched its own service for certifying buildings and tenants’ offices to the internationally recognized BREEAM and FitWEL standards of environmental performance.The Company which manages and operates class-A business centres in Moscow, has appointed a full-time specialist in eco-certification under both standards, enabling O1 Standard to offer the services directly to tenants and building owners without the need for a subcontractor.

“Green certification is not just a tribute to fashion,” said O1 Standard Managing Director, Dmitry Sveshnikov. “It is an increasingly topical issue: 75% of respondents to our annual tenant satisfaction survey said that they are interested in the ‘green office’ idea and 40% said that a green certificate makes a building more attractive. Western research shows positive impact of green technologies on staff performance. These technologies let us create a more comfortable space where people work more productively to produce the best results.”

In-house expertise for eco-certification is in line with O1 Standard’s “one-stop-shop” approach to service provision. A management company that deals with all issues of office operation, maintenance and quality frees tenants to focus on their own business.

Certification by the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), designed in 1990, enables assessment of the environmental performance of a building or office in a building in terms of layout, engineering solutions and management. The standard uses such criteria as energy and resource efficiency, environment quality of the building grounds, waste management, user comfort and pollution of the environment due to operation of the building.

The Fitwel standard, developed by the American Health Agency and the Center of Active Design, evaluates real estate by environmental and human health criteria. Fitwel certification considers use of natural light, creation of quiet rooms where staff can rest from the noise of open spaces, comfortable distance between workplaces, and facilities for physical activity during the working day (sports infrastructure). Office air and drinking water are tested for presence of dust and heavy metals. Fitwel also assesses the area around the building, to check access to safe walking routes, outdoor recreation, etc.

Evgenia Soldatova, Sustainable Development Project Manager at O1 Standard, commented: “BREEAM is the world’s first and leading environment standard for buildings. More than 594,000 buildings have been certified to BREEAM, including 198 in Russia, of which 12 are under our management. Fitwel is a relatively new standard, which we see as offering great potential in the context of surging tenant interest in safe working space during the pandemic. We can offer certification to both standards at once, which significantly reduces the cost of the process, because the tenant does not need to hire subcontractors.”