Skanste Business Centre is the first in Latvia to have positive Environmental Impact Assessment

The office complex Skanste Business Centre has received a positive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report from Environmental State Bureau (ESB). This is an important step in construction of office buildings, because higher quality standards are set. The construction of Skanste Business Centre office complex will be implemented with a high energy efficiency, according to high building standards of BREEAM and will serve as a model for a sustainable construction.

“Sustainable construction is a wise choice for a safe and better tomorrow,” says the expert of the industry – Valdis Felsbergs, Master of Environmental Sciences. “As a result, qualitative environment and a healthy living space emerges. Ecological, economic and social sustainability is encouraged – well-balanced development, taking care of the quality of life for the future generations, but at the same time not giving up the usual conveniences of the modern life. Skanste Business Centre fully corresponds with the use of Skanste district planned by Riga municipality, and the environmental impact assessment of such an object is an unprecedented case, which was not mandatory, but entrepreneurs, obediently fulfilling this dubious claim, once again proved what in fact had been clear a priori. Companies which choose the path of the sustainable construction, provide the highest standards in the construction sector, which is undoubtedly laudable and praiseworthy,” Valdis Felsbergs says.

Sustainability is the overall driving force of society, not only construction industry. Due to this reason, it is important for society to understand developer’s activities – what is being planned, how it will affect residents and how the future will be developed, because the surrounding environment belongs to the whole society. A sustainable development solution in the city is a benefit both for the environment and for the economy. However, all that is possible only if all of the industries – the economic situation, quality of life – improve,  and clean environment is retained.

 

“We are conscientious and socially responsible real estate developers considering every project from long-term perspective, paying particular attention to the quality of the environment, not only during the construction or after putting the object into operation, but in the course of several decades. Therefore, it is very important to plan things such as a future transport flow, a load on the communication networks, changes in air quality, an impact on the diversity of the surrounding landscape and various other environmental and socio-economic aspects. Skanste Office Centre will not be an ordinary office building, but it
will serve as an object of urban development, becoming part and creating a uniform ensemble with projects already implemented in Skanste district and the future New Hanza City,” emphasized
Andris Stankevičs, Member of the Board of “ELL Būve” Ltd. and “Skanstes biznesa centrs” Ltd.

Arnolds Lukašēvics, Director of Environment State Bureau acknowledges: “Environmental State Bureau in accordance with the procedures specified by regulatory enactments, has evaluated the possible alternative solutions for reducing the potential negative effects of the construction process and the possible future processes, and concluded that there is no reason not to allow the development of the Business Centre design, construction works and territory development.” Riga City Council has also approved the acceptance of the opinion of the ESB for the development of the Business Centre project.

Jānis Ābeltiņš, “Geo Consultants” Ltd., who elaborated the EIA report for the project contractor “Skanste Business Centre” Ltd. and “ELL Būve” Ltd., emphasizes the great importance of EIA: “Environmental Impact Assessment is one of the most important instruments of the national environmental protection policy, which provides an opportunity to assess the environmental impact of the planned activities before the project is launched, and to prepare proposals for the prevention or mitigation of adverse effects both in the construction process and in the long-term operation of the planned project. EIA is an acknowledgment of the entrepreneurial mindset and a sustainable approach not only for the construction processes, but also concerning the future development of the society as a whole. Although positive tendencies are observed, we are pleased that Skanste Business Centre is one of the pioneers in developing the EIA Report, thus emphasizing the importance of timely measuring the potential one’s ecological footprint and, if necessary, make appropriate changes to the project.”

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a building assessment and certification system, developed and maintained in the United Kingdom, as a standard for sustainable buildings. BREEAM certificate is granted to the buildings that have the least negative impact on the environment. All stages of the construction development process are evaluated, starting with the development of the project, continuing throughout the construction process and, finally, by putting the building into operation. The use of BREEAM standards in the development of real estate is the cornerstone of modern and responsible construction.