10.10.2017

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

The first office building in Latvia has received a positive opinion from Environmental State Bureau (ESB) as well as the local government approval of the planned activities – construction of “Skanste Business Centre” office complex on Skanstes Street 25 and 27. 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 Science. “Thanks to it, there is a qualitative environment and human health friendly living space. Ecological, economic and social sustainability is promoted – balanced development by 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 planned use of Skanste district by Riga and the environmental impact assessment of such an object is an unprecedented case, which did not have to be, but entrepreneurs, obediently fulfilling this dubious claim, once again proved that in fact it was clear a priori. Companies which choose the path of the sustainable construction, provide the highest standards in the construction sector, which will undoubtedly be laudable and praiseworthy, “says Valdis Felsbergs.

Sustainability is the overall driving force not only of the construction industry, but also of society’s development. For this reason, it is important for the public to have a clear understanding of what the developer is doing – what is planned, how it will affect the people and how the future will be shaped, because the surrounding environment belongs to the whole society. Sustainable development in the city is a benefit both to the environment and to the economy, and this is only possible when all sectors are improving – the economic situation, quality of life and clean environment is maintained.

“We are conscious and socially responsible real estate developer considering every project in a long-term perspective, paying a particular attention to the quality of the environment, not only during the construction or after putting the object into operation, but in a perspective of several decades. Therefore, it is already now very important to plan things such as a future transport flow, a load on the communication networks, changes of 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, integrating and creating a single ensemble with projects already implemented in Skanste district and  a planned “New Hanza City”, emphasized Member of the Board of Ltd. “ELL Būve” and Ltd. “Skanstes biznesa centrs” Andris Stankevich (Andris Stankevičs).

Director of Environment State Bureau – Arnolds Lukashevics (Arnolds Lukašēvics) 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 to prevent the development of the business centre design, construction and territory development works. ” Riga City Council has also approved the acceptance of the opinion of the ESB for the development of the business centre project.

Janis Abeltinsh (Jānis Ābeltiņš), Ltd. “Geo Consultants”, who elaborated an EIA report for the project contractor Ltd. “Skanste Business Centre” and Ltd. “ELL Būve”, 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 there are positive tendencies 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 footprint of one’s ecological foot and, if necessary, making the appropriate changes to the project. ”

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is developed and maintained building assessment and certification system 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 a modern and responsible construction