Bridge Magazine

Ghelamco office buildings ready for pandemic

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that it was necessary to look closer again at office buildings. Ghelamco has opted for an innovative approach: thanks to digitization and modern technologies, it has developed a set of solutions that will allow its office buildings to operate in the so-called pandemic mode.

Ghelamco’s office buildings: Warsaw UNIT and The Warsaw HUB, as well as The BRIDGE, currently under construction, are to provide tenants with maximum comfort and safety. The office buildings have been equipped with innovative technological solutions, which, in the event of an epidemic emergency announced by the government, will enable the building to rapidly move into the so-called pandemic mode.

The special operating mode of the building was developed on the basis of internal analyses of Ghelamco. In addition, the company commissioned a report containing recommendations for building systems in the context of COVID-19. The document was prepared by scientists from the Warsaw University of Technology.

What is pandemic mode? It is an integrated package of technological solutions and rules of conduct. In pandemic mode, the air conditioning system will run on fresh air only. The idea is to prevent the exhaust air from mixing with the air supplied to the office space, thus preventing the virus from spreading throughout the office building.

UV lamps will also be installed in the buildings: in elevators (the lamps will be activated in “stand by” mode) and in air conditioning systems. Their use will disinfect space and air – UV radiation has a biocidal effect and effectively destroys microorganisms and viruses in a short time.


Signal OS, the operating system for office buildings

In the pandemic mode, Ghelamco’s office buildings will also introduce extraordinary lift operation procedures or procedures to avoid larger gatherings. One of the tools that will help maintain security and optimize the operation of the office will be a mobile application, which is one of the elements of Signal OS.

The operating system was created with the digitization of buildings in mind. However, its functionalities can be used in epidemic emergency situations – the application will inform the users of office buildings whether they operate in the so-called pandemic mode, remind about introduced procedures and safety rules. Employees will receive, via the application, information, instructions and rules of conduct on an ongoing basis.

Thanks to the application and the use of smartphones, entry to office buildings is contactless today, both for employees and guests. All entrance gates are integrated with the lifts – after crossing them, the system will call a programmed cabin, which will take you directly to the floor where we work. Guests will reach the building in a similar way. The invited person will receive a “digital ticket”, with which they will be able to reach the tenant’s office without contact and without registering at the reception desk. The sender of such an invitation will also receive an automatic message about the arrival of the visitor to the building.


WELL Health-Safety Rating certificates

All solutions developed by Ghelamco have been assessed by independent experts. Ghelamco underwent the assessment of the International WELL Building Institute ™ (IWBI), thanks to which the office buildings of The Warsaw HUB complex received the WELL Health-Safety Rating certificate. The hotel part with the conference center, i.e. Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express Warsaw – The HUB were the first hotels in Europe to receive such a certificate.


The BRIDGE will also undergo such certification.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based and independently verified assessment program for all types of new and existing buildings that aims to help companies prepare their offices, shopping malls, hotels and even warehouses to reopen and operate in a post-covid facility reality.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating has been adapted on the basis of the WELL Building Standard and focuses on building safety and operation procedures. Building safety assessment is based on guidelines developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global centers for disease control and prevention, crisis management agencies, as well as recognized organizations such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions. The IWBI has used the analysis of its COVID-19 task force to help business and real estate leaders integrate useful insights and proven strategies to tackle the coronavirus.