Portland Trust announced today that it has earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating for its EXPO BUSINESS PARK in Bucharest through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and into the future.
Robert Neale, Managing Director of Portland Trust, stated “We are delighted to have gained international recognition for our facilities operations and our commitment to prioritizing the health and safety of our tenants, visitors and staff. EXPO Business Park was designed and constructed to provide a healthy environment for its users with 100% fresh air provision, opening windows to provide purge ventilation and anti-bacterial materials so our tenants can also have confidence that the operations of the buildings match the physical specifications.’’
In order to achieve WELL Health-Safety Rating, EXPO Business Park reinvigorated its cleaning and maintenance regimes, building entrance policies and circulation of people. It has installed features such as innovative UV-C light disinfection of surfaces and purification of air in all lifts, disinfectant stations in entrances and anti-bacterial door handle covers.
EXPO Business Park has also initiated a switch to using only green electricity to power its buildings. Neale commented “Portland Trust is fully committed to using green electricity for all our projects going forward. We believe that the small additional running cost in using energy generated by natural sources, such as sunlight or wind, fully complements our development strategy of delivering sustainable, low energy buildings and operating them responsibly.’’
The award-winning EXPO Business Park provides 40,000 sqm of net office space located in the center-north of Bucharest. The development comprises 3 buildings over two levels of underground parking. The project was the first new-build office project in Romania to gain a BREEAM Outstanding rating for sustainable design and specification. The project has rooftop solar panels to heat hot water for the buildings, touch-free access, LED lighting throughout, vehicle recognition technology, cycle racks and shower facilities.
The WELL Health-Safety Rating provides a centralized source and governing body to validate efforts made by owners and operators. It leverages insights drawn from the IWBI Task Force on COVID-19, in addition to guidance on the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, as well as recognized standard-making associations such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions.
J8 Office Park, which will also be supplied by green energy, is currently Portland Trust’s largest project under construction, and is also destined to receive the WELL Health & Safety certification, in addition to BREEAM Outstanding. Bog’Art, the general contractor, will finalize the construction this summer.
About Portland Trust
Portland Trust is a commercial property developer and investor active in Central and South Eastern Europe for over 20 years. EXPO Business Park is a joint venture with ARES Management Corporation and Bluehouse Capital. J8 Office Park is developed in partnership with ARES Management Corporation, a global alternative asset manager and SEC registered investment adviser with approximately $145 billion of committed capital under management and more than 900 employees. Together Portland and ARES Management Corporation have developed over 800,000 sqm including 7 office buildings and parks in Bucharest and have won many awards for design and sustainability.