flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

WELL Institute certifies a gigantic office complex with its highest health and safety rating

Office Buildings

WELL Institute certifies a gigantic office complex with its highest health and safety rating

Poland’s Olivia Business Center one of the first to install ion air purification devices.

By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | March 30, 2021
The eight-building Olivia Business Center in Gdansk, Poland

The eight-building Olivia Business Center made structural and MEP changes to achieve the highest health and safety rating from the International WELL Building Institute. Images: Olivia Business Center

The largest office complex in northern Poland is the first building to receive the highest WELL Health Safety Rating, as audited by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).

The Olivia Business Center, located in Gdansk, is the complex, with 230,000 sm (2.48 million sf) of office space within eight completed buildings. Olivia Building Center has been expanding since 2010. More than 8,500 people work at Olivia, whose tenants include Amazon, Bayer, PwC, and ThyssenKrupp.

The contractor for the construction of each building has been Pekabex, a leading precast concrete manufacturer. Konior and Partners developed the complex’s architectural concept, which has been continued by Gdynia-based BJK Architekci Studio. The complex’s primary investor is Maciej Grabski, cofounder of Wirtualna Polski (Virtual Poland), one of the country’s big media companies.


A spokesperson for Olivia Business Center tells BD+C that the decision to make the buildings healthier stemmed from discussions, in February 2020, with Professor Krzysztof Korzeniewski, MD, Ph.D, the director of the Department of Epidemiology at a regional hospital. Korzeniewski assisted in developing procedures and planning to protect the buildings’ occupants from COVID-19.

The Olivia Business Center is one of the first complexes in the world to install ion air purification technology in its buildings. The devices saturate all internal areas with ventilated air that contains ions capable of destroying viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. The filters in the air handling units were raised to F7 from G4, and sensors for pollution and particulate matter were installed.  The intensity of the air exchange in the buildings is controlled based on real-time CO2 measurements.

To maximize tenant safety, key-card sterilizers were installed, and elevator settings changed so that lift cabins stay open while in stay-by mode.

Elevators were among the common areas (including lobbies and access paths to parking lots) to which an active titanium coating was applied to ensure surfaces that are touched often are free from pathogenic organisms. The coating—developed by Lumichem and scientists at Jagiellonian University—eliminates bacteria, fungi, and viruses that come into contact with surfaces, and breaks down their residues into carbon dioxide and water.

The Center installed ventilation improvements to its buildings.

Ventilation upgrades were among the improvements made to Olivia Business Center.


To achieve its score of 25 out of 25 from IWBI (which launched its rating system last January), Olivia Business Center also made some structural changes to windows and façade in all of the buildings. Inside, occupants are directed by signage to walk in one direction to comply with social distancing guidelines. The frequency of the buildings’ cleaning regimen was increased. Cigarette sales are banned. And the building’s owner organizes free and open-to-everyone healthy activities for occupants, which include Nordic walking, cycling, or yachting excursions on the Baltic Sea.

“The safety and quality of life of our tenants are an absolute priority for us, which is why we were happy to undergo such a thorough and extensive certification process that prioritizes the comfort and well-being of our tenants,” said Konrad Danecki, head of Olivia Business Center’s utilities department, in a prepared statement.

The Center did not disclose the cost of these changes.

Related Stories

| Aug 9, 2022

Work-from-home trend could result in $500 billion of lost value in office real estate

Researchers find major changes in lease revenues, office occupancy, lease renewal rates.

Codes and Standards | Jul 22, 2022

Office developers aim for zero carbon without offsets

As companies reassess their office needs in the wake of the pandemic, a new arms race to deliver net zero carbon space without the need for offsets is taking place in London, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

Office Buildings | Jul 19, 2022

Austin adaptive reuse project transforms warehouse site into indoor-outdoor creative office building

Fifth and Tillery, an adaptive reuse project, has revitalized a post-industrial site in East Austin, Texas.

Office Buildings | Jul 12, 2022

Miami office tower nears completion, topping off at 55 stories

In Miami, construction of OKO Group and Cain International’s 830 Brickell office tower is nearing completion.

AEC Business Innovation | Jun 15, 2022

Cognitive health takes center stage in the AEC industry

Two prominent architecture firms are looking to build on the industry’s knowledge base on design’s impact on building occupant health and performance with new research efforts.

Sustainable Design and Construction | Jun 14, 2022

For its new office, a farm in California considers four sustainable design options, driven by data

The architect used cove.tool’s performance measurement software to make its case.

Office Buildings | Jun 13, 2022

San Antonio’s electric utility HQ to transform into a modern office building

In San Antonio, Tex., the former headquarters of CPS Energy, the city’s electric utility, is slated to transform into 100,000 square feet of office and retail space on San Antonio’s famed River Walk.

Office Buildings | Jun 8, 2022

Former L.A. Times newsroom/printing plant remade into office campus

Phase 1 of The Press, an adaptive reuse project that is converting an old Los Angeles Times facility into a modern office campus, was recently completed in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Office Buildings | May 19, 2022

JLL releases its 2022 Office Fit Out Guide

JLL’s 2022 Office Fit Out Guide report provides benchmark costs to build out a range of office types across major markets in the United States and Canada.

Headquarters | May 10, 2022

JPMorgan Chase’s new all-electric headquarters to have net-zero operational emissions

JPMorgan Chase’s recently unveiled plans for its new global headquarters building in New York City that is rife with impressive sustainability credentials.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021


Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: