The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Pandemic Mode for Buildings  – The World's Safest Offices

Pandemic Mode for Buildings  – The World's Safest Offices
16 September 2021

Imagine an office where, in the event of a pandemic, an app will inform tenants that the air conditioning is running on fresh air only and disinfecting UV lamps have been deployed.

This is just one of the innovations used at The Warsaw HUB, a set of skyscrapers that includes two 130-meter-high office buildings in Warsaw, Poland.

After being awarded a WELL Health-Safety Rating, the complex is renowned as being one of the world’s safest office buildings.


Watch the Video



The Warsaw HUB


The Warsaw HUB is one of the most technologically advanced buildings in Poland, comprising 75,000 square metres of office space.

The building incorporates a range of sophisticated technologies, including the so-called “pandemic mode”. This innovation enables key functions of the building, such as HVAC systems and UVC lighting, to immediately switch on. The building’s integrated management systems and sophisticated mobile solutions for tenants and users are controlled by an AI-based system powered by the Google Cloud Platform. 



Picture: a photograph of The Warsaw HUB​ from outside. Image Credit: The Warsaw Hub


As part of the building operating system Signal OS, created by Ghelamco can force the air conditioning systems to run only on fresh air to prevent exhaust and supply air from mixing in the office space, and UV lamps are turned on in the elevators to effectively disinfect the space.

The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI) has officially confirmed that the offices and retail spaces of The Warsaw HUB complex are among the safest in the world, awarding them with a WELL Health-Safety Rating.



The WELL Health-Safety Rating


The WELL Health-Safety Rating rewards buildings that prioritise the health and wellbeing of its occupants, known as a “people-first approach to buildings, organizations and communities”.

It measures five categories: cleaning and sanitisation procedures, emergency preparedness programs, health service resources, air and water quality management, and stakeholder engagement and communications.

Developed over 10 years, performance standards for design interventions, operational protocols and company-wide practices are verified by a third party.

The standard seems particularly relevant given the current COVID-19 pandemic, as the way buildings operate plays a key part in the fight against the spread of the virus. 

Many of the evidence-based strategies within WELL, spanning building design and operations, as well as company policies and culture, can provide an actionable framework for organizations and communities responding to COVID-19 and preparing for a safer and healthier future.


The Empire State Building



The Empire State Building and its related commercial property portfolio is another high profile name that has also achieved the health and safety accolade.

The observatory has also had a green overhaul in light of COVID-19. A $165 million redevelopment of the Empire State Building Observatory mitigates direct, indirect and aerosol transmission through MERV 13 filtration, increased fresh air ventilation, and bipolar ionization air purification proven in an accredited laboratory to neutralize 99.92 per cent of COVID-19.



Picture: a photograph of The Empire State Building at night


The estate also includes the following green features:


  • Elevators which recapture energy that would be lost as heat
  • Radiators which use reflective barriers to reduce heat loss into the air
  • A lighting system which includes an adaptive dimming system that adjusts according to light coming in from the outside. 
  • 6,514 windows retrofitted to quadruple the energy performance while reusing over 96 per cent of existing materials all onsite.
  • Regular IEQ testing for the whole building


Picture: a photograph of The Warsaw HUB​'s outdoor terrace. Image Credit: The Warsaw Hub

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 16 September 2021


Related Articles

Chicago's Smartest Building

800 Fulton Market, a gateway to one of Chicago’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods, has been completed.   Watch the...

 Read Full Article
Is There A 'Safer' Day Of The Week to Attend The Office?

In terms of virus transmission risk, are there days that are “safer” to attend the workplace than others? According to the Infogrid Air Quality Index, only...

 Read Full Article
Smart Ventilation System Given Passivhaus Certification

SAV Systems' AirMaster AM 1000, a mechanical ventilation unit, has been awarded Passivhaus Component certification. The flagship AM 1000 is the first...

 Read Full Article
High-Performing Buildings – August's Roundup

As building owners look to attract employees back to workplaces with enhanced amenities and flexible office space, there is renewed interest in high-performance buildings...

 Read Full Article
Monitoring Energy Usage at Met Office HQ

Ralph James, FM & Technical Services Manager at the Met Office, explains how the latest sensor technology has allowed him to monitor the temperature and gather air...

 Read Full Article
Sterilisation from CPA’s Biojet to Enable Safer Indoor Air

Biojet, from CPA Engineered Solutions, is a high volume air cleaning device that claims to deactivate up to 99.99 per cent of viruses (including coronavirus), mould and...

 Read Full Article
British Firm Launches “COVID-Secure” HVAC Technology

A British firm has developed a new system designed to help buildings with air management systems make their air supply secure against airborne pathogens. As COVID-19...

 Read Full Article
No Budget For Adequate Indoor Air Quality Precautions in Schools

When schools re-open fully in September, only very basic indoor air quality precautions will be taken due to tight budget constraints, according to BESA.  This is...

 Read Full Article
Ventilation a Key First Step to Prepare Pubs for Reopening

Evaluating ventilation systems before pubs reopen on 4 July is one of the first steps to take before reopening, as laid out in the government’s new guidance. In...

 Read Full Article
High Performing Buildings – August’s Roundup  

This month’s high-performing buildings roundup features one of the world’s tallest buildings, a futuristic stackable car park and a new development on Pall...

 Read Full Article