The multifunctional shopping and entertainment centre Akropole has been awarded the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certificate for the construction stage. This prestigious recognition certifies the building’s compliance with the highest energy efficiency and sustainability standards, providing the most environmentally and people friendly solutions. Moreover, Akropole has become the only shopping centre in Latvia to which this certificate has been awarded.
“We are proud that Akropole’s uniqueness is heightened by another important factor – we are the only shopping centre in Latvia that has obtained a BREEAM certificate not only at the design, but also at the construction stage. This is a great honour, because one of the main reasons for the application of the BREEAM standard is safety and sustainability as a quality indicator throughout the building, which goes hand in hand with Akropole’s goals and vision of the introduction of the highest standards in each and every aspect of the shopping and entertainment centre’s operation,” explains Zane Kaktiņa, CEO of Akropole shopping and entertainment centre.
BREEAM is one of the world’s leading sustainability measurement methods, which makes it possible to assess various types of buildings (offices, shopping centres, apartment buildings, schools, hotels and hospitals, etc.) according to various sustainability criteria. This system is internationally recognised and currently is the most extensively used system of this kind in Europe, including in Latvia and the Baltic States. BREEAM certification is applied as best practice in the construction of buildings throughout Europe.
Although several buildings have obtained a highest level BREEAM certificate in the Baltics and even in Latvia, in the context of shopping and entertainment centres this is unique. A construction stage certificate is more comprehensive and important than design certification – certifying a design is not so complex, but it is much more complicated to truly build a building according to the best and highest energy efficiency and sustainability standards. This is even evident in the titles – BREEAM certification for the project is entitled “Interim certification“, in contrast to the construction stage, where it is referred to as “Final certification”. Akropole is currently the only shopping and entertainment centre in Latvia with such recognition and also definitely and currently the only BREEAM certified project on such a scale and spanning such an area.
“Akropole in Riga is definitely a unique building in the Baltics, and we were glad to be a part of it from the beginning. It was challenging and ambitious to get this level of BREEAM certification for both retail and office buildings. The project brought a lot of stakeholders to work together. Third parties have assured transparency and evaluated effort to achieve the best results. Akropole management team together with VESTA has conducted many additional independent studies based on digital building modelling and simulation methodologies in order to develop sustainable buildings and attractive area for the community,” explains the CEO of the sustainability consultation agency VESTA Evaldas Savickis. “I am also happy to see mature attitude about sustainability from all perspectives. History of the area is retold by the Akropole building - some of the old parts and previously used materials were recovered and used during the construction. I can call Akropole Riga an outstanding building and a great example of how sustainability brings extra value to all the parties."
Currently, there about 15 projects, mainly office buildings, which have already received or are in the process of receiving BREEAM certification, while elsewhere in Europe the aforementioned standard has been renowned for over 20 years. Akropole serves as a successful example to other industry players – trends indicate that several shopping and entertainment centres are also trying to obtain this prestigious recognition. To attain the certificate, the project developers must comply with much higher standards and regulations compared to the requirements stipulated in laws and regulations and those set by responsible institutions.
Akropole shopping and entertainment centre is the most modern shopping centre in Latvia, that has been awarded 1st place in the nomination “New public building” in the competition “Latvian Construction Annual Awards 2019” and has been recognized as the best BIM object in the show “The Best Building of the Year in Latvia 2019”. Akropole is also home to the biggest Business Centre in Latvia, which is connected to the shopping centre. Here, visitors will find the only Van Graaf multi-brand store in the Baltics, a Deichmann footwear store, as well as the region’s only USC and adidas Originals sporting and lifestyle goods stores. In addition, the shopping centre also contains the biggest Zara, Reserved, Oysho, Guess and KidzOne brand stores in Latvia, as well as the only River Island brand store to also offer a collection for men. This extensive range of shops is augmented by restaurants and cafés for various tastes, a spacious and elegant Maxima XXX supermarket, modern gym, as well as various leisure and entertainment options for the whole family.