"There is a significant demand for modern and high-quality industrial and logistics areas, which offer more than just storage space. Companies are willing to pay for higher standards because they can gain a lot. It also pays to integrate the construction sensitively into the surrounding environment, offer more greenery and also invest in the surrounding infrastructure. It helps to build relations with the affected municipalities and communities, "says Jan Palek, GLP's director for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The emphasis on quality and the introduction of new technologies in the construction of logistics parks has meant a huge shift in the industry in recent years: companies using logistics facilities are among the fastest growing, especially in e-commerce, distribution and light industrial production. For their further development and expansion, they need quality premises in which it is possible to place logistics or production facilities and which also provide a friendly environment for employees.
Demand for "smart" buildings is driven by new client requirements. They demand that the premises be flexibly adapted to their needs. "They want to monitor the operation and be able to control the costs associated with it. At the same time, they expect the developer to look to the future and offer an innovative solution. Therefore, we design buildings with the possibility of installing photovoltaic panels and we do technological and construction preparation for charging stations for electric vehicles. They may not be used immediately, but they will be available when it makes economic sense, ”explains Filip Krzywoň, Technical Manager of GLP Czech Republic and Slovakia.
GLP is building three current projects in Chrášťany near Prague, Holubice near Brno and Ostrava-Hrušov according to these standards. Although some of them are still under construction, their capacity is almost leased.
Applying sustainability and the ESG approach to business is now also very important for investors. They consider not only how much to invest and what their return will be, but also what impact the investment will have on the environment. All this increases the certainty of long-term return on investment, and therefore it becomes an integral part of new logistics projects.
Investing in smart technologies is one of the many ways to meet ESG commitments. "We help create efficiency by saving energy resources, time and money. The integration of various types of technologies, including data analytics, robotics, automated check-in systems, digital loading docks, handy sorting, telematics, fleet management systems and the Internet of Things (IoT), helps increase efficiency, ”concludes Jan Palek.
A practical example is technology for intelligent measurement and data collection, such as monitoring the opening frequency of loading gates. Increases gate clearance speed by 95% and loading dock utilization by up to 50%. It also pays to improve the working conditions of employees.
"We are improving the quality of the environment in our facilities. We install technologies to improve air quality, acoustic comfort and also build rest areas. We avoid toxic or harmful materials and we prefer ecological ones, "explains Jan Palek, Director of GLP.
A related trend is the design of new buildings using the electronic building model using the BIM (Building Information Modeling) method. "The virtual building model contains information on all components. Maintenance can then be performed quickly and easily. We offer a digital helpdesk linked to the BIM database, so if, for example, an air conditioning system failure is reported, we immediately know where the problem is and we immediately have all the relevant documentation and information needed to resolve it, ”explains Filip Krzywoň.
The sustainability trend is also supported by rising energy prices, which increase the demand for energy-efficient buildings with quality insulation and traffic management technologies. These make it possible to control the use of energy, water, air conditioning and lighting. They also make it possible to use rainwater to water or flush toilets. "Current warehouses will gradually lose their popularity because their operating costs will be high," adds Jan Palek.
Sustainability is also reflected in energy management. "Our vision is to supply the produced renewable solar electricity to clients to whom we rent our premises. It must, of course, be economically interesting for them. Therefore, decisions about specific installations will be made only after the completion of projects and on the basis of current conditions, "adds Jan Palek.
A responsible approach concerns not only the development of industrial real estate, including logistics parks, but also their immediate surroundings: the local environment and municipalities.
"We build the premises so that they blend in with the surrounding environment. We care about landscaping, which will serve to relax employees and visitors. Our goal is for all our new buildings to be BREEAM Very Good or equivalent in terms of sustainability, ”says Jan Palek.
Part of the broader concept of responsibility is also close cooperation with the surrounding municipalities, ie especially local governments or associations. This includes investments in municipal infrastructure. "We typically invest, for example, in increasing the capacity of water mains, modernizing wastewater treatment plants, building biocorridors, contributing to the construction of schools, parks and other projects that would be difficult for municipalities to implement themselves," concludes Jan Palek, CEO of GLP.