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A memory capsule buried in the foundations of the unique office building “Elemental Skanste”

Today, during the ceremonial event a capsule for future generations was buried in the foundation of the unique building project “Elemental Skanste”. “Elemental Skanste” is the office building of unique concept in Skanste district, which is to be completed in the summer next year. Designed in accordance with international sustainability standards, it will become the second public building in Latvia and the first in Riga to use ground heat for heating and cooling purposes, using geothermal piles.

The office building, designed according to the enhanced energy efficiency method, has been certified as a Nearly Zero Energy Building and the project has achieved an BREEAM Sustainability Certificate rating of Excellent.

The project is developed and owned by experienced real estate company “Kapitel” and built by the general contractor “Merks”. Today’s capsule event was attended by Taavi Ojala, CEO of “Kapitel”, Margus Mändmets, Project Development Manager, Imants Krēsliņš, Sales Manager of “Elemental Skanste”, Andris Bišmeistars, Board Member of “Merks”, as well as Vilnis Ķirsis, Deputy Chairman of Riga City Council. The participants stressed the importance of thinking about sustainability in all areas, especially in construction projects and new working environments, which all have a long-term impact.

Taavi Ojala, CEO of “Kapitel”: “Nowadays energy efficiency has become an increasingly important factor in project development and realisation, but especially in recent years the need for new innovations has become more and more vital. From both the landlord’s and urban planning point of view, it is important that projects incorporate values such as sustainability, innovation, functionality, affordability. It is essential that the building is environmentally friendly, but at the same time able to provide everything that is needed in today’s fast-paced life.” “Kapitel” has received sustainability certifications for most of its portfolio and is developing all upcoming projects according to BREEAM certification.

The combined area of the “Elemental Skanste” office complex is expected to be 33 500 m², of which 21 000 m² are planned as Class A office units for lease. Additional spaces include a conference centre, a co-working area, a bicycle storage area with 400 spaces, showers, changing rooms and various catering and service areas. There will also be around 500 parking spaces, including 200 spaces in the underground parking area.

The “Elemental Skanste” is characterized by outstanding architecture, modern technical solutions, a first-class indoor climate, a ceiling height of at least three metres, and raised floors that provide the flexibility to change the spatial plan and the layout of workplaces.  

Andris Bišmeistars, Member of the Board and Construction Manager of “Merks” Ltd:

“Skanstes district is becoming the most modern part of Riga city centre and we are pleased to have been involved in its development for many years already. The attractive architecture of the “Elemental Skanste” office building will perfectly complement the urban environment of Riga and will be particularly suitable for today’s progressive people who are concerned about global trends and green policies. “Merks” team of professionals is working hard to ensure that all construction works are completed within the planned deadlines and that we will be able to meet in the new “Elemental Skanste” office building in the second quarter of 2023.”

“Elemental Skanste” will undoubtedly be one of the most significant projects in Riga in the coming years, developing our city and especially the Skanste neighbourhood as a modern and sustainable business hub. I am particularly happy that this project is focused on increased energy efficiency and sustainable building standards. This will be the first public building in Riga to be heated using ground heat, with geothermal heat pumps in the foundations of the building. Russia’s war in Ukraine shows that energy efficiency is important not only for climate and economy, but also for security. Riga City Municipality will continue to reduce unnecessary bureaucratic barriers and actively work with developers, investors, and producers to build the economic strength of Riga within the Baltic region,” adds Vilnis Ķirsis, Deputy Chairman of the Riga City Council.

“Kapitel” is the top developer of “Elemental Skanste” project at 25 Skanstes Street, Riga, while the construction is being carried out by “Merks” Ltd. Since construction started, interest from potential tenants has been growing. The construction of “Elemental Skanste” is expected to be completed by the end of the summer 2023. Besides, as this is the first phase of the Skanste development project, the development of three additional office buildings and a multi-storey car park will follow.