M1 Kraków, Poland

The Shopping Centre demonstrating that 20 year old facilities can achieve an Outstanding BREEAM rating.

Project Details

  • Scheme & Version: BREEAM In-Use International: 2015
  • Certification Stage: Part 1 and Part 2
  • Rating
  • Asset Performance (Part 1) : Excellent
  • Building Management (Part 2) : Outstanding
  • Overall Score:
  • Asset Performance (Part 1) : 73.2%
  • Building Management (Part 2) : 90.8%

Project Team

  • Developer / Client: METRO PROPERTIES sp. z o.o.
  • Architect: Biprowumet – mgr inż. arch.Stanisław Nesterski
  • Building Services: Montel Sp.z o.o.
  • Constructor: Strabag Polska Sp.z o.o.
  • Assessor Company: Sweco Consulting sp. z o.o.
  • Firefighting system contractor: Minimax Polska Sp. z o.o.
  •  BMS automation supplier: Siemens

About the Building

The M1 Krakow building is a single-storey structure in the retail part and a two-storey structure with administrative and office facilities, located in the eastern part of Krakow in the Nowa Huta district, at the corner of the following streets: Nowohucka and Al. Pokoju.  The facility meets the shopping needs of people living in the eastern, northern and central parts of the city of Krakow, as well as in neighbouring localities. This is supported by excellent access to the facility, located at the intersection of two thoroughfares (north–south and east–west), as well as by the proximity of public transport with high frequency service. Facilities located in the immediate vicinity of the shopping centre include the largest sports and entertainment hall in Poland – Tauron Arena, as well as the International Exhibition and Convention Centre Expo Kraków.


The M1 shopping centre was built in 2001 and partially expanded in 2011. The total surface area of this shopping centre is over 63 thousand square metres. The M1 Kraków Shopping Centre has the Krakow Spirit, and it has become a permanent landmark of the city. This unique retail facility is inspired by the culture and architecture of old Krakow. The building’s façade refers to the characteristic Renaissance architecture of the Cloth Hall in Krakow’s Main Square, which in the past used to be the largest commercial building in Poland. The original interiors make shopping at M1 a real pleasure. On over 50 thousand square metres, under one roof, one can find over 160 retail and service outlets, including over 110 boutiques and specialised shops.

There is a whole range of service outlets in the shopping centre, providing telecommunications, hairdresser, indoor tanning, pharmacy, optician, travel agency, photocopying, gift wrapping, florist, photo laboratory, dry cleaning, tailor, post office, bank, withdrawal and deposit ATM, foreign currency exchange and other services. Apart from the shopping function, the centre is also a meeting place for the local community, where many entertainment and cultural events take place. At M1 Kraków, there are restaurants and cafés where one can relax over a delicious meal, together with family and friends after a successful round of shopping.

In order to ensure comfort for  customers, the centre opened a free childcare space, where customers’ children can use the playground, but also acquire knowledge, as free of charge English lessons are provided. The shopping centre also offers a room for mothers with children, facilities for the disabled, lockers for hand luggage, and post boxes. A car park is provided for M1 customers with over 1.3 thousand parking spaces, including spaces for drivers with children on board and disabled persons, as well as a taxi rank. In summer, customers can use free guarded bicycle parking area: 132 spaces for customers and 53 spaces for employees.

The whole facility is surrounded by low greenery (grasses, natural meadows, bushes) and high greenery (trees), covering approx. 30% of the total area of the plot where the facility is located.

The goal is to make the M1 Kraków shopping centre a friendly place for e employees as well as for the customers visiting it. We want to create an environment in which everyone will feel more comfortable and to which they will be willing to return.  We strive to make M1 Kraków attractive not only for the customers, but also for our tenants.

Why did the building undergo BREEAM certification?

The Polish market of modern retail spaces is already nearly twenty years old. At present, it offers a large number of shopping centres, differing in terms of type and quality. Many of them are over ten years old. While they facilities may have once been modern, many now seem outdated, boring and unattractive. Shopping centre owners must therefore take appropriate actions, seeking new solutions to improve the quality of the facilities as well as to extend and improve the current offering. This is made possible by the BREEAM In-Use certification, available in Poland since 2009, during which an independent assessor evaluates the facility, and the set of questions provided indicates the directions of action. The BREEAM In-Use certification is not mandatory in Poland – it is voluntary.

M1 underwent the certification for the first time in 2012.  This decision was made by the Management Board of the METRO PROPERTIES sp. z o.o. company. The certification process was completed with the following results:

  • Asset performance – very good,
  • Building management – excellent.

The aim of the following certifications for METRO PROPERTIES sp. z o.o. facilities, carried out in 2015 and 2018, was:

  • To ensure top management standards,
  • To increase the involvement of employees in the implementation of sustainable development principles,
  • To reduce operating costs,
  • To improve organisational performance,
  • To obtain a friendly working environment,
  • To achieve a “pro-environmental” company image.

The achievement of the above goals was demonstrated by the obtainment of the  BREEAM In-Use certificate, an international and generally recognised certificate promoting sustainable construction.

In 2018, we completed the certification with the following results:

  • Asset performance – excellent,
  • Building management – outstanding.

The building scored as follows;

  • Waste – 100%
  • Transport – 94.44%
  • Materials – 92.31%
  • Materials – 100%
  • Land Use & Ecology – 100%
  • Pollution – 100%
  • Management – 97.83%
  • Health & Wellbeing – 94.59%

The changes that had to be made and implemented as a standard to obtain such a great result are the following:

  • Environmental aspects – strategy containing objectives for the reduction of energy and water consumption, of the amount of waste, and of CO2 emissions
  • Environmental report with recommendations
  • Updated fire instructions, taking into account environmental pollution during rescue operations
  • Updated procedure for tenant complaints
  • Inspection and maintenance guidelines
  • Soft furniture cleaning guidelines for cleaning companies
  • Legionella prevention guidelines


Green Strategy

The challenges faced involved the following aspects:

  • Educating employees and increasing their commitment to the implementation of sustainable development principles,
  • Obtaining a friendly working environment,
  • Including provisions of the so-called “green strategy” in the lease agreements.

The certification indicated many new directions, which were adopted in the process of facility management, adaptation and modification of the technical infrastructure and of the rules of working with the tenants.

The following steps were taken;

1.An Update to the “METRO PROPERTIES sp. z o.o. Environmental Policy” was prepared in the following areas:

    • Waste management,
    • Water and sewage management,
    • Air protection,
    • Earth surface protection,
    • Optimisation of consumption of raw materials, other materials and fuel,
    • Electricity savings,
    • Protection of natural resources,
    •  Sustainable construction and upgrade of facilities,
    • Environmental awareness.

2.The following was added to the “METRO PROPERTIES sp. z o.o. Environmental Policy”:

    • A purchasing policy for the products, materials and services used in relation to maintenance, renovation and operation of the building,
    • A strategy restricting the use of materials/substances containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

3.The “Tenant’s Handbook” was updated with regard to aspects such as:

    • The scope of meetings with tenants,
    • The way in which environmental goals are reported.

4.An environmental audit was conducted at the facility:

    • Internal audit
    • External audit – conducted by a certified environmentalist.

5.Actions were taken upon an environmentalist’s recommendations resulting from the environmental audit for the preservation of local biodiversity, i.e.:

    • A winter shelter was built for hedgehogs as well as insect hotels
    • The facility was fitted with elements to improve the welfare of animals (invertebrates, bats and birds) e.g.: boxes, feeders,
    • Invasive species were cut down
  1. In a publicly accessible place in the facility, a “multimedia whiteboard” was put up with environmental contents, indicating the environmental goals set, which are constantly updated.

7. An audit was carried out in collaboration with the Poznań University of Technology, which resulted in a Light Pollution Report prepared by experts.

8.Following the Light Pollution Report,  the light fixture inclination angle and orientation was altered in order to reduce the nuisance for the neighbouring facilities and residents living in the neighbourhood.

  1. A “green lease agreement” provision was drawn up in lease agreements with all the tenants. The provisions related to the “green lease agreements” were created on the basis of BRE guidelines.


The Benefits of achieving BREEAM Certification

The whole philosophy of being green is about the comfort of spending time in a given environment. People choose environments where they feel more comfortable. Certified buildings are more friendly to those visiting them, as they provide an optimal environment for them. Consequently, “green construction” is becoming a standard in Poland.
Tenants whose business philosophy includes sustainable development and environmentally friendly policies choose “green buildings”. Green buildings also attract other tenants, who adapt to the expectations of consumers, for whom environmental aspects are becoming increasingly important. As they consciously choose a green building, such tenants expect lower operating costs  thanks to the application of appropriate technological solutions characterising a green facility.
Having green solutions in place in the facility also allows tenants of green buildings to feel more comfortable in relation to their own health and the health of their customers. Such tenants expect the property administrators to constantly expand their knowledge of the latest green solutions, as well as to put forward ideas on how to implement them even in older, already existing buildings.
Due to the optimisation and reduction of shared costs, tenants strongly support such activities, as they have a direct influence on the way in which they function in the respective facilities. Lower operating charges make the building more attractive in the tenants’ opinion – making prospective ones willing to lease space in such a facility, and existing ones more willing to renew their lease agreements. Consequently, such buildings are more likely to be leased out in full, and thus generate more revenue.


Higher involvement on the part of employees in the implementation of sustainable development principles, improved organisational performance, a friendly working environment, a pro-environmental image for the company and an international and a universally recognised certificate promoting sustainable construction –Elżbieta Urbańczyk,Technical Infrastructure and Environmental Management Department Director