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Eurobank presents its green headquarters in the heart of Athens (pics)

Crossing Stadiou Street, one of the most central avenues in Athens, one will come across a "green" building in the centre of the city at the junction with Omirou Street, opposite the old Parliament.

This is none other than the new Eurobank administration building, a highly symbolic project, designed and created in response to the imperative need to adapt the urban landscape to the demands of the climate crisis, by reducing the carbon footprint and heating needs, while also assisting in improving local biodiversity.

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The emblematic building in the historic center of Athens has been transformed into a highly aesthetic model of environmental management and is now one of the first green offices in the heart of the Greek capital.

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The history of the building

The building, at the junction of 2 Omirou and 12 Stadiou streets, opposite the old Parliament, is part of the city centre’s business history. The headquarters of Phoenix Insurance, a company founded in 1928, were once housed there.

The outstanding building, originally designed by the office of Yiannis Vikelas, is located in a privileged spot in the historic centre, with an unobstructed view of the old Parliament and the Acropolis and with direct access to the main streets and the Metro.

The independent high-rise building of 4,500 sq.m. on a plot of 430 sq.m., was acquired by Grivalia Properties in June 2018.

The investment plan of Grivalia, which was absorbed by the Eurobank group in 2019, included the radical reconstruction of the building and its energy upgrade, with a reference point being the aesthetic upgrade of the building’s facades.

The aim was to turn it into a modern, high-standard building with bioclimatic features, in line with international sustainability standards.

Added socio-economic value

The new Eurobank administration building is a highly symbolic project, as it promotes the repositioning and reactivation of businesses in the centre of Athens.

At the same time, it promotes a new model of gentle and sustainable operation of commercial real estate and highlights the growth prospects from the utilisation of the center's buildings.

The radical renovation of the building complex reinforces the upgrade that is taking place in the wider urban landscape of the area, since a series of investment initiatives, mainly from the tourism industry, is underway.

"Eurobank seeks to be creatively present in public life and actively participate in every development effort, in everything that signifies the modern and the innovative.

In this context, it is contributing decisively to the upgrading of the historical centre of Athens and investing in strengthening the role of the area as a pole of attraction, within which emblematic buildings are modernised and utilised, in order to create new, green, professional areas that house business activity for key sectors of the economy," says the Deputy CEO of Eurobank, Stavros Ioannou.

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According to Ioannou, the group's decision to highlight the state-of-the-art, radically renovated building at the junction of Omiros and Stadiou streets, as a top management building, underlines this targeted action.

"It serves at the same time," he points out, "our will to exploit privately owned properties in our portfolio, with the aim of creating value for shareholders and employees."

The building hosts 100 jobs

The green building in the heart of the Greek capital hosts 100 jobs of high aesthetics and functionality, aspiring to be a model for subsequent renovations of a large number of buildings in the area, which were erected in post-war Athens.

The Signature Room and state-of-the -art technology

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An important innovation of the administration building is the Signature Room, unique by Greek standards.

It is a specially designed meeting room that incorporates the latest technologies for fully interactive communication, supporting the optimal development of the hybrid work model adopted by Eurobank.

The Signature Room is designed by Microsoft and is a new generation meeting room. All the technological equipment, in collaboration with an interactive screen, is framed by a specially designed seven-seater C-shaped table.

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At the same time, the state-of-the-art technological equipment with new desktops and laptops that the building has, allow work from any point inside and outside the bank's buildings.

It has 27'' screens, new type (energy saver) multi-machines, wireless keyboards and mice, while MS Teams Telephony allows access to internal and external telephone calls through a single application.

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At the same time, Microsoft's digital tools are leveraged for simplified communication and team collaboration with audio-visual contact from any device.

In addition, wireless headphones with noise-cancellation technology are available.

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Aesthetics and functionality

The development of the building achieves the aesthetic upgrade and its integration into the urban fabric with a new, dynamic, modern and at the same time environmentally and energy conscious identity.

The morphological elements of the shell were chosen with a contemporary approach, but are also timeless and functional, avoiding ephemeral impressionism in forms and materials.

They attribute and reintroduce the building to the city and its users, carefully interacting with its neighbouring buildings given its position as a focal point.

The interiors were upgraded with a clean and soft aesthetic in mind, in an environment that promotes collaboration, inclusion and high efficiency.

The building actively influences the management and optimal utilisation of natural light, which in combination with the environmentally friendly interior decoration materials, with the excellent air conditioning/ventilation management and with the roof garden, creates ideal conditions for the workers in its spaces.

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A "green building" in the city centre

Green roofs and planted areas were created around the perimeter of the building on each floor and on the roof of the administration building, where a small garden is housed. The selection of plants was made with the aim of their inclusion in the natural and man-made environment and general sustainability.

Endemic species and species of the wider Mediterranean flora were selected, which adapt quickly to the local climatic conditions and blend with the urban environment and have low water and maintenance requirements.

Specifically, there are planters on all floors, with appropriate moisture retention and drainage measures, which accommodate shrubs, trees and flowering native species with great adaptability to the particular requirements of the urban area, contributing to the improvement of the microclimate.

Planted roofs contribute to the recovery of flora and fauna in the urban ecosystem, and create a habitat that benefits pollination and reduces the heat load in the area.

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Link to sustainable strategy

Part of Eurobank's sustainable development strategy is the development, improvement and management of the real estate portfolio, which complies with and is certified with the most modern green building and sustainable operation standards.

The sustainable development strategy envisages the integration into Eurobank's operation of circular economy practices (such as the separation of waste at source and the implementation of holistic recycling) and the conservation of valuable natural resources (such as the optimal use and conservation of water).

These actions have the effect of improving the environmental impact of Eurobank's operations and are inextricably linked to the organisation's vision for a sustainable future.

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The design, construction and operation of the administration building are consistent with the sustainable development strategy, while LEED certification for Core & Shell, at Gold level, validly documents the building's sustainability characteristics.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) rating standard is a globally recognised symbol of excellence in the built environment of buildings created by the US Green Building Council.

The design and the radical renovation of the building were based on the principles of sustainable building which aim at the optimal energy and environmental behavior of the building, the rationalisation of the required natural resources and aims at the reliable quantification of the relative performance of the project.

"Our new offices, with a modern, highly aesthetic, simple line, directly opposite the historic old Parliament, which adorns the area, upgrade the historical Kolokotroni Square, which has been connected to the parliamentary history of the area for about a century.

We support, in practice, the regeneration of the city centre and its evolution into a stylish, modern hub for business development, with absolute respect for historicity," Eurobank's deputy managing director, Stavros Ioannou, also points out in a related statement.

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(Source: InBusinessNews)

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