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A guide to Poland's build and interiors industry

Poland's construction industry is currently experiencing an upturn, particularly in the areas of residential and office building, both of which are predicted to see significant growth in 2015. Those interested in learning more about the nation's construction industry will find key information in this guide.


Key statistics

- Population: 38,346,279 (2014).

- Annual population growth rate: 0.11 per cent.

- GDP per capita: $24,400 (2014).

- Total GDP: $552.2 billion (2014).

- Estimated GDP growth: 3.2 per cent (2014).

- Unemployment: 12.7 per cent (2014).

- Ease of doing business: 32nd in the world.

- Ease of getting credit: 17th in the world.

- 2014 World Competitiveness Yearbook ranking: 36th.

- 2014 World Talent ranking: 36th.

- Government: republic.

- DHL Global Connectedness Index 2014 ranking: 43rd.

- Interest rate: 1.5 per cent (2015).

- Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Poland: $178.7 billion (2013)

- Starting a business in Poland takes an average of 85 days, compared to the world average of 30.6 days.


Construction facts

- Increase in construction output: one per cent (March 2015). This is higher than the average Euro area construction output in the same period, which stood at -2.7 per cent.

- Number of new buildings completed within one year: 99,606 (2013).

- Share of private construction in total number of new buildings: 89.7 per cent (2013).

- Predicted growth of the construction market in 2015: 6.8 per cent (Coface).

- Poland could spend $135 billion on infrastructure by 2020.

- Construction output in Poland averaged 2.72 per cent between 2001 and 2015.

- In 2014, the rate of construction output began to grow for the first time in four years.


Major projects


1. Warsaw's Chopin Airport City

Situated next to Warsaw Chopin Airport, the Chopin Airport City complex will incorporate a combination of office and retail space. Over the next decade, it will be constructed along the main access road to the passenger terminal, and will span 130,000 sqm.

Independent designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists Arup are leading the project, which is being built and operated in accordance with the principles of sustainability. The modern business park will feature 17 office buildings, as well as a conference and retail centre. Leisure and entertainment facilities will complete the space.

Arup hopes that, upon completion, Chopin Airport City will be an "architectural landmark" that combines "the concept of commercial development of the area with a creative approach to public space functions". The complex is also expected to be an important source of revenue for the airport.


2. Greenfield BOPP Plant

Earlier this year (January 2015), Spanish firm Poligal announced a major new construction in west Poland - a greenfield plant that will host its next BOPP extrusion line. The $33.35 million investment project will be strategically located in Skarbimierz, which is 60 km south of Wroclaw. Poligal selected this location for its proximity to Germany (approximately two hours travel time), helping it remain close to its client base and offer the fast reaction times Europe demands.

The plant will initially host an 8.7 metre wide Bruckner BOPP extrusion line, which should be fully operational by Q3 2016.


3. West Station

West Station is one of the many new developments under construction in Warsaw. This project is being carried out by HB Reavis and PKP S.A., or Polish State Railways, and will include the station itself, as well as a high-class business complex.

It is expected that this complex will be BREEAM certified with an 'Excellent' rating (BREEAM being the world's leading environmental assessment and rating system for buildings, promoting best practice for sustainable design), and is predicted to be one of the city's most interesting office buildings. The business complex will feature two 13-storey A-class office buildings, which together will offer a total of 67,000 sqm of leasable space. The first building is planned to be commissioned at the beginning of 2016, with the second to follow in 2018.


4. Gdanski Business Centre II (GBC II)

Also under development from HB Reavis, the Gdanski Business Centre II lies on the outskirts of Warsaw's Old Town. Currently in its second stage of development, the project promises to be a modern business complex, with this second stage due to be completed at the start of 2016.

When finished, the complex will offer four A-class buildings and is expected to achieve BREEAM certification with an 'Excellent' rating. Each building has been designed using highly advanced technologies, while their location will provide tenants with easy access to all the capital's districts.


5. Nova Praga

Managed by Okam Capital, Nova Praga is a significant undertaking close to Warsaw's city centre. It involves redeveloping Praga, the metropolis's industrial quarter, and therefore the renovation of 19th-century buildings, including former cosmetics factories.

This large-scale redevelopment will transform the area into a brand new neighbourhood - Nova Praga - and social and cultural centre. It will comprise approximately 800 high-standard apartments, which will located in the northern section of the development, as well as approximately 20,000 square metres of shops and 6,000 square metres of shops, as well as office and parking space. It is hoped that the area will appeal to both residents and tourists.


With four of these five projects taking place in Warsaw, the city is one of Poland's epicentres of development. There are many more projects underway; you can read more about Warsaw's building developments here.


Business culture

When making initial contact with a Polish firm, it is best to begin with written communication. English is one of the most prominent foreign languages spoken in Poland, and most people have at least a basic grasp of it, but it is best not to assume either this or fluency. Starting with written communication allows clarity, and also offers an opportunity for gauging your contact's level of English and whether an in-person meeting is possible.

If you intend to make contact with a letter, either initially or during business proceedings, always address your communication to the company as opposed to a specific person. This helps avoid delays if an individual is away.

Frequent visits and phone calls are a crucial part of establishing a business relationship in person. Be mindful that an important issue must be discussed in person, so always arrange a meeting to go through these.

When it comes to meetings, punctuality is absolutely crucial. You should maintain direct eye contact when talking, including when giving a presentation, and also be ready for business to be conducted slowly. Indeed, before the meeting turns to corporate matters, there will be a little small talk and getting to know one another.

Any presentations you give must be clear and detailed, and should also be substantiated with figures where appropriate.


International investment

Poland is seeing renewed buoyancy of its construction sector in 2015. Much of this investment comes from international parties; in fact, according to Cushman & Wakefield, the nation as a whole could attract more than $4.9 billion in investment this year, while its capital, Warsaw, is one of the top 20 global cities for attracting investment.

A number of factors lay behind the growing strength of Poland's construction industry, including greater solvency of businesses within the sector, and growing demand for office construction. Indeed, PMR's "Office buildings construction in Poland 2015-2020. Investments – Companies – Statistics – Forecasts – Prices" report notes that double-digit growth is possible for this particular industry niche this year.

The rise in housing demand is also an important factor, as low interest rates make it easier for Polish people to obtain mortgages, and a drop in unemployment rates combine to drive the nation's housing market and, in turn, the construction sector.


Interior design trends 2015

Polish interior design is very diverse and, occasionally, tends towards the unusual. Trends for design elements such as hidden beds and coffin-like wall units have become popular. However, while these niche elements are interesting, they are by no means the mainstream.

Indeed, this year's interior design trends look set to dominated by ultra-modern interiors that particularly favour white walls and fittings, lit by ceiling spotlights. Blacks and dark browns are a popular choice for offsetting white walls, cupboards and bathrooms, while cream looks set to be a popular alternative for those who find white too stark a shade for their living spaces.
Also likely to prove a hit are wood floors and table sets, which add a little warmth to the largely white, almost minimalist interior designs.

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