Over the recent years, the largest city on Bulgaria’s southern Black Sea coast, has made great progress in the introduction of various nature-friendly practices. Green areas have expanded, a network of cycling lanes has been in the making, and new pedsestrian zones have been created. The green trend continues with the construction of the first in both Bulgaria and in Southeast Europe, eco-shopping mall that is on itrs way of getting an international certificate for sustainable construction LEED (Leadership in Enery and Environmental Design). Galleria Burgas already dubbed the Green Pearl of the coastal city, is expected to open doors in May.
The shopping mall is under construction with the use of state-of-the-art technology making it the only nature-friendly trade and entertainment center in this country. The building is one of few analogues in Bulgaria with a roof park area. Galleria Burgas will become an integral part of the overall cyling network of the city of Burgas and will in this way fit into the general ambitious vision for the future development of the city as one of the greenest in Europe, the authors of the project contend. It will be the first shopping mall in this country with a bycycle parking lot. It will be easy to reach with public transport too.
Accoridng to plan the building and construction works related to it should be as nature-friendly and as good for the health of the staff and customers, as possible. High technology in the trade center will allow using less water and electricity. Carbon emissions from the whole complex will be slashed by 616 tons annually. This will make the shopping mall a leader in green construction and the first shopping center of a new generation in Bulgarian.
Spreading on an area of 53,000 sq. m, Galleria Burgas is being built with nature-friendly materials exclusively. They come mostly from the region so as to avoid air pollution during transportation from more distant points. Paints and glues used are with a low content of harmful volatile substances. This delivers health benefits to both the center’s staff and customers, argues Maria Kutelova from Colliers International that rents out the mall’s retail area.
Special attnetion is given even to the smallest detail of sustainable construction, she explains in an interview for Radio Bulgaria.
“One example is water. In Bulgaria little attention is paid to drinking water consumption, and mind you, water is a strategic resource that is threatened with depletion. At Galleria Burgas various appliances such as economical taps, showers and flushing cisterns are used to reduce drinking water consumption. Besides green areas surrounding the building and on the roof will be watered with 100 percent industrial water. This is a way to save on the energy used for water treatment. For the purpose the shopping mall will use water from the nearby industrial pipeline. This has been one reason to build it in the city’s industrial area. The green roof of Galleria Burgas will be a major treat for visitors who will be invited to have walk, a drink and to enjoy the great vistas that open up there. Part of the roof area will be glazed so as to allow more natural light into the retail section of the mall.”
The green roof will definitely make Galleria Burgas unique in Bulgaria. It has been designed as a pedestrian area with greenery and open-air cafes and restaurants. The superb heat insulation of the new facility is crucial for its energy efficiency. Energy consumption will be cut by 24 percent. Some of the structure’s sectors will use energy from solar panels. Environmental protection being a cause for Galleria Burgas, this will be the first and only such facility in Bulgaria so far, with an own Environmental Information Center. Located close to the main entrance of the shopping mall, it will promote to visitors a range of global environmental concerns and technologies and will provide information about current green topics.