Meet the Supporter: Weronika Makaruk

Meet the supporter Weronika Makaruk

Nowadays cities face many problems such as density, overpopulation, urban sprawl, pollution and climate change more than ever before. As the demand for housing grows, there are more investments devoted to building. As a consequence, many cities appear as construction sites, where the existing urban fabric is constantly being renewed and where new buildings spring up like mushrooms! This leads to environmental pollution which is majorly caused by the building sector, speaking of which dwellings have a great share in. However, we still dream and desire the place we live in to be eco-friendly, sustainable, harmless for the environment, for us and our families.
Sustainability in the buyers’ decision making is less of a factor as the final price and the location of a residential building. This can be due to the fact that the life cycle cost of residential premises is not usually considered by the property developers. As a consequence, the average apartment buyer is not even given the chance to be concerned about the sustainability of the building.
From another perspective, developers often do not consider higher building specification than the required by local building regulations as the clients are not demanding it. So far, sustainability has been commonly reserved for premium product, making it available for a small group of clients. Speaking of the importance of sustainability, one has to keep in mind that housing affordability is at the same time a major concern of our cities. In an ideal world these two aspects should be considered simultaneously as the initial factors in the development of the project objective.
My motivation to join the Building Sense Now is based on the hope that by an optimistic approach, sustainable apartments can be affordable. A clever public private partnership could deliver a win-win situation. That is the opportunity for the property developer to make a viable scheme, while comply with city’s priorities and placing the future residents together with local community in a centre of the project. That is why, mutual understanding and decent effort from all actors of the building process is required. The advisory and the role model of an international, multidisciplinary body of professionals and experts will be highly beneficial on the path towards better urban environments.

Being born and raised at the outskirts of Warsaw in Poland for the major part of my life I was convinced that a correct way of living requires owning a detached house with a garden. However, further studies specialised in the field of Urban Areas Development at the Warsaw University of Technology, brought new ideas to light in my perspective. I was familiarised with the theory of a sustainable compact city which I further experienced by living in Vienna, a well-planned metropolis.
During my studies of an interdisciplinary major I was introduced to different aspects of city planning and of the building process which I further practiced while working internationally in property development companies. After graduation I worked for one and a half year in a property development start-up based in Manchester. As a passionate, young team we worked together on residential schemes. The most significant aimed to retain and convert a Former Police Headquarters, which is a landmark building of the Salford’s Regeneration Area. Together with my colleagues, I was responsible for the initial design and planning application phase. Afterwards, I moved to Poland and started working as a Trainee Project Manager at the residential property development company Group Lar. Having in mind the idea of sustainable development and feeling the need to implement it into my work I was determined to investigate the topic of sustainable residential schemes. Being granted a scholarship from German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) I was able to do research, meet inspiring people and interesting projects while working at German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).
Considering my to date experience, I can describe myself as a young professional from the real estate sector with the soul of an urban planner. I am passionate about the sustainability of the urban environment while understanding the importance of the projects’ viability.