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UCT triumphs in environmental innovation at South Africa’s third Greenovate Awards

Young environmental game-changes from the University of Cape Town (UCT) took first place in the Greenovate Awards for the third year running. UCT scooped up the very first Greenovate Engineering Award too.

The awards programme is an exciting initiative by Growthpoint Properties in association with the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). The prestigious awards recognise innovative solutions for the property industry to environmental challenges.

This is the third year the awards have strived to inspire and encourage students of the built environment to discover, explore and invent ways to live more sustainably. Also, for the first time this year, the awards were extended to include a second category for engineering students.

The students were challenged to come up with ideas for any property-related project that makes the way we live greener and our environmental footprint lighter.

A total of eight universities competed for both awards this year. UCT was the only one to take up the challenge in both award streams. Groups from each of the participating universities competed internally first, and the two top projects from each were chosen as finalists. This year the awards adjudicated a record 16 finalist teams.

For the Greenovate Awards, two finalist teams each came from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), UCT, Nelson Mandela University (NMU) and the University of the Free State (UFS), and one represented the University of Pretoria (UP).

For the first ever Greenovate Engineering Awards, two finalist teams each represented UCT, Stellenbosch University and North West University (NWU) and one team came from the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

The winners were announced at a gala dinner in Sandton Central with keynote speaker, serial tech entrepreneur Stafford Masie, who said: “…as much as it is about technology, it’s more so about humanity. Sustainability of any idea or innovation is collectively harnessing latent human capital, augmented with AI, to coagulate around your business from the outside. We need to establish ecosystems versus just building cool stuff or even just cool businesses…co-creativity is the absolute substrate of continuous leading innovation. Make everything hack-able, derive less value than you create and ensure your leadership is focused on empathy…understanding what makes us human, and allows us to express that humanity, with the context of your services, builds exponential competitive edge and values.”

The UCT team of Mark McCormick, Daniel Navarro and Nicholas Tennick, supervised by Karen Le Jeune, were named the winners of the Greenovate Awards 2017. Their submission was titled “upgrading existing medium-density residential buildings with strategic green building features and initiatives holds the key to increasing affordable housing in Cape Town”. This team of outstanding young green innovators took home R30,000 in prize money, as well numerous other rewards.

UCT also took second place, with team members Tarryn Coles, Anthony Testa and Gemma Watson investigating the viability of using self-sustaining shipping container homes as an affordable and sustainable approach to student housing. Saul Nurick supervised the team. Third place was scooped by the Wits team of Thina Mangcu, Prudence Ndlovu and Yonwaba Mntonga, supervised by Dr Kola Ijasan, which undertook a Johannesburg explorative study of a project manager’s skill and knowledge for green building construction.

For the inaugural Greenovate Engineering Award, UCT student and young green thinker Craig Peter Flanagan, supervised by Dr Dyllon Randall, took top honours with a focus on the development of an on-site nutrient recovery urinal for buildings. The award came with a R30,000 prize.

NWU clinched second place in the engineering stream with student Reino von Wielligh, supervised by Dr Leenta Grobler and Dr Henri Marais, who submitted an investigation of a solar powered parking bollard for parking space management. Third place went to Stellenbosch University student Petrus Johannes Stefanus Botes, with supervisor Prof Jan Andries Wium, who explored the development of sustainable construction systems in South Africa, specifically bamboo scaffolding.

Werner van Antwerpen of Growthpoint Properties, says:Growthpoint is proud to collaborate with the GBCSA, the universities and their students, the award’s sponsors, and the mentors and judges that give so generously of their time and knowledge. Together, we can inspire environmentally innovative thinking among even more of South Africa’s future leaders. Everyone wins when we show and grow innovation for a greener, healthier, and more sustainable environment.”

Remy Kloos, the driving force behind the Greenovate Awards, comments:This awards programme is an excellent way for leading green corporates like Growthpoint to link to university students – the future leaders who will become champions of the sustainability movement. It closes the gap between what is learned at universities and the practical solutions that today’s businesses are seeking. The Greenovate Awards are producing revolutionary student projects backed by smart thinking. These young green trailblazers are discovering new ways to drive green building thinking forward, to ensure a better future.”

Dorah Modise, CEO of the GBCSA, comments: “GBCSA is proud to be part of this initiative, year on year these young men and women manage to amaze us with their raw talent. The innovative ideas that they present grow from strength to strength as the years go by. We are happy to see that our efforts in building the necessary skills required to transform the built environment are bearing fruit and we can happily look forward to a greener, more sustainable future.”

For Greenovate Award participants, the benefits go well beyond winning a prize. The programme provides students with an opportunity to work with leading green building thinkers in Greenovate workshops with industry professionals.

The judging panels comprised some of the country’s top green minds and eco leaders, including:

  • Dorah Modise, CEO of GBCSA

  • Brian Wilkinson, former CEO of GBCSA

  • Leon Cronje, Director of RLB Pentad

  • Neil Gopal, CEO of the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA)

  • Bonke Simelane, Director of NMC Construction Group

  • Morloes Reinink, Partner at Solid Green

  • Mauritz Kruger, Architect – Principal Specialist (RHDHV) (Engineering)

  • Manfred Braune, Chief Technical Officer and Executive Director of GBCSA (Engineering)

  • Werner van Antwerpen, Associate Corporate Finance at Growthpoint (Engineering)

  • Mike Aldous, Associate – Green Building & Sustainability Services/BIM Champion at Mott MacDonald (Engineering)

  • Johan Piekaar, Office Director, Structures, Africa for WSP (Engineering)

This is the second time Neil Gopal, CEO of SAPOA, has judged the awards. He says: “I am honoured to be part of the judging panel at this year’s Greenovate awards. It is important that we, as the property sector, encourage innovation among future industry leaders who are in tune with the needs of the environment and alternative ways of creating monuments without impacting the environment negatively. “

Greenovate also attracted the valued support of additional sponsors this year, including Remote Metering Solutions, Royal HaskoningDHV and Terra Firma Academy.

Van Antwerpen believes the awards will continue to grow and make a significant contribution in recognising and encouraging environmentally innovative thinking among South Africa’s future property leaders.

Released by:

Growthpoint Properties Limited

Werner van Antwerpen, Associate Corporate Finance

011 944 6598

www.growthpoint.co.za

Growthpoint launches a new green waste-to-soil initiative

Growthpoint Properties has launched an innovative pilot project that turns the large volumes of food waste generated by client businesses at its properties into compost.

The project, named G-Eco, short for Growthpoint Eco, is a partnership with Life & Earth and has the potential for massive environmental benefits.

It is being tested at Growthpoint Business Park in Midrand using waste produced at four of Growthpoint’s large multi-tenant properties in the area.

The idea was born 18-months ago when Growthpoint embarked on a waste-management analysis process to measure waste sent to landfills and the effectiveness of its existing initiatives to reduce this. Results revealed that the waste generated by its building users and sent to landfill was substantial.

Knowing that 40% to 60% of landfill waste comes from organic waste from food and garden waste, Growthpoint embarked on an innovative six-month wet waste diversion trial, which started at the beginning of July this year.

“We are converting the wet waste collected at our properties taking part in the trial into compost, which is then used at these properties,” says Werner van Antwerpen, Head of Sustainability at Growthpoint.

To start the project, driven by Growthpoint’s Industrial Property Division, Life & Earth installed a food waste composting machine at Growthpoint Business Park in Midrand. The plant turns food waste into 100% organic compost and can process up to 1,000kg of food waste each day with the capacity to make about nine tonnes of compost a month.

Then, Growthpoint’s current waste contractors at Growthpoint Business Park, Woodlands Office Park, Woodmead Retail Park and Central Park were trained about the process and how to separate wet waste at source. Growthpoint also worked with its clients at these properties, encouraging them to separate their food waste.

The waste is taken to the composting plant at Growthpoint Business Park, where it is processed.

During its first four months of the trial, Growthpoint diverted 16 tonnes of waste from landfill and produced six cubic metres of nutrient-rich soil, which is reapplied at Growthpoint Business Park.

The resulting positive environmental impacts are significant when considering that composting food waste on site instead of sending it to landfill reduces CO2e emissions by 332kg per tonne – and this is just the start.

By removing food waste from the waste stream, recyclables increase by about 30%. Composting food waste is also a cleaner and healthier. It reduces vermin and rat infestations and removes bad smells from rotting food. Also, it reduces harmful vehicle emissions, with fewer trips now needed to take waste to the dump, as well deliver garden compost to the properties.

Importantly, a focus on food waste creates more awareness about the problem and helps clients manage their food costs as they strive to reduce both. So, the project stands to have a direct positive impact of Growthpoint’s clients’ businesses.

Proactive waste management initiatives such as G-Eco have become essential in South Africa. According to Life & Earth, the country sends more than 10.2m tonnes of food waste to landfill every year, and food waste costs our economy more than R4.6bn annually.

“The G-Eco waste-to-soil project is one component of Growthpoint’s bigger waste management strategy,” explains van Antwerpen.

It already reduces waste through recycling, and plans to ensure all its buildings have onsite recycling by the end of 2018.

Based on the success of the G-Eco pilot, Growthpoint plans to introduce more waste-to-soil plants in other areas of the country where it has clusters of property assets.

“We are excited to find out exactly how much waste-to-landfill we will be able to save with our different waste management programmes, but we are confident that it will be substantial,” says van Antwerpen. He also notes: “This innovative project contributes to Growthpoint’s environmentally responsible leadership and furthers our sustainable business journey.”

Growthpoint provides space to thrive with innovative and sustainable property solutions. It is the largest South African primary REIT listed on the JSE, and owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 547 property assets, locally and internationally.

Growthpoint is a Platinum Founding Member of Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), a member of the GBCSA’s Green Building Leader Network, a component of the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and has been included in the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index for eight years running. It owns and co-owns the largest portfolio of certified green buildings of any company in South Africa and is recognised as a leading developer of green buildings. Growthpoint recently launched the only property portfolio in South Africa to be highly rated by both the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) and the GBCSA, aptly named the Thrive Portfolio.

Released by:

Growthpoint Properties Limited

Werner van Antwerpen, head of sustainability

011 944 6598

www.growthpoint.co.za

Growthpoint powers innovation with its NWU Solar Car team sponsorship

Pushing the boundaries of what is possible for alternative energy and engineering, Growthpoint Properties has announced that it is sponsoring the North West University’s Solar Car challenge team. 

With its sponsorship, Growthpoint is helping to the give the team its day in the sun at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, which takes place from 8 to 15 October in Australia. The gruelling journey starts in Darwin and follows the Stuart Highway to Port Augusta followed by Highway 1 to Adelaide about 3,000km away. 

NWU Solar has already set the bar high with its solar car challenge achievements. It was co-winner of its very first outing at the 2012 Sasol Solar Challenge, an honour it shared with Tokai University, which is consistently ranked as one of the top three teams in the world. 

The team has gone on to break various records. In 2015, at the previous biennial Bridgestone World Challenge, NWU Solar debuted to become the first team from Africa to cross the finish line. It took 11th place in an overall field of 29, beating some world-renowned universities in the process including MIT and Cambridge. It holds the record for the furthest distance travelled by a South African team in a single day (611.9km), as well as the furthest distance completed by a South African team (3,524.9km).

But why would a property company invest in a university solar car team?

Growthpoint is no ordinary property company. It provides space to thrive. Its pursuit of sustainability across its diverse portfolio of 547 owned and managed properties can be seen in the innovations in its buildings, in South Africa and internationally.

Growthpoint is a Platinum Founding member of the Green Building Council South Africa, a constituent of the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index. It owns and co-owns the biggest portfolio of certified green buildings in South Africa. Growthpoint also embraces solar power in South Africa with several solar plants already in operation.

It has already installed photovoltaic solar panels with the capacity to generate over 8.1MWp (DC, excluding the V&A Waterfront) at sixteen of its office, retail and industrial properties (all below 1MWp AC).

Head of Sustainability at Growthpoint, Werner van Antwerpen, explains: “The objective of the NWU Solar car project is to go beyond simply competing in challenges. Its goals include performing interdisciplinary research and development that drives a sustainable future based on innovative new technologies. This really appealed to us. For real and sustainable innovation, we need to close the gap between universities, government and business. NWU Solar is innovating in a way that produces commercially viable products that create jobs and opportunities. We support this wholeheartedly.”

He adds: “Growthpoint’s sponsorship of the NWU Solar team is an excellent platform to showcase our commitment to sustainability and innovation while also supporting a group of students who are the future leaders of our industry and others. We also want to encourage young people to achieve success in STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and apply their skills to create relevant and commercial solutions.” 

Strong synergies form the foundation for this sponsorship. For instance, with Growthpoint’s increasing use of renewable solar energy at many of its buildings, it stands to benefit from the university’s advances and research in solar power, battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology and the algorithms to manage these storage solutions.

Van Antwerpen highlights that the NWU Faculty of Engineering has also proven courageous in what it takes on, and this is a quality that Growthpoint values, encourages and invests in.

The faculty recently launched Naledi, the 2017 iteration of the solar car that will be competing in Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Naledi, meaning ‘star’, boasts a brand new design with the body based on the world-class JS3 Jonker Sailplane that also has its roots at the NWU Faculty of Engineering. The team from NWU will also be using solar tracking technology to soak up sun rays, keeping its panels at an optimal angle to the sun at all times. The body shape with the use of solar tracking makes Naledi one of the most unique vehicles in the competition.

With its impressive track record, the NWU Solar team has a lot to live up to, but it has already proven that it relishes a challenge. Van Antwerpen says: “We wish the NWU Solar team everything of the best for the upcoming Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. True to the name of their car (and its power source), we believe that they are stars who will continue to shine in this global challenge.”

Its sponsorship of the NWU Solar car challenge team is just one of the ways the Growthpoint invests in sustainability and innovation at university level in South Africa. Growthpoint also founded the Greenovate Awards programme with the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), which sets university students of the built environment and engineering on a quest to find more sustainable ways of living. 

Growthpoint is the largest South African primary listed REIT on the JSE, and is emerging as a leading international property company. It owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 547 property assets. This includes 471 properties in South Africa valued at R76.9bn and Growthpoint’s 50% interest in the properties at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, valued at R8.7bn. Internationally, Growthpoint owns 57 properties in Australia valued at R32.5bn through its investment in ASX-listed Growthpoint Properties Australia (GOZ) and 18 properties in Romania valued at EUR1.0bn through its investment in LSE AIM-listed Globalworth Real Estate Investments (GWI).

1,000 bike share trips in five months: Growthpoint’s pilot project proves demand for e-bikes in Sandton

Growthpoint Properties’ pioneering eco-friendly electronic bike hub project in Sandton Central has proven a resounding success with over 1,000 bike share trips, so far.

This milestone was reached in a mere 24 weeks with Growthpoint’s starter fleet of only 20 bikes and two solar-powered stations.

Werner van Antwerpen, who heads up Growthpoint’s specialised sustainability division, reports the number of bikes used from the Growthpoint-owned The Place at 1 Sandton Drive, which is also Growthpoint’s headquarters, has grown pleasingly since the project began.

Trips from Growthpoint-owned 138 West Street, opposite the Sandton Gautrain Station – which began operating six weeks after the Sandton Drive hub – have increased exponentially.

He reveals that while Growthpoint staff are enthusiastic supporters of the project, the bikes provided by Greencycles are for everyone and a wide array of people are using them.

Sharing remarkable project statistics, van Antwerpen notes most trips take place on Friday, and the fewest are taken on Monday. “Trips increase in a linear manner over the working week.”

In addition, each e-bike is pro-actively tracked and not a single one has gone missing.

Weather impacts bike use and, while this may be obvious, what’s more revealing is that demand for bikes increases during major events in Sandton Central. This was clear, for example, during the Green Building Council South Africa’s annual convention and the Nelson Mandela Day food packing drive.

“This initiative has proven itself and that there is a demand within Sandton Central for other ways of getting around,” says van Antwerpen. “People who work in Sandton have shown they see an electric bike share as a great option, especially those who use public transport to get to Sandton.”

One of the advantages of e-bicycles in Sandton’s hilly topography is that you don’t have to be super fit, in fact, they’re a cruise. They’re fitted with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery that can be charged like a cellphone. E-bikers can arrive at the office looking cool and feeling cool too.

Intended for short trips around the Sandton Central neighbourhood, a bike can be booked for several hours before it needs to be returned to the docking station. Van Antwerpen reports that, so far, peak hours for bike trips are from 7am to 9am, from midday to 1pm, and from 3pm to 4pm.

“We are confident that, as the project grows and stations remain open for longer, its use will increase and spread into the extended hours. There’s already a big demand,” reveals van Antwerpen.

What’s more, Growthpoint’s bike share pilot project has, so far, created sustainable full-time jobs for two young people passionate about the biking industry who are the station masters for each hub.

And, with the exciting figures proving its popularity, it is little wonder that other corporates in Sandton Central have started queuing up to join the e-bike share initiative.

“We believe in this project and are excited to see other companies in Sandton Central’s business community that share our vision of greener and cleaner places to live and work also getting involved,” says van Antwerpen. To help it reach critical mass, Growthpoint has committed to support the project for at least another year. So have GreenCycles.

As the largest South African primary listed Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) this initiative takes Growthpoint’s environmental innovation beyond its properties and into the streets, connecting people and places, and creating a valuable, much-needed resource for all Sandton Central’s businesses, residents and visitors.

Estienne de Klerk, Managing Director of Growthpoint Properties, says: “We felt this was the right way to create a greater cycling culture and scheme in Sandton, improve traffic congestion, reduce harmful emissions and simply make it easier to move around South Africa’s financial district.”

This aligns with Growthpoint’s vision to be a leading international property company providing space to thrive and creating value for all its stakeholders with innovative and sustainable property solutions.

Growthpoint is a Platinum Founding Member of GBCSA, a member of the GBCSA’s Green Building Leader Network, and has been included in the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index for seven years running. It owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 530 property assets including 467 properties in South Africa, 63 properties in Australia through its investment in Growthpoint Properties Australia (GOZ) and a 50% interest in the properties at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.

“As a responsible property owner, manager and developer, Growthpoint is acutely aware that, as our suburbs and cities expand, traffic congestion will intensify. E-bikes contribute to lower CO2 emissions, cleaner air, and less traffic congestion. They’re also convenient, free and fun,” says de Klerk.

Pre-book Growthpoint GreenCycles at www.greencycles.co.za. It is also where you’ll find more info on how to get involved, sponsorship opportunities, and installing your own corporate e-bike station.

Released by:

Growthpoint Properties Limited

Estienne de Klerk, Managing Director of Growthpoint Properties

011 944 6284

Werner van Antwerpen, Head of Sustainability Growthpoint Properties

011 944 6598

www.growthpoint.co.za

Growthpoint develops prime Greenfield Industrial Park in Cape Town’s Airport Industria

Growthpoint Properties’ R150m Greenfield Industrial Park Development will introduce a quality, modern industrial park on a prime 3.4ha site in Airport Industria, near Cape Town International Airport.

Set for completion on 30 November 2015, Greenfield Industrial Park is the landmark redevelopment of the former Wasteman site. It will benefit the entire area by introducing an upmarket, efficient industrial property to the site. And, true to its name, it will provide innovative green industrial space as part of its leading, sustainable development.

With its excellent location, Greenfield Industrial Park is well situated in the high-demand Airport Industrial Node, on Manchester Road, adjacent to Borcherds Quarry interchange and Airport Approach Road. It is positioned for easy access with good proximity to the N2 highway, for both north- and south-bound routes. It also benefits from excellent visibility with prominent signage opportunities.

Riaan Munnik, Development Manager at Growthpoint Properties, comments, “We are extremely positive about the Airport Industria node. Greenfield Industrial Park will bring to market a prime industrial property in a growing business hub with proven strong demand.”

Greenfield Industrial Park includes 21,000m² of flexible, sub-divisible space, intended to meet the needs of modern business. Ideal for a single large user, the design of Greenfield Industrial Park can also be tailored to client needs with multiple units starting from around 3,500sqm. It features internal stacking heights of 12 metres, and Growthpoint is providing fully-finished office components as well as a tenant allowance for clients to use as required.

The Greenfield Industrial Park site is designed for efficiency, including optimal use of warehousing, yard area and roadways. The park includes two entrances and exits, and features generous parking facilities.

It has also been designed with sustainability in mind, with positive environmental innovations so significant that Growthpoint is in the process of registering for a Green Star SA – Custom Industrial Rating Tool with the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA.) The building is targeting a 4-Star Green Star SA rating.

Integrated features to reduce utilities costs at Greenfield Industrial Park include alternative energy from solar panels, water-wise landscaping, well points, waterless urinals, and recycling. Greenfield Industrial Park will also feature low-energy light fittings that complement its smart design, which uses natural light to save on lighting costs. This means it will become a landmark industrial property that is respectful of its environment, and also save its occupants money.

Moreover, it will create a healthy and appealing working environment with breakaway areas for staff as well as shower facilities for cyclists and runners.

“We are extremely excited that Greenfield Industrial Park is in the process of getting registered with the GBCSA for a Green Star SA Custom Industrial rating, and pleased to be part of setting new benchmarks in sustainability for this sector,” remarks Munnik.

Stefanutti Stocks is the appointed contractor for the development. “This respected team will add their excellent track record and high level of health and safety standards to the quality development of Greenfield Industrial Park,” says Munnik

Growthpoint Properties is developing several strategic industrial and office properties in and around Cape Town, with its skilled local development team. These investments are situated in developing nodes that are popular with leading business and have a proven demand for space. Greenfield Industrial Park fits this bill and Munnik is confident it will be well received by the market and enjoy a strong uptake.

Growthpoint is South Africa’s largest REIT and a JSE ALSI Top 40 Index company. It owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 471 properties in South Africa, 53 properties in Australia through its investment in GOZ and a 50% interest in the properties at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. Growthpoint’s consolidated property assets are valued at over R100bn.

Engelbert Binedell, Divisional Director of the Industrial Sector for Growthpoint, explains that Growthpoint’s industrial team has a strategic imperative to extract value from its existing asset base in response to the scarcity and relatively expensive acquisition opportunities in the present market.

“This redevelopment is a perfect example of Growthpoint’s drive to optimise its industrial property portfolio by adding value with environmentally innovative developments. In this way, we create better buildings for businesses to thrive and secure their industry footprint,” says Binedell.

Source: cbn


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Growthpoint Properties awarded GBCSA’s 100th Green Star SA Certification

Growthpoint Properties’ Kirstenhof Office Park in Johannesburg has become the 100th building to achieve a Green Star SA certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA.) Kirstenhof secured a 5-Star Green Star SA: Existing Building Performance Pilot (EBP) rating.

Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint Properties Office Division Director, comments, “We are delighted to receive the GBCSA’s 100th Green Star SA certification for Kirstenhof Office Park. Growthpoint is proud to be a part of the phenomenal growth story of green building in South Africa

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and commends the GBCSA for its significant role in creating a greener, more sustainable built environment for our country.”

Growthpoint Properties, South Africa’s largest JSE-listed REIT and a JSE ALSI 40 company, has property assets valued at nearly R100bn. Growthpoint is a Platinum Founding Member of the GBCSA, a JSE Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index company and a Dow Jones Sustainability Index company. It is also a top performer in the CDP Climate Performance Index.

Putting Growthpoint’s environmental commitment into action, it owns or co-owns the largest portfolio of Green Star SA certified buildings of any company in South Africa, with 23 buildings rated to date.

Pienaar says, “Building by building we want to transform our properties so the people who use them can reach their maximum potential and businesses can thrive.”

Kirstenhof Office Park is its latest property to join its brilliant constellation of Green Star rated buildings.

This multi-tenanted office park is located near the Rivonia N1 off-ramp. The 3,830m² development comprises of four office blocks, each two storeys high and connected by a core quad area which sits over a single shared basement.

With its distinctive Cape Dutch design, it is now around 20 years old. Kirstenhof is home to a total of nine tenants, with Henley Business School occupying the largest portion of the park.

Werner van Antwerpen, who heads up Growthpoint’s specialised sustainability division, explains: “It’s important that we constantly pursue energy and water efficient projects to make our buildings more economical, sustainable and attractive to clients.”

He points out some of the green and energy-efficient measures which contributed to Kirstenhof’s Green Star SA 5-Star EBP Pilot rating. “The interior has been fitted with energy efficient lighting that includes fluorescent lights fitted with high frequency ballasts. Flow restrictors have been installed on all taps, and all restrooms now have water efficient toilets with dual flush functions,” says van Antwerpen.

Plus, the interior also receives large amounts of natural light through numerous windows, with reduced glare from direct sunlight through the use of blinds. There are also many large trees which contribute to and encourage natural ventilation during the summer months, with 60% of the building’s usable space having direct line of sight to the outdoors.

An Operational Waste & Materials Management Plan was developed for the park, to increase the amount of waste currently being diverted from landfill. A storm water management plan has also been put in place to limit the disruption of natural hydrology, minimize pollution and site deterioration.

“Further sustainable initiatives include a smart-water meter system, smart electricity meters, as well as energy efficient air-conditioning systems,” says van Antwerpen.

Congratulating Growthpoint on its achievement, Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA, comments, “Achieving 100 certifications indicates the commercial property sector’s commitment to sustainability and resource efficiency. Green buildings are becoming more attractive to both tenants and potential investors, largely due to their triple-bottom line commitments to profit, social sustainability, and environmental sustainability. Growthpoint have displayed incredible green building leadership given their innovative sustainability initiatives deployed and the number of certified properties in their portfolio. ”

Kirstenhoff Office Park is one of 10 properties that Growthpoint submitted as part of the GBCSA’s Green Star SA EBP Pilot rating tool, and builds on Growthpoint’s track record of supporting new green building innovation.

It co-sponsored the GBCSA’s Energy and Water Benchmarking Tool and is also taking part in the pilot programme for the Green Star SA Socio-Economic Category. It has also partnered with the GBCSA for the Greenovate Awards pilot which encourages students of the built environment to find ways to live more sustainably and helps link environmental challenges to innovative thinking.

Pienaar explains that Growthpoint recognises the significant benefits of green building and is committed to driving it forward in its own substantial portfolio of properties.

“Green building is a win-win for building occupiers and owners. Green buildings are also good business. They provide lower total occupancy costs for tenants, are proven to deliver higher returns for owners and are designed to have positive impacts on their surrounding communities and environment. Green buildings also have significant benefits for employee wellbeing and productivity,” he says.

Growthpoint’s energy-efficient and environmentally innovative ethos sets its properties apart. Growthpoint targets at least a GBCSA Green Star SA 4-Star ‘As Built’ certification for all its future new office developments. Also, all its office buildings have been benchmarked against the GBCSA’s Energy and Water Performance Rating Tool.

Source: cbn


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