Sandton has had a rich history over the past decade of green buildings and has continued this trend with many current projects on the go currently.
There are several ground-breaking new office buildings in Sandton Central that are green developments. This includes the multi-billion rand new Discovery head office by Growthpoint and Zenprop, Sasol’s new global headquarters, and, Alice Lane Phase III, by Abland and Pivotal Property Fund. These developments are some of the largest green buildings in Africa.
The first Green Star rated building in the country to be officially certified by GBCSA was Nedbank Phase II, which is the landmark head office of Nedbank on Rivonia in the Sandton CBD. The building boasts a rainwater harvesting system and blackwater treatment system, an energy-efficient lighting system as well as highly efficient water fixtures and fittings.
The financial sector, who make it their business to focus on successful long-term investments are embracing green buildings as they have recognised that investments in green buildings can produce measurable value, such as increased rental rates & asset value, reduced risk of depreciation, higher tenant attraction and retention rates.
Because developers are aware of increasing utility costs, potential carbon taxes and stricter regulations when it comes to rental premises, they have recognised that green buildings can fetch lease premiums and retain tenants for longer than conventional buildings.
Even tenants today are increasingly requesting green buildings as they provide a healthier and more productive environment for their employees. They also reduce the consumption of energy and other resources, which is becoming more and more important. Tenants, particularly in the commercial office sector, are requesting green office environments with large open plan office space that create a more creative environment for their employees. This helps them retain staff and create a better and more proactive working environment.
“Developers, particularly in Sandton, have recognized that there are strong environmental benefits for building green as well as a persuasive business case.” Says Alex Oberholzer, Sandton Area Specialist at Knight Frank South Africa. “Going green is not only about the environment, the financial benefits of green buildings are important when considering our county’s rising energy costs and water scarcity. Our Investors and Developers also find green building value in lower risks, improvements to tenants vacancy and ultimately, better investment returns and higher property valuations” says Alex.
Today, green buildings can be delivered at a price comparable to conventional buildings and investments can be recouped through operational cost savings and, with the right design features, create a more productive workplace.
To gain a Green Star SA rating the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) looks at a number of categories to assess the environmental impact of a project’s site selection, design and construction. Points are awarded for each credit within an environmental category. Green Star SA weighting factors are applied and a Green Star SA rating is awarded. A project cannot publicly claim a Green Star rating unless the Green Building Council SA has certified the project. The weighting factors are specific to each different tool to reflect the distinct environmental concerns in different market sectors.
Green Star SA is based on the internationally-respected Australian Green Star rating system, and has been customised for the South African context. It is a voluntary rating system designed to allow the commercial property sector to independently rate and certify buildings and developments via a common green building ‘language’.
The Sandton skyline is made up of beautifully designed commercial buildings that host some of the most impressive office spaces on our continent. With majority of the new developments showcasing green alternatives to the more traditional buildings, we see a greater growth in this already popular trend.
Are you considering a new green office environment for your business? Contact us to find out how you can move towards a greener future for you, your employees and the environment.