Growthpoint receives world-leading green building certification

Published on: 28/10/2020

The Growthpoint Properties owned and developed Exxaro head office in Centurion, Gauteng, has achieved 6-Star As-Built rating from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) under the Green Star New Build certification system.

Green building certification integrates a broad spectrum of green initiatives, and a 6-Star As-Built rating confirms via independent third-party verification that these initiatives have been implemented at a global leadership level.

The 18,500sqm building was conceptualised in a collaboration of Growthpoint’s Trading and Development team and Exxaro, and delivered by exceptional professionals. It is an excellent example of how Growthpoint’s development projects exceed expectations.

Exxaro’s head office is the second development in Growthpoint’s portfolio to achieve a world-leading 6-Star As Built rating. Earlier this year, One Discovery Place earned the same certification, outperforming its original 5-Star Design rating by achieving greater reductions in carbon emissions. The iconic 112,000sqm resource-efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-innovative Discovery head office in Sandton Central was developed in a joint venture by Growthpoint and Zenprop Property Holdings and is owned by Growthpoint (55%) and Zenprop (45%).

Grahame Cruickshanks, Growthpoint’s head of sustainability and utilities, comments, “To retain Growthpoint’s status as a green building leader among SA REITs, we believe it is important to progress our strategy by exploring new opportunities. We have intensified our focus on renewable energy with clean solar power, continuing our journey towards the goal of zero waste to landfill, and developing, testing and, in due course, implementing a carbon-neutral strategy.”

Growthpoint’s commitment to green building utilises certification strategically according to the property tenancy, age, grade and location. Ratings include world leadership (6 Star), South African excellence (5 Star) and best practice (4 Star). Growthpoint currently owns the biggest portfolio of green-certified buildings in South Africa, presently comprising 102 properties and an additional 10 buildings at the V&A. “Growthpoint is future-proofing its assets in a market where climate change and resource availability have become key risks for long-term business sustainability,” explains Cruickshanks.

The MSCI South Africa Green Annual Property Index has repeatedly demonstrated better returns on certified green office buildings. Driven by much better capital returns, the total return for green-certified offices significantly outperformed non-certified offices.

As well as environmental and financial benefits, green buildings have positive effects on the people who use them. Exxaro’s green certified head office provides it with enhanced resource efficiency in an optimal working environment, with indoor environmental quality being among the categories covered in Green Star certification. For Exxaro, this has been taken to an exceptionally high standard, resulting in its WELL rating – a first for Africa. The WELL Building Standard is a global rating system focused exclusively on how buildings, and everything in them, can enhance health and wellness. Scientific and medical research and leading property expertise form the basis of WELL.

The Exxaro headquarters demonstrate excellent client and property-owner alignment on delivering a world-class facility where people’s positive experience at the workplace is a priority. This vision was made real with the backing of a brilliant professional team, says Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint’s Chief Development and Investment Officer.

Local and global studies show that better indoor air quality, lighting and acoustics lead to an improvement in people’s health, well-being and cognitive performance.

This supports the relevance and functionality of the workplace when there is much change taking place in this field,” points out Paul Kollenberg, Growthpoint’s Head of Asset Management: Office. He adds, Growthpoint’s portfolio of highly efficient office buildings achieve a lower cost of occupancy for clients, a lighter impact on the environment and a better return for investors. The signature Exxaro and Discovery buildings exemplify the calibre of offices in our portfolio. These are the types of workspaces that we believe our clients are going to want in order to support their employees’ health and well-being and their businesses’ performance.