Ninety One recommits to green office refit

Published on: 17/10/2023

Global investment manager with South African roots Ninety One has signed a new long lease with Growthpoint Properties for the building it has been in for more than two decades, signalling its commitment to the Cape Town CBD and environmental sustainability.

Ninety One is based at the Growthpoint-owned 36 Hans Strijdom building in the Cape Town Foreshore, which it shares with Investec. However, next year Investec will be relocating to its new building at the V&A Waterfront.

In a decision that was greatly influenced by Ninety One’s net zero carbon aspirations, after evaluating multiple options for its offices, including new construction, it opted to remain in the current building. The company has signed a 15-year lease for the building’s entire 12,800sqm of lettable area. Utilising the building’s existing concrete structure saves the equivalent amount of carbon as would be generated by two years’ worth of Ninety One’s operations.

Growthpoint will invest a significant amount in a major green revamp of 36 Hans Strijdom, demonstrating its commitment to investing in the Western Cape, and to providing its clients sustainable solutions.

The development is due to start on 1 March 2024 and will take some 15 months to complete. During this time, Ninety One will move to temporary accommodation before returning to its greener home.

Sustainability goals, rather than appearances, have guided the design process for the refreshed building. So, while the green renovation will essentially result in a new building, most changes won’t be visible from the exterior.

Improvements will include an on-site solar plant, high-performance glazing and energy-efficient displacement air conditioning. Energy-consuming escalators will be replaced by circulation stairs in the new layout to reduce energy usage.

Additionally, 36 Hans Strijdom recently became the first building in Cape Town to receive clean, green energy wheeled via the city’s energy grid, as part of the City of Cape Town’s wheeling pilot project, thanks to Growthpoint’s well-established focus on sustainability and green energy and its partnership with licenced electricity trader Etana Energy, which is a selected pilot participant. Solar energy generated at Growthpoint’s The Constantia Village shopping centre is being exported for use at the long-term home of Ninety Once.

Thabo Khojane, Managing Director, Ninety One, says, “We are excited about the refurbishment – it will make our workplace significantly more energy efficient and is aligned with our drive to achieve net zero by 2050. Further, this building has the space to accommodate a growing staff complement, as we are increasingly supporting our growing global business from our SA head office in Cape Town.”

Paul Kollenberg, Growthpoint Properties Head of Asset Management: Offices, says, “Ninety One’s environmentally innovative real estate strategy aligns well with Growthpoint’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050. We are pleased to partner with Ninety One for this flagship green project and extend our longstanding relationship with this iconic South African business.”

Growthpoint’s own environmental commitments have earned it the reputation for being a leader in commercial green developments.