Growthpoint Properties' custom developed industrial and office facility for multinational group Grundfos in Germiston has been awarded a 5-Star Green Star SA Office Design v1 rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).
This landmark rating is even more remarkable as it is the first to be given to an integrated industrial and office facility in South Africa.
Growthpoint Properties Industrial Division Head, Engelbert Binedell comments: "From design to construction and operation, sustainable development was a key priority for Growthpoint and Grundfos. We are delighted that our strong push in energy-efficiency and green building has achieved this ground-breaking rating for integrated office and industrial property, especially considering that South Africa does not yet have an official green building rating tool for industrial properties."
He adds the rating is even more meaningful as it has been achieved in conjunction with Grundfos, a company that is fully committed to environmental sustainability. "By working with our clients to understand their businesses and their property needs, we can deliver tailored cutting-edge green facilities with competitive rentals, without compromising quality."
Growthpoint has firmly established itself as South Africa's leader in leasable green business space. Growthpoint now owns seven of some 50 buildings to achieve SA Green Star certification so far. It also leads the real estate sector in carbon disclosure in Africa, and has won numerous green building and environmental awards.
Growthpoint is also in the JSE's Socially Responsible Investment Index (SRI Index) for its positive environmental, social and economic sustainability practices and corporate governance.
"As a property company that owns a number of properties in our list of more than 50 Green Star certified projects, Growthpoint has yet again risen to the challenge with the Grundfos development in Germiston," says Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).
"Green building demonstrates leadership and inspires innovation. Building resource-efficient structures that are environmentally-sustainable and cost-effective challenges project teams and developers to push the boundaries, in the process setting new benchmarks for their peers and taking the green building movement to new levels," he adds. "We cannot dispute the integral part the tenant and landlord relationship plays in the operation and occupation of an operationally efficient and sustainable building. We have seen proven benefits such as increased staff retention and productivity, improved asset performance, reduced exposure to regulatory changes, reduced operational costs and reputational enhancement," says Wilkinson.
The ground-breaking Grundfos green building in Meadowbrook, Germiston, is a 10,000sqm state-of-the-art facility that seamlessly integrates 3,500m² of office space and 6,500m² of high-spec warehousing for the group's South African business.
Grundfos is the world's largest manufacturer of circulator pumps, covering around 50% of the world market for these pumps. It also produces other centrifugal pumps for industry, water supply, waste water and dosing. Grundfos operates in over 40 offices worldwide and has been in South Africa for over 15 years. Grundfos South Africa is responsible for sales in 45 other African countries.
When developing the environmentally-innovative facility, Growthpoint's brief from Grundfos was to consolidate its then separate warehousing and offices into a new facility on a single property that would improve productivity and cost savings. It also required its production facilities to place as little strain as possible on our surroundings and the environment.
"The intent was to develop a high-tech industrial facility that is at the forefront of green building design and sustainability. The 5-Star Green rating that has been awarded to the facility is a significant endorsement as the team achieved what they set out to do," says Leon Labuschagne of Growthpoint Properties Development division.
The project applied extensive recycling of materials for reuse in the development. Its design and construction incorporate the best international standards, adapted to South African conditions – from orienting the building to energy-efficient lighting, motion sensors and rainwater harvesting.
Grundfos, which took occupation of its new facility in early 2013 on a long-term lease, also contributed its specialist expertise to the building's design. The building features a water treatment plant, connected with solar driven pumps to a rain water harvesting system. All the above contribute to saving energy and water, creating a showcase of Grundfos' products in real working conditions.
Labuschagne notes that ensuring excellent functionality was as important as creating an efficient, sustainable facility. Grundfos's facility incorporates the latest specifications in industrial building design: flat floors, backup electricity supply, solar panels and three wind turbines. The building also features recreation and entertainment facilities.
"Growthpoint is pleased to have furthered Grundfos's responsible, forward thinking and innovative approach to business. We share this outlook and strive to operate our own business in this way," says Binedell.
Growthpoint Properties is a JSE ALSI Top 40 Index company with consolidated property assets valued at R63,1 billion. Growthpoint owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 388 properties in South Africa, 49 properties in Australia through its investment in GOZ and a 50% interest in the properties at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.