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 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 R100 billion. 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.
Says Pienaar: "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 3,830sqm 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.