Standard Bank’s Rosebank development earns 5 Green Stars

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The R2.7 billion Standard Bank’s Rosebank new office development has achieved a 5 Green Star rating certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). The R2.7 billion Standard Bank’s Rosebank new office development has achieved a 5 Green Star rating certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

The R2.7 billion Standard Bank’s Rosebank new office development has achieved a 5 Green Star rating certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

The office development joins eight other buildings in South Africa to have achieved a five-star Green Star rating, and adds to the number of financial institutions and companies moving into "green buildings".

About 10% of the 5,000 employees to be housed in the building at 30 Baker Street have moved in, while the remainder are expected to move in by the end of the year.

The trend towards green buildings is expected to accelerate, pushed by escalating electricity costs and pressure on companies, especially multinationals, to locate themselves in more sustainable offices.

According to the Green Building Council of South Africa, there are 37 certified "green buildings" in the country, while a further 87 registered buildings are aiming to achieve a Green Star South Africa rating.

Three buildings have attained the highest possible six-star Green Star rating, including the Department of Environmental Affairs’ head office, which was a first for a national government-owned building in South Africa. Nine buildings have five-star ratings, including Absa Towers West in Johannesburg, Nedbank’s Menlyn Maine building in Tshwane and Standard Bank’s Rosebank office.

Rory Roriston, head of Standard Bank Real Estate Asset Management, said the development had achieved the five-star rating without substantial additional costs. Attaining a Green Star rating had cost only about 3% more than the same building without sustainable features would have cost, he said.

In addition, "it makes financial sense" to develop a sustainable building, given steeply rising electricity prices and the planned implementation of carbon taxes.

Standard Bank expects rain-water harvesting at the building to reduce water demand by up to 50%, while the building makes use of a gas-powered tri-generation plant — South Africa’s second. With a production capacity of 1MW, the bank expects the plant to significantly reduce the office’s carbon footprint, while allowing it a certainty of electricity supply. The building also scored high with the Green Building Council in terms of its natural lighting, thanks to its glass facade.

Among listed property players, sector-giant Growthpoint Properties is punted as being the biggest driver of green buildings. Other smaller funds that have a strong sustainable focus include Vunani Property Investment Fund and Tower Property Fund, which listed last week.

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Green Buildings in South Africa  |  Green Building Council of South Africa (Gbcsa)  |  Standard Bank  |  Standard Bank Rosebank  |  Rory Roriston