New Waterfall headoffice development for Group Five gets five green stars

The new Group Five head office in Waterfall City, the first building in Attacq’s flagship development to secure a “5-Star Green Star SA – Office Design v1” rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

One of Attacq’s prime office properties in Waterfall City, the new Group Five Head Office, has been awarded a “5-Star Green Star SA – Office Design v1” rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

The building is one of only seven buildings in Gauteng to receive this prestigious rating. It is also the first building in Waterfall City to receive a Green Star SA rating.

Attacq Waterfall Investment Company (AWIC) holds the development rights to the prestigious Waterfall City with Attacq holding 81.225% of shareholder value and the remaining shareholder value of 18.775% being held by Atterbury Property Holdings. Waterfall City is the largest urban concept development in South Africa positioned to become one of the strongest and most successful nodes within the South African market.

“We are thrilled to achieve this landmark green rating for Group Five’s new headoffice in Waterfall City,” says Morne Wilken, CEO of Attacq. “The building is an asset to our built environment aesthetically, functionally, economically and environmentally. We believe that it is the first of many green ratings to come for Waterfall.”

This leading green building was designed by LYT Architects and benefits from the sustainable design expertise of WSP Africa. The building will also be submitted for an ‘As Built’ Green Star SA rating. The building was completed in January 2014 and valued at R500 million on completion. Bulk earthworks for this 25,500sqm headquarters began in July 2012.

As one of the major construction companies in South Africa, Group Five is in the unique position to appreciate first-hand the benefits of green building, and further this movement in South Africa through its own business practices ensuring a positive impact on our environment. It is therefore greatly significant that Attacq has developed this green building for Group Five.

Mike Upton, CEO of Group Five, says: “This year marks our 40th year as a listed group on the stock exchange. Over the 40 years the group has grown considerably and was eventually accommodated in six separated offices across Gauteng. We are absolutely elated to be able to move all of our employees from different locations in Gauteng to one central multi-purpose office complex in Waterfall City.”

Upton adds: “Moving into the building this year has been greatly meaningful as it has resulted in cross-business collaboration, increased efficiencies and a faster decision making process. We are proud to form part of the development of Waterfall and look forward to continue building a strong relationship with AWIC.”

For Group Five, its new headoffice creates the foundation for greater efficiency through the consolidation of all its smaller offices into one momentous building perfectly situated in Waterfall City.

Waterfall not only joins Modderfontein in the east and reaches beyond Kyalami in the west but also spans land on both sides of the N1 highway, from the Woodmead Interchange through the bustling Buccleuch Interchange all the way through to the Allandale Interchange, closing the gap between northern Sandton and Midrand.

Atterbury Property Developments Director Coenie Bezuidenhout, who is responsible for coordinating Waterfall City, says: “The green building design, facilities and features applied to the new Group Five headoffice ensure its sustainability and efficient operation. Besides having less impact on the environment, this building also has less impact on the bottom line because it is efficient, especially when it comes to energy and water.”

The building is highly energy efficient, from lighting to air handling. It is even equipped with a thermal storage system to reduce peak energy demand on the national grid. It is also water efficient, with specialised water fixtures, xeriscape plants, rainwater capturing, and an air-cooled chiller. Furthermore it is furnished with a zero-wastage fire water system. Opposite a shopping centre with specialised parking spaces for lower emission vehicles such as moped scooters and motorbikes, this non-smoking building features bicycle racks, showers and lockers.

Besides comprising much recycled and responsibly sourced material, the building itself is designed to be as recyclable as possible in the future. Its reinforced steel has a recycling content of at least 90%, it saved 30% of its total PVC content by replacement with other materials. Some 50% of the timber in the building is either Forest Stewardship Council Certified, reused or has a post-consumer recycle content. Furthermore, at least 20% of the materials that make up the building are sourced from within 400km of its site.

Importantly, this green building creates a fantastic work environment with:

  • Fresh air rates 150% higher than required and carbon dioxide monitors to ensure good quality air.
  • Design elements which optimises generous daylight, eliminating glare.
  • Excellent outside views, with 85% external line of site.
  • Individual temperature control and,
  • Usage of low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) paints, carpets sealants etc

The building also keeps its emissions low. This includes reducing gas emissions, sewerage outflows and light pollution.

These environmentally advanced techniques are among the many innovations that earned the new Group Five headoffice at Waterfall its 5-Star Green Star SA rating.

Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA, comments: “The facts of our near future can seem somewhat dire with excessive CO2 emissions, potential catastrophic climate change, electricity supply shortages, water shortages, and the potential lack of solid waste disposal sites. But green building inspires innovation in tackling these issues of our day. Attacq and their partners on this development have made a positive contribution to the green building movement by successfully building a resource-efficient and environmentally-sustainable structure.”

Wilkinson adds: “The development team and the occupants of the building can now not only celebrate the 5-Star Green Star certification of their new headoffice, but can continue to reap the benefits of their green workspace going forward.”