Standard Chartered’s new Lusaka H/O the first Zambian office building to receive an EDGE certification

Standard Chartered Bank's new head office in Lusaka.

Standard Chartered Bank’s new head office in Lusaka is the first office building in Zambia to receive an EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) certification.

The building was developed by Novare Equity Partners, a business unit of the Novare Group, a provider of investment solutions to institutional investors with a focus on Africa.

Standard Chartered House not only successfully achieved an EDGE certification, but it also exceeded the criteria by achieving over 50% reduction in energy usage, a 55% reduction in water usage and 34% less energy embodied in materials against a target of 20% for each.


The most energy efficient window to wall ratio was considered in the design of the building and the materials used. Greater thermal efficiency was achieved through the application of an insulating screed to the roof slab, use of higher thermal performance glass (high-spec double glazing or ‘low E’), the strategic implementation of shading systems and the application of a reflective roof colour.

A variable refrigerant flow (VRF) cooling system was designed for the building to ensure a varied flow of refrigerant to cool down any indoor units on demand. The installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels provides additional shading on the roof, which also contributes to a reduction in the need for using air conditioning. The panels being an alternative form of energy, ensure a reduction of carbon footprint.

LED energy saving light bulbs were used throughout the building, supplemented by occupancy sensors in select areas such as the bathrooms and conference rooms.


All bathrooms have been fitted with low-flow faucets, dual flush water closets, and waterless urinals. Low flow aerators were fitted on the taps to restrict the water flow to 2.9 litres per minute. All kitchen sinks were also fitted with water-efficient faucets. An onsite borehole, water treatment plant and purification system provide alternative sources of water.


The internal environmental quality (IEQ) is managed through use of materials with low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. The reinforced concrete frame structure used medium-weight hollow concrete blocks for the walls and areas of insulated dry-walling for internal partitioning.

Achieving a P-grade rating

Standard Chartered House furthermore achieved a P-grade (premium grade) building rating, which is higher than a triple A-grade. In reality, this means that apart from its notable architecture, common areas with exceptional finishes and an exceptional repertoire of amenities and features, it is also an industry pacesetter in technologies and possesses an environmental certification. Some of the key technological features of the building are as follows:

  • Acoustics: The open plan offices and meeting rooms all received a high level of acoustic treatment to absorb sound, eliminate noise and enhance privacy.
  • Building management system (BMS): A world-class BMS links high-level digital ICT infrastructure, efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and LED lights with occupancy sensors.
  • Backup power: A critical component of the facilities is an integrated backup power system which includes photovoltaics (PV) and robust protection systems for uninterrupted power supply (UPS).
  • Secure network and server rooms: The offices have raised floors with continuous access to state-of-the-art server and network rooms that are both secured and safeguarded against fire by advanced fire suppression systems.
  • Digital display screens: Interactive electronic signs were selected for the external building signage, to allow immediate updates of images and branding.
  • Online booking system: All meeting rooms are connected to an online booking system, to support optimal operations.
  • Security: The building is supported by a cutting-edge, computerised security system, including a CCTV network that covers the entire building, as well as barrier systems at all access points.