The Precinct, a three-building office development located at the entrance to Grand Baie, Mauritius, has become the first commercial development in Africa to achieve an EcoDistrict certification.
“The EcoDistrict’s protocol is a rigorous, sustainable urban development framework for achieving people-centred, economically vibrant neighbourhood and district-scale sustainability,” says Greg Pearson, CEO, and co-founder of Gateway Real Estate Africa (GREA), a subsidiary of Grit Real Estate Income Group and developer of The Precinct.
“An EcoDistrict certification provides another layer to our quest for responsible real estate development and a zero-carbon footprint. It is complementary to the 5-Star Green Star Certified Rating that Unity Building at The Precinct achieved not so long ago.”
In addition to this landmark asset, Gateway Real Estate Africa has also developed the recently launched Artemis Curepipe Hospital and it is currently constructing the Artemis Coromandel Oncology Centre, both in Mauritius.
“A big catalyst in becoming the first commercial development in Africa to achieve EcoDistrict status, is collaboration. Although the technical support and implementation was driven by Grit and Gateway Real Estate Africa’s development team, the input, commitment, and participation of tenants such as Dentons and Workshop 17, non-governmental organisations, and others in our family of partnerships played a pivotal role in achieving this successful rating,” adds Shevira Bissessor, Chief Operating Officer of GREA and Head of ESG for Grit.
“The EcoDistrict certification is based primarily on three imperatives, namely equity, resilience, and climate protection. Evaluators further consider six priority areas, including place, prosperity, health and wellness, connectivity, living infrastructure and resource generation in their process.”
“A large part of the EcoDistrict certification is focused on guiding our way to a zero-carbon footprint in future. To maintain the certification, our progress against set goals and targets will be measured every two years.”
The development currently comprises of Unity Building, a futuristic office development that integrates staff wellbeing and work-life harmony in its design. In addition to Unity Building, a further two office developments, Freedom and Harmony will be constructed over time.
Pearson explains that where the 5-Star Green Star rating is a certification tool applicable to a specific building, the EcoDistrict certification encapsulates a progressive approach to the sustainable development of a district rather than an individual building.
By adhering to the requirements of the EcoDistrict protocols, companies can collectively and individually make their businesses and the development stronger and more sustainable.
Independent consultants Solid Green advised on both the EcoDistrict certification as well as Unity Building’s 5-Star Green Star rating.
Grit is the anchor tenant of The Precinct, accommodating the group’s global headquarters.
“Having a landmark calling card in the form of The Precinct provides no better opportunity to showcase the world-class standards that can be achieved in Africa,” says Bronwyn Knight, co-founder, and CEO of Grit.
“The story of The Precinct is one of showcasing Africa’s talent. It’s designed to set a global standard in Africa to house multinational tenants who do business on the continent. At its core, The Precinct is about bringing together like-minded professionals and entrepreneurs to collaborate on ideas and initiatives that will both shape and change the future.”