Financial services giant Alexander Forbes’ new headquarters in Sandton received a 4-Star Green Star office design v1 rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) on Tuesday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the building, situated at 115 West street, in the Sandton central business district, Alexander Forbes CEO Edward Kieswetter noted that there were a couple of aspects that made the building unique, the first being the design.
He added that the building, which was developed and owned by Zenprop Property Holdings and designed by Paragon Architects, had a number of green elements.
“One example is the use of motion sensing activation for lighting, which only activates when people are near, while the exterior scallops of the building are a fin-shaped design that implements the natural movement of the sun to ensure for lighting and natural shading, which reduces the need to cool down the building with airconditioning.”
The construction of the building, which was carried out by a WBHO-Tiber joint venture, took 22 months to complete and boasts 43 000 m3 of “green concrete”.
GBCSA CEO Brian Wilkinson said it was encouraging to see “iconic structures” of a green nature being built, as the built sector was particularly taxing on the environment. “Almost 13% of harmful emissions emanate from the built environment, while it also accounts for 12% of freshwater use.
“Green building not only cuts down these expenditures, but also holds a number of benefits. A green building can save as much as 50% on its electricity costs, which bodes well for a company in the light of all the rising power costs. Further, healthy buildings are also a nicer place to work, and studies have shown that people are 20% more productive in a green building, with less sick days being reported,” Wilkinson said.
The Alexander Forbes building will host about 2 500 of the group’s employees.