Banking group Nedbank has unveiled the first of seven Green Star South Africa-rated commercial buildings in South Africa's first 'green' precinct, Menlyn Maine, in Tshwane.
Speaking at the launch on Tuesday evening, Nedbank head of workspace planning Deon Minnie said the R350-million, 16 400 m2 four-star-rated building would house the banking group's 16 regional offices and over 1 000 people.
The move would be complete by mid-July.
The estimated R10-billion Menlyn Maine project involves the development of a 280 000 m2 multiuse precinct comprising seven green-rated commercial buildings over an area of 140 000 m2, 36 000 m2 retail building space, 150 000 m2 hotel space and 85 000 m2 residential land, overlooking 5 700 m2 park areas.
Nedbank, Menlyn Maine's first tenant and owner of three four-star-rated green buildings, including Ridgeside, in Umhlanga, Durban, and Phase Two, in Sandton, aimed to apply for a five-star as-built green rating within the next two months.
The eight story building, with four office floors and four basements, hosted, besides others, sensor-monitored air conditioning and lighting, a 52-bicycle 'parking' area, a dedicated recycling centre, a 17 m tall vertical garden, recycled plastic 'grass carpets' in recreational areas and dedicated parking bays for hybrid vehicles and scooters.
Nedbank CEO Mike Brown noted that everything in the building, which was constructed from used bricks and other recycled materials, was reusable or recyclable.
Nedbank believed the building would minimise the group's environmental impact and lead to a happier work environment, which would increase productivity and improve client services.
Minnie commented that, while the cost of constructing the green building was higher than the cost of standard buildings, Nedbank expected more cost-effective maintenance and operational use over the long-term.
The group aimed to benchmark the maintenance and operation costs of the new building against the combined costs of the 16 regional premises over the next two months.