JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Growthpoint Properties has launched the first and only property portfolio in South Africa to be highly rated by the South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) and the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).
This premier portfolio, named the Thrive Portfolio, combines quality and aesthetics with sustainability for the benefit of clients and prioritises the health and wellbeing of the people working in the buildings, Growthpoint Properties MD Estienne de Klerk noted at the portfolio’s launch, in Johannesburg, on Thursday.
The portfolio, which is valued at R16.1-billion, comprises 71 dual-rated office buildings, spanning more than 850 000 m2 of office space, in central locations nationwide.
The property in the portfolio represents almost half of Growthpoint’s total office portfolio.
“It has proven to be a wonderful strategic initiative from Growthpoint’s point of view to extend the Thrive Portfolio, throughout our business,” De Klerk said, noting that Growthpoint aims to have close to 100 buildings certified by the end of the year.
Growthpoint Properties office division director Rudolf Pienaar explained that the Platinum Thrive Portfolio buildings boast a Sapoa Premium- or A-grade rating, as well as a 4 Star, or higher, GBCSA rating, or an Energy and Water Performance (EWP) certification.
The Gold Thrive Portfolio buildings, meanwhile, are Sapoa B-grade rated or higher, and have a GBCSA EWP certification or have received at least a 3-Star Existing Building Performance certification.
The Thrive Portfolio incorporates smart technology that provides occupants with the benefit of electricity and water savings, and Growthpoint transparently shares the numbers to prove reduced energy costs, Pienaar pointed out.
The measurable benefits can easily be seen on the multifunctional Growthpoint App, which includes details about all Thrive Portfolio buildings, as well as near real-time information on electricity and water savings.
Most of the Thrive Portfolio buildings provide standby electricity and water. They maximise productivity through the quality and efficiency of Growthpoint’s award-winning designs that create spaces where businesses can thrive.
These supportive environments are designed to attract and retain the best talent, foster innovation and increase staff productivity to drive businesses forward, says Growthpoint.
“Sustainability has become paramount and office spaces are being recognised as the ideal locations for implementing sustainable solutions, largely due to the amount of time spent in these buildings. Many clients who occupy our buildings are environmentally conscious, and constantly looking for the next innovation to help lessen their carbon footprints, while prioritising the health and wellbeing of their [employees],” Pienaar emphasised.
He, therefore, believes the new Thrive Portfolio to be “an excellent answer for the needs of leading, innovative businesses”.
The CEOs of the GBCSA and Sapoa have endorsed the launch of the Thrive Portfolio, and expressed their pride and excitement at being a part of the offering, with GBCSA CEO Dorah Modise noting that this exclusive new portfolio of Platinum- and Gold-rated Thrive buildings includes many of South Africa’s certified green buildings.
“We believe this venture will bring a wealth of benefits to the industry,” she said.
Sapoa CEO Neil Gopal, meanwhile, added that the association believes that, by consolidating all parties’ unique skills, they will bring “something completely unique and exclusive to the property industry”.
Growthpoint applies workspace design, green building development and well-building standards to create space to thrive. The multifaceted interaction of the related sciences and arts ensures that each Thrive Portfolio building maximises productivity, promotes and celebrates innovation, and makes its buildings places where people want to spend time. It also helps to safeguard its clients’ human capital investments.
The innovative new office portfolio is backed by research from a study conducted by Harvard in 2015, which investigated the impact of green buildings on cognitive function. It revealed that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are directly linked to occupant cognitive performance. Cognitive scores are 61% higher in green buildings (below 1 000 ppm CO2). Added benefits include reduced energy costs, with green buildings paying R2/m2 to R10/m2 less a month. Additionally, water costs are also reduced.
“We realised that the Thrive Portfolio has the potential to do so much more,” Pienaar said, noting that this is an opportunity for clients to attract and retain the best talent, and for the talent to achieve its full potential, innovation, creativity and problem solving, thereby resulting in improved productivity.
As part of its trading and development drive, Growthpoint Properties has undertaken several developments, which include developments for clients or third parties, Growthpoint development head Pieter Engelbrecht highlighted at the launch of the Thrive Portfolio.
South Africa’s largest listed Reit has started development of diversified miner Exxaro Resources’ multimillion-rand corporate headquarters, in Centurion, which will comprise 18 500 m2 of office space. The development is designed for a 4 Star Green Star SA certification from the GBCSA.
Having started earthworks, Growthpoint is on track to hand over the site in April 2019, Engelbrecht said.
Growthpoint has further moved onto site with its 144 Oxford development in Rosebank, Johannesburg, while the 112 000 m2 office development for Discovery, in Sandton, is nearing completion.
Engelbrecht noted that Discovery is expected to move into the first phase of the development next month. The development received a 5 Star Green Star design-rated certification from the GBCSA.
Growthpoint will also hand over an office development, in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, to a financial services provider next month.