Growthpoint’s latest development to complete green city block in uMhlanga

Growthpoint Properties is putting R117.3 million into a new green office development, in its latest investment in the Parkside precinct of uMhlanga New Town Centre.

Artist’s impression of The Boulevard, which has been designed to be a showpiece of green design in uMhlanga.

Construction on phase one of The Boulevard began in November 2014 and is targeted to be completed in March 2016. The potential bulk on the entire site for The Boulevard phase one is 5 441m² of gross lettable area and for the combined two phases is 9 756m². When fully developed, The Boulevard will complete a city block of green buildings in the precinct, providing A Grade office space of 22 000m².

Growthpoint owns and was involved in the development the landmark Lincoln on the Lake and Mayfair on the Lake office buildings in Parkside. Both of these have four star as-built Green Star SA ratings from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). In fact, Lincoln on the Lake received the first four star as-built Green Star rating for a multi-tenanted office building in the country back in 2012.

The Boulevard is also targeting four star design and as-built Green Star SA ratings from the GBCSA. It is one of two new green office developments that Growthpoint has underway in uMhlanga Ridge, north of the Durban city centre. The other is the 6 680m² Ridgeview development in the Ridgeside precinct, which is also earmarked to be four star Green Star SA rated office building.

“Lincoln on the Lake was the first property development in Growthpoint’s portfolio to secure a Green Star SA as built rating from the GBCSA. Now, with development of The Boulevard, a city block of green buildings will be completed right here in uMhlanga,” says Greg de Klerk, Growthpoint regional head for KZN.

Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint’s office division director, says Lincoln on the Lake and Mayfair on the Lake office buildings in uMhlanga New Town Centre were pioneering green building developments in the Growthpoint portfolio.

“We have come a long way and now have six Green Star SA rated buildings in our portfolio countrywide and several more under development, which have been submitted or will be submitted to the GBCSA for Green Star certification.”

Growthpoint has secured international engineering consultancy firm, Royal HaskoningDHV, to lease almost half the space in phase one of The Boulevard. Royal HaskoningDHV will take up the entire top floor and most of the third floor.

Growthpoint’s business relationship with the firm goes beyond the lease. Royal HaskoningDHV is the environmental consultancy and consulting engineering firm on the development. The Boulevard is the fifth Growthpoint green building development on which it has partnered with Royal HaskoningDHV.

“As an anchor tenant we believe it is in the best interest of our employees to design an environmentally-friendly building, towards creating a thriving green urban precinct,” says Dominic Collett of Royal HaskoningDHV. “The Boulevard has been custom-designed to be a cutting-edge showpiece of green design in uMhlanga.”

To comply with the GBCSA’s rating certification, the consultants have carefully built the following elements into the design and construction of the building: environmental management, construction and operational waste management, indoor environment quality management, energy efficiency, reduction of water consumption by harvesting rain water, the structural frame has been opitimised and storm water attenuation reduces peak flows.

“We have incorporated ‘green mobility’ into the design as we prepare the building for a four star GBCSA design rating. These offices are easily accessible to public transport, and will feature an electric bike charging point to allow employees to ride to work and minimise carbon emissions,” says Collett.

The innovation is expected to contribute to decongesting this high density area of vehicle traffic. Growthpoint and Royal HaskoningDHV have also partnered with Cycology on the project in spearheading a new trend of green mobility in urban precincts.

Designed by Elphick Proome Architects and with FWJK the appointed quantity surveyors, The Boulevard’s first phase comprises four levels, which includes arcaded retail space at pavement level, with three levels of offices above ground. In addition, it will have three basement parking levels. The development adds to the “new urbanism” environment within uMhlanga New Town Centre and interfaces with the high street in the precinct, says Collett.

“The office building will be structured around a central landscaped courtyard and the planning envisages restaurants and retail spilling beyond the arcade onto the high street, delivering a lively edge to the street environment.”

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