New WWF green building a Johannesburg landmark

Independent family owned construction firm Giuricich Bros Construction has increased its presence in the retail development sector by securing the lucrative building contracts for the new 45 000m² Springs Mall at Blue Crane Eco Park and the 15 000m² expansion of the well-established Vaal Mall.

WWF South Africa’s new Johannesburg office building, which was recently awarded a 6 Star Green Star SA Office Design rating by the Green Building Council of SA. Giuricich Bros Construction was the main contractor on the project.

While construction on these major Gauteng mall projects are well underway, Giuricich Bros are celebrating their work done on the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) South Africa’s ground-breaking new Johannesburg green office building. The building in Braamfontein CBD was completed by Giuricich Bros last year, and was recently awarded six-star Green Star SA Office Design rating by the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA).

Gerard Giuricich, a director at Giuricich Bros Construction, says that together, Springs Mall and Vaal Mall represent projects of over R1.4 billion.

“Although we have undertaken retail developments in the past, these new mall projects are our largest retail developments as the main contractors. Springs Mall is an all-new regional shopping centre and a particularly significant project for Giuricich Bros and the family, as we are also shareholders in the development,” he says.

Giuricich says the group has played a key role in helping to unlock the Springs Mall development, which was first punted by the Springs-based D’Arrigo family several years back. Construction on the mall finally broke ground last year. Besides the Giuricich and D’Arrigo families, the other shareholders in the development include leading shopping centre developers and leasing specialists, Flanagan & Gerard Property Development and Investment; and, noted JSE listed retail focused REIT, Vukile Property Fund.

“It is great to be associated with experts in the retail development and investment sector through the Springs Mall project. As a billion rand retail development with over 150 stores, the mall is a major investment in Springs and is going to be a world-class regional shopping destination in the area when it opens in March 2017,” says Giuricich.

“As a result of our association with Flanagan & Gerard on the Springs Mall development we tendered for the Vaal Mall project. We secured the construction contract for the expansion of Vaal Mall, which is jointly owned by Flanagan & Gerard and Sycom Property Fund/Growthpoint Properties. This 15 000m² expansion will take the mall to 65 000m² in size and entrench it as a dominant regional shopping centre in the Vaal Triangle,” he says.

Giuricich believes the company’s involvement as the main contractor in construction of both the Springs Mall and Vaal Mall projects puts it in good stead for the future, by increasing its expertise in larger scale retail developments. Giuricich Bros has a construction industry pedigree going back seven decades and has been involved with several landmark construction projects across South Africa.

These include the redevelopment of the iconic Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks; building McDonalds restaurants countrywide; the 20 West Street Capital Hotel building in Sandton; the original BMW head-office in Midrand; recent motor dealerships for Mercedes Benz, KIA and Hyundai; switch-centres country-wide for MTN; and, as one of the contractors in the original development of well-known shopping centres such as Fourways Mall, Southgate and Rosebank Mall.

The new WWF offices in Johannesburg is one of the group’s latest office developments. Nicky Giuricich, a fellow director at Giuricich Bros Construction, led this project and says it was challenging and hugely rewarding, due to the ambitious green building goals of the development.

“We tendered for and won the contract for this prestigious construction job in 2012. It was not a big contract in value, but was of significance because WWF is a high-profile client and the cutting-edge nature of its new green office building.

“Besides its green building design features such as bigger windows for more natural light, rain water harvesting and a sewage treatment plant on site, the old building on the site could not be demolished, but had to rather be deconstructed. We had to keep the original façade of the old building and re-use all the old bricks and even the wood in construction of the new building. It was a remarkable project to be involved with, and the reuse of materials from the original building was one of the main contributing factors to its green star rating.”

The three-storey WWF building getting a six-star Green Star SA Office Design certification from the GBCSA signifies world leadership in green building and is the highest green rating that a building can receive. It was designed by architect Simon Cretney, and the green building consultant on the project was Richard Duckitt of Bornman and Associates.

Giuricich Bros Construction was established in 1940 in Johannesburg by the late Nicolò and Cesare Giuricich, and has become one of SA’s largest privately owned and managed construction companies. Celebrating 75 years in business, Giuricich Bros Construction is based in Gauteng and Cape Town, and undertakes contracts countrywide.

In line with South Africa’s empowerment policies, Giuricich Bros Construction recently maintained its Level Three BEE rating.

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