Growing trend towards going green in commercial property renovation projects

Businesses today are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibilities regarding going ‘green’ and the cost-related and associated benefits of doing so, says Theuns Eksteen, project manager for Excellerate Facilities Management.

View of the completed façade after the renovation project completed by Excellerate Facilities Management for Innovatec Africa at 150 Rivonia Road, Sandton.
“In our line of work, we are constantly involved in renovations and tenant installations carried out on behalf of a wide range of companies. Such projects are an ongoing occurrence in the commercial property market, as generally when a tenant relocates from a building and a new tenant moves in, the space is renovated.”
Eksteen says of interest is that the move towards conserving resources is prompting a new trend which is likely to become increasingly popular - namely to salvage and re-use old materials in renovation projects.

The principle of recycling was applied in a recent renovation project undertaken by Excellerate Facilities Management on behalf of Innovatec Africa, a training and technology solutions company which was relocating to a standalone commercial property of approximately 3100sqm on a prominent site in Marion Office Park at 150 Rivonia Road in Sandton. Launched in 2013, Innovatec Africa is a rapidly expanding business with partners in Africa and a growing client base in South Africa.
Says Eksteen: “Situated in a prime location on the Gautrain route and highly accessible to various forms of transport, the building was dated and in need of modernisation. The internal configuration also needed to be redesigned to suit the specific requirements of the new tenant, which included training facilities catering for 320 delegates per day and a 120-seater auditorium.

View of the executive board room at Innovatec Africa.

“We were commissioned to provide a turnkey solution, with the scope of works to project manage the renovation of an existing office environment and transform it into a world class training facility. This required 13 classrooms seating between four and 18 delegates, two exam centres, a high end executive boardroom with lounge and state of the art conferencing facilities, auditorium seating 120 people with a private pause and lounge area, a dedicated coffee shop and a canteen able to cater for 500 plus servings per day. Being well positioned within the Sandton precinct, most of the facilities are rented out to external companies for training, functions, events and meetings or conferences.
“There was a very demanding and tight deadline as Innovatec Africa had to move out of its former premises  due to lease expiry and also because they were launching a business venture on 1 July (2014). Planning of the project and the approval process took approximately a month to finalise, with actual construction commencing on site during the second week in May. With all the contractors and involved parties working together to achieve this very tight deadline, practical completion of the project was completed on the last day of June, enabling them to move into the new training rooms and proceed with their business venture on schedule.”

View of the Innovatec Africa’s revamped reception area.
Eksteen says it was rewarding to work with a client concerned about the environment and ‘green’ conscious. “Due to this, we tried to savage and re-use as much as possible from site. Some of the materials we managed to salvage and utilise include doors, door frames, ceiling tiles, blinds, glass panels and carpets. Even most of the existing furniture was refurbished and stained in order to present a new, ‘out of the box’ look. With these savings taken into account, the physical renovations were completed at a cost of approximately R3 million.”
In addition to Excellerate Facilities Management’s involvement, other services provided by Excellerate Property Services group of companies include Fresh Canteen, which manages the canteen and coffee shop; pest control by Eradico; cleaning and hygiene by Sterikleen and internal landscaping by Greenmachine.

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