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The rcent announcement by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance that it has concluded finance agreements for two green building developments in Johannesburg brings to eight the number of green-star-rated buildings in which South Africa’s green bank has been actively involved in recent years. Nedbank either owns or occupies five of them as a sole or major tenant
The two new green building projects are the A-Grade Lakeview development in Roodepoort and the Newtown Quarter Development in Newtown, Johannesburg. Both have been rated 4-star Green Star by the Green Building Council of SA.
In addition to providing the financial backing for the developments, Nedbank will be occupying both buildings as a primary tenant.
The well-located Lakeview development is bounded by William Nicol Drive, Hendrik Potgieter Avenue and Constantia Boulevard.
The first phase of the development will see the construction of 21 200m² of mostly open plan office space that will be occupied by the bank. The Newtown Quarter Development is a mixed-use precinct comprising 36 000m² of A-grade office space and 39 000m² of retail space.
With the first Green Star-rated South African building having been the second phase of Nedbank’s head office in Sandton in October 2009, we are proud of the fact that by the end of last year, Nedbank Corporate Property Finance had financed in excess of R2 billion worth of green buildings.
This level of investment represents solid proof of our commitment to the establishment of a highly sustainable and environmentally-friendly built environment in South Africa, one that helps to tangibly promote environmental preservation while driving the realisation of our country’s vision for a truly green economy.
However, in addition to being an extension of the bank’s overall sustainability commitment, there is a compelling business case for investing in, or owning, green buildings.
When one considers the proven benefits of reduced long-term operating costs, lower reliance on scarce natural resources, enhanced employee productivity and higher long-term property investment returns, the case for greener buildings becomes patently clear. This is undoubtedly further reinforced when considering the increasingly challenging economic and environmental backdrop against which all buildings now exist and are required to operate.
Given that buildings generate 30 percent of the world’s carbon footprint, the importance of greening South Africa’s built environment cannot be over-emphasised.
Through its continued investment into sustainable building design, construction and operation, Nedbank is working to play its part in facilitating a greener future for the country as a whole.
Ken Reynolds is the Nedbank Corporate Property Finance divisional executive for Gauteng.