Roy Cokayne

A new global head office building is being developed in Sandton for medical aid and life assurance group Discovery at a cost of more than R2.5 billion.

The 86 000m2 building will be Discovery’s hub for the growing international business that operates in South Africa, the US, UK, China and Singapore and will house all of Discovery’s more than 5 000 employees who now work in four different buildings in central Sandton.

The building is being developed by Growthpoint in partnership with Zenprop Property Holdings. Growthpoint has a 55 percent share and will invest R1.4bn, with Zenprop contributing the balance.

The development is expected to be completed by mid-2017 with all employees relocated to their new office space by January 2018 and Discovery leasing the office space over a long-term period.

James Tannenberger, the chief executive of Zenprop, said the building would consist of two wings and the design would allow for a phased approach to growing the headquarters as Discovery continued to expand operations.

Tannenberger said in addition to the benefit of having all employees in one location, Discovery would also save costs on rental and maintenance as the new building would be more efficient.

He said the building would have a Green Building Council of SA green building accredited rating of at least four stars, making it one of Sandton’s most environmentally sustainable and efficient buildings.

Growthpoint divisional director for offices Rudolf Pienaar said it was excited to partner with Discovery and Zenprop on what would be a Sandton landmark.

“Discovery’s brief was to design an efficient and modern building that is good for the environment and provides an inviting space for their employees to deliver their best. Most importantly, the new building design had to accommodate their future growth without wasting space, time or money,” he said.

John Robertson, an executive director at Discovery, said the company had grown significantly over the past few years in terms of current businesses as well as new ventures and initiatives.

“Over the past few years, our headcount in the Sandton campus has grown each year by an average 6 percent. In reviewing our current office space it has become clear that we will quickly need more space to meet our long-term capacity needs,” he said.