Nedbank’s Green building receives six-star rating
Nedbank Namibia’s green head office, located in the central business district received a six-star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), one of about 75 members of the World Green Building Council, making it the first building in Namibia to receive this accolade.
The stunning Nedbank campus, completed in 2022, was designed with sustainability and environmental impact in mind. With a highly efficient approach to technological energy consumption, the campus features several energies- and water-saving solutions, including a solar panel roof structure and rainwater harvesting systems.
Martha Murorua, Managing Director of Nedbank Namibia, announced with great pride that this accolade is not only excellent news for Nedbank Namibia, but also a first for the country. In addition, it is a significant feather in Namibia’s cap for the manner in which it showcases the quality of Namibian workmanship. ‘Our hope is that it will inspire other businesses in Namibia to adopt more sustainable practices. As one of the major players within corporate Namibia, we are constantly looking for ways to do good for Namibia and achieving such a rare milestone provides great sustenance for our efforts in this regard’, said Murorua.
Namibia Construction, the principal contractor on the project, understands the importance of sustainability in construction. They are proud to be leading the way in facilities with this certification and strive to make a positive impact as a responsible corporate citizen. The six-star rating represents their commitment to best-practice design and construction methods that create comfortable and sustainable spaces.
Pewer Fourie, a representative of the Emcon Consulting Group, who was part of the design team and managed the building project, said that some buildings in Windhoek have achieved a five-star rating, which in itself represents national excellence. ‘Global and social pressures around sustainability will undoubtedly lead to more building owners adopting green designs – not only from a sustainability perspective, but also from a reduced operational cost and more attractive funding perspective’.
Janus van der Merwe, the sustainability consultant, echoed these sentiments and added that for now, their goal is to educate as many Namibians as possible about the benefits of sustainable building design and construction. ‘Nedbank took the first step in the right direction, and future developers would be smart to follow suit.’
The six-star rating started with a vision of Nedbank leadership. To achieve this outcome, they selected a professional team that is passionate about sustainable design with the capability to manage green building projects. All professionals and contractors had contractual obligations to implement, track and report on green-star processes, and an independent commissioning consultant was involved to ensure compliance with sustainable design, commissioning, and maintenance aspects.
This stunning building incorporates 92% of strengthening steel and a substitution of 47% Portland cement with fly ash, while an impressive 93% of waste generated during construction was recycled. Added to that, double-glazed windows consisting of etched glass were integrated into the facades, allowing for increased internal thermal comfort as well as reduced noise pollution all resulting in a reduction of the energy load required for cooling, which is the primary energy consumer in a building of this nature.
Transformational energy and water efficiency were achieved through the installation of 100% LED lighting throughout the building, in combination with an advanced building management system. Low-flow fixtures were installed to optimise usage, while abundant external views and natural light decreased reliance on artificial illumination during daytime hours, and at the same time creating a more inspiring environment for employees and clients. Motion-detection-enabled lights switch on only when spaces are occupied, and solar PV panels paired up with low volatile organic component materials help deliver emission reductions of 90%.
Kerry McNamara Architects Inc, who are corporate members of the Green Building Council of Namibia, says their role as architects in helping the design and construction team with the new Nedbank campus was thoughtfully executed, with the environment and employee well-being in mind. An impressive network of recycling facilities increases fresh air supply above building regulation requirements, and the convenient amenities for cyclists, such as lockers and showers, exemplify Nedbank’s commitment to sustainability while promoting healthier lifestyle choices for employees.
All of these features make the Nedbank campus six-star rating a representation of ‘World Leadership’ in sustainable building practices, and it stands to provide inspiration for others as the benchmark of progress. Earning this impressive accolade was no easy feat. Elri Syfert, a Namibian sustainability consultant, emphasised that green building measures must be evaluated by independent assessors before they can award such an esteemed honour.