Nedbank’s star performance in Existing Buildings

Nedbank’s star performance in Existing Buildings

While many Green Star certifications are done for new builds, property owners are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of shifting to a sustainable approach to managing their existing buildings.

Under the GBCSA’s Existing Building Performance (EBP) tool, Nedbank has recently achieved 4-Star ratings for its Clocktower, Plattekloof, and Park Square Campus branches.

As existing buildings represent the bulk of our building infrastructure, their improvement provides by far the biggest greening opportunity on a building level. While greening initiatives can be implemented in a major refurbishment, a bigger impact can be made in greening operations.

Taking a closer look at energy, water and waste processes contributes to more efficient buildings, cost savings and narrowing the environmental footprint. The GBCSA’s Green Star SA Existing Building Performance (EBP) tool covers the same environmental categories dealt with in the Green Star SA New Building Tool but, due to the focus on operations, EBP projects have to recertify every three years in order to keep their rating.

With several new Green Star rated buildings, Nedbank is no novice in the sustainable building arena. It has now added three existing buildings to its prize cabinet. The EPB tool enabled Nedbank to achieve 4-Star ratings for their Clocktower (46 points), Plattekloof (48 points), and Park Square Campus (52 points) branches.

Zendré Compion, Senior Sustainable Building Consultant at Solid Green, explained the critical role the Facility Management team plays in the process.

EBP ratings for the Nedbank Campus sites relied heavily on the FM team to understand and evaluate current processes in place and identify opportunities for integrating sustainability initiatives or improving current practice to meet best practice standards.

Clocktower Campus at the V&A Waterfront

The Clocktower team managed to take a large building from a 3-Star to a 4-Star Green Star rating for their latest certification. It is evident that the Cape Town water crisis has motivated many building owners to employ initiatives in water management that they would not have previously considered. Corporates that have branches across the country also realised that these initiatives made sense and could easily be implemented in other provinces to make a positive impact.

Furthermore, the Clocktower building has amazing waste management initiatives in place. The canteen recycles used cooking oil through a company that uses it to make biofuel. The food waste produced in the canteen is also recycled through a company that produces and resells compost. These initiatives were paused while the canteen was closed during the national lock down. Yet, during the waste audit conducted as part of the EBP process, the team realised that not diverting wet-waste was increasing their overall waste volume as wet waste contaminates other sources of waste – so they made a good case to get wet-waste recycling going again even before the canteen officially reopened.

Plattekloof Campus

The Plattekloof team undertook their first EBP process but was able to draw on the experience and expertise of the Clocktower team and a shared facilities manager. The team demonstrated that they were doing well in the performance aspects of the rating, scoring highly for reduced energy and water consumption, and showing high waste diversion rates.

Park Square Campus

The Park Square building is a new build that recently achieved a 4-Star Green Star Design rating as well as a 5-Star As-Built rating. The Covid-19 lock down impacted most building operations and therefore some credits could not be targeted. For most of the buildings, due to staff still working from home, buildings could not target the audits and measurements for Indoor Environmental Quality and aspects such as thermal or acoustic comfort. “We are looking forward to seeing how Park Square improves its EBP rating when it re-certifies and can include performance measurements for IEQ and thermal comfort,” Compion commented. “The Park Square team was really invested in the EBP process, which can be seen in the building achieving a 52-point score.”

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She applauded Nedbank’s drive in the green space.

The Nedbank teams have a great interest in how building sustainability can be enhanced through Facilities Management. It has been our experience that building management teams, together with their service providers, have incorporated a lot of sustainability thinking into the way they manage. However, often this information is not documented in a way that is easily shared – be it internally for the sake of continuity and improvement, or externally for reporting and sharing the good news stories. In many ways, the rating is a reflection of the work these teams have been doing for a very long time, which is now culminating in the award of sustainable building ratings.


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