A preferred corporate destination, the development consists of seven buildings, each of which received a 4-Star Green Star rating from GBCSA between 2018 and 2022. Dimension Data, Accenture, Isuzu Motors South Africa, Decision Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim, Ericsson, Wood, SASSETA and Continuity SA are some of the clients benefitting from the flexibility which the joint venture between leading REIT Attacq Ltd and Zenprop has created. Corporate tenants are offered the opportunity to customise spaces or subdivide a multi-client building according to individual needs. They also enjoy the added benefit of a central restaurant and two WiFi-enabled 50-seater conference facilities for use by campus clients.
Falling within the sustainable precinct that is Waterfall city, it is no surprise that the buildings forming part
of Waterfall Corporate Campus have been built according to green practices. As part of Attacq’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, sustainability has been a key focus area for the group, with the vision to develop Waterfall City as a safe, sustainable, mixed-use city that provides a vibrant and healthy living environment.
Sustainable building practices apply not only to the design and construction of each building in Corporate Campus – but to the entire life cycle of the development. Attacq believes that buildings should not be considered in isolation from their environments and communities but rather complement and accentuate their surroundings.
“The rigorous focus on material selection, human comfort, air quality and human health features of our buildings rightly prioritises the most important asset of the buildings – people. This development proves that an asset of this size can be maintained and operated sustainably. Furthermore, it confirms that we are getting much right regarding energy, water and waste,” says Attacq.
In line with the commitment to create safe, sustainable spaces for clients and visitors, Waterfall Corporate Campus has been developed with the very best in urban design principles, offering green design elements such as pedestrian walkways and shaded cantered roofs, unique architectural features in each of the buildings, as well as centrally located communal amenities. Miren Naidoo, development manager at Attacq adds, “With elevated market interest in our Waterfall development portfolio, it is imperative that we presented our clients with a comprehensive mixed-use offering that reflects the iconic lifestyle city we have created. Waterfall Corporate Campus showcases the precinct’s ability to house architecturally innovative, and environmentally responsive spaces in which people can connect, unwind and thrive.”
A HOLISTIC APPROACH
Alison Groves, principal sustainability consultant at WSP Africa, and Accredited Professional on the Waterfall Corporate Campus project, says that the standout feature for the development relates to the fact that all seven of the buildings were planned as a whole. “This is not often the case in corporate developments, and here the holistic approach really shines through – from the way the buildings are positioned amidst the landscaped gardens, through to the unifying islands such as the central Maxwell Park Village campus café.” Groves also says that learnings from the first buildings could also be incorporated into subsequent builds, with project synergies enabling a slick outcome.
The buildings’ sustainable features can now be considered “stock standard”, given the progression of the green building industry in South Africa. The office spaces in each of the buildings have excellent daylight levels, with daylight glare controlled through interior blinds. In building 1, 60% of the floor plate has direct line of sight to the outdoors, so that employees can benefit from a connection with nature. All of the buildings feature efficient lighting and occupancy sensors, with lights and power separately metered and automatically recorded. Water efficient fittings and fixtures have been installed throughout, with all major water uses sub-metered and recorded through an automated monitoring system. Rainwater harvesting is used for irrigation, complementing smart irrigation systems. Indoor pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paints, adhesives and sealants, carpets as well as composite timber products are avoided by the use of low VOC and low Formaldehyde products. Air quality is further safeguarded by the introduction of tenant exhaust risers used to extract printer pollutants from usable areas.
All of the Waterfall Corporate Campus buildings are located close to public transport routes, with fuel efficient parking bays for cars and motorbikes having been installed to encourage better choices when it comes to the daily commute. This is further supported by the installation of cycling facilities, which are the ultimate low-carbon commuter choice.
Attaining its 4-star Green Star accreditation in 2021, Building 4 is the fifth building on the campus. With two basements and three floors, it was built with the anticipation of accommodating multiple tenants. The heat recovery model variable refrigerant volume/flow (VRV/F) system makes it possible to achieve simultaneous heating and cooling for indoor units. Outdoor units operate using inverter or other variable compressor capacity technology to ensure the most efficient operation at all load conditions. Fresh air levels of 12.5 litres per person keep the internal fresh air levels high. The building has very good natural light, and this is complemented by an excellent view of Waterfall Estate. Orientation, selected use of double glazing and the highly efficient VRV heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system allows the building to perform 42% more efficiently than the South African National Standards (SANS) notional building.
“A fascinating aspect of this project has been the extent to which we have been able to engage a building tuning process,” says Groves. Building tuning involves monitoring and improving the performance of building services systems during operation, with the goal of “tuning” the building services controls for an improved output. “The fact that the buildings are deeply metered gives incredibly accurate information; a small leak, for example, can be quickly traced and attended to, saving the potential loss of thousands of litres of water. Checking the systems’ occupancy sensors gives good insight into the rhythms of how the building is used, and can give rise to useful information.”
The buildings of Waterfall Corporate Campus are a testament to South Africa’s mature sustainable construction sector. Not only have developers and contractors seen the enormous benefits involved in green investment, but the demand for these buildings by clients demonstrates a commitment and enthusiasm that simply didn’t exist a decade ago. Not only are they keen to acquire a green building for their business, but they are taking ownership over the ongoing maintenance and application of green principles – the ultimate litmus test of success.
At the lavish International Property Awards held in Dubai in October 2022, Waterfall Management Company was honoured with the Best Mixed-use Development in South Africa Award for Waterfall City, for the eighth time in nine years. In addition, Waterfall City walked off with two more Best in South Africa 2022-2023 accolades.
Now in their 30th year, the International Property Awards celebrate the very best projects and professionals in the industry worldwide, covering the regions of Asia Pacific, Africa and Arabia, Europe, USA and the Americas, as well as the UK. Judging focuses on design, quality, service, innovation, originality, and commitment to sustainability.
Willie Vos, CEO of Waterfall Management Company, says: “Winning the Best Mixed-use Development in South Africa Award again certainly reaffirms Waterfall City’s world-class status. Such recognition is an ongoing achievement we, along with all our partners, are very proud of. It has been an honour to watch this development evolve, and we have entered a new and exciting phase of our evolution as a world-class smart city. We will continue to showcase the excellence of Waterfall City and look forward to what the future holds.”