Green giant rises in CBD

Nedbank is aiming to achieve a five-star green rating for their new headquarters, the second highest rating possible.

28 November 2018 | Banking

Staff Reporter – Almost N$700 000 will be spent every day for the next two-and-a-half years building Nedbank Namibia’s new head office at Freedom Plaza in Windhoek’s central business district.

Construction will provide jobs to 525 people during this period.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the almost half-a-billion-dollar Nedbank Campus was held on Friday.

Speaking at the occasion, the managing director of Nedbank Namibia, Lionel Matthews, said “a principled decision was taken to make use of only local procurement”. The multiplier effect that this decision will inject into the local economy is estimated to the three times the bank’s upfront investment, he said.

The mayor of Windhoek, Muesee Kazapua, said Namibia’s current economic climate suggests that organisations would cut back on expanding their expenditure on capital investment and adopt a “let’s see”-approach.

“I am therefore happy to note that even amid the prevailing world economic turmoil, where investors are pulling back in many countries, Nedbank Namibia continues to invest in Namibia with such certainty. This equally shows that they are confident in Namibia’s future,” Kazapua said.

Eco-friendly

It is generally accepted that buildings consume 40% of the world’s energy and 25% of its fresh water, as well as generate 40% of waste landfill, Matthews said.

“This is why it was critical for us to design, construct and operate a building that is energy- and resource-efficient, and environmentally responsible.”

Namibia’s scarcity of water has offered the design team an opportunity to showcase innovative water saving strategies, with the harvesting of rainwater and greywater recycling, he said.

The design also includes strategies to counter the urban heat island effect on the roof by shading it with a solar panel roof structure. “Which means that at all times, the energy, waste and water performance will be displayed to occupants and visitors to foster awareness,” Matthews said.

Even in its construction phase, the Nedbank Campus will consider the environment, he added. 70% of the soil excavated at the site will be re-used on other projects rather than being diverted to a landfill. Construction steel used will consist of 90% recycled metal.

“Energy consumption is one of the most important aspects of the green rating system and requires intense focus on the quality of the indoor environment, including the amount of fresh air, external views, thermal comfort and noise output level. These are all being considered with the construction of this building,” Matthews said.

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