5 November 2016 Waterfall City

Attacq green philosophy as applied at Waterfall City and beyond

Attacq aims to deliver exceptional sustainable capital growth through creative local and international real estate developments and investments. It pursues this vision through its strategic drivers of Invest, Develop, and Grow.

Waterfall is Attacq’s prime development and its portfolio includes retail, industrial, office, mixed-use, as well as hotel investments. Green building is the base standard of Attacq’s approach in Waterfall City. Design, construction and retrofitting of buildings that utilise green building practices are encouraged.

This philosophy reaches beyond pure environmentally-sensitive construction. It is embedded in the total holistic urban design. Waterfall City is developed as a live, work and play urban space where people can enjoy a balanced lifestyle in a pleasant urban development setting that takes both people’s needs and that of the environment into account.

Attacq adopted urban design principles for all its developments at Waterfall to guide the development of new buildings in line with international best practice. The aim of the Attacq urban design principles is to ensure that all buildings in Waterfall City conform to its good sustainability standards. Many of the buildings in Waterfall City are sterling examples of environmentally-sensitive design and building projects.

In the design and as-built rating process, certification is awarded for buildings that achieve 4-star, 5-star and 6-star ratings. Many of Attacq’s buildings have been rated in terms of the GBCSA Green Star SA rating, which considers the holistic environmental impact of building design and construction. Energy and water ratings of all buildings are an ongoing process as these are not only good practice in terms of transparency, but also shed light on where Attacq can improve most efficiently.

The Novartis building is a fine example of Attacq’s sustainable development practices. The building was awarded the coveted Gold LEED certification. LEED is an American set of standards, developed by the US Green Building Council. Attacq knew the Novartis property had ticked all the boxes, but the Gold LEED certification still came as a pleasant surprise. Sustainability consultant Aureon was initially aiming for Silver but managed to ensure the achievement of LEED Gold. This was the first Gold LEED-certified building in the Attacq property portfolio.

The internationally-recognised LEED certification is the most well known standard for international corporates that endeavour to have green buildings. Novartis’ Gold LEED was achieved in April, almost a year after the building was occupied, and has certainly set something of a standard for the other Waterfall buildings given that it is the only one to have achieved LEED recognition.

“We are very proud of the LEED certification of our new Novartis building. This is a highlight achievement in line with our Attacq urban design principles. We thank Aurecon for the excellent innovative work done on the project,” says Morné Wilken, CEO of Attacq.

Werner Mulder, who is responsible for Environmental Sustainability at Attacq comments: “The Novartis project has given us a better understanding of the effort, cost and value involved in LEED certification and that makes it easier to plan a project more accurately to environmental standards for tenants, particularly those that demand high standards.”

Many of the Waterfall City tenants have taken a stance on sustainability and environmental sensitivity, such as PwC and their new PwC tower. While Waterfall City’s CBD is aiming for LEED Silver certification in 2018. “In fact, all the buildings in Waterfall City will be applying for LEED accreditation,” says Mulder. “Whether they will be Silver, Gold or better will in part be determined by the tenant.”

The recently-completed very contemporary Allandale building, with Schneider Electric as a key tenant, is also targeting a LEED Gold rating in line with the green principles applied in Waterfall City.

Attacq’s key green highlights include:

  • As a capital growth fund, with both developments and existing buildings, Attacq’s environmental strategy has a dual focus and includes reviewing all new buildings coming on line, as well as the existing property portfolio.
  • Attacq adopted urban design principles for all its developments at Waterfall to guide the development of new buildings in line with international best practice. Many of the buildings in Waterfall City are sterling examples of environmentally-sensitive design and building projects.
  • Design – Attacq implemented guidelines to ensure that all new buildings conform to such international best practice for sustainable design and performance. As a principle, all new buildings have to be built with solar power potential, i.e. with the specifications to have solar power installed on demand.
  • Building – Attacq measures whether new buildings designed according to sustainable criteria perform as expected and identify design items that influence operational efficiency for inclusion in design guidelines.
  • Many of Attacq’s buildings have been rated in terms of the GBCSA Green Star SA rating, which considers the holistic environmental impact of building design and construction.
  • Waterfall is set to become a sustainability change agent in Gauteng. Attacq is testing business cases for sustainable technologies across waste, water, carbon, and energy, as well as piloting behaviour change programmes with tenants.
  • Energy and water ratings of all Attacq’s buildings is an ongoing process as these are not only good practice in terms of transparency, but also shed light on where it can improve most  efficiently. Several buildings that are currently under construction at Waterfall will apply for an official Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, a standard originally from the United States Green Building Council that recognises best-in-class building strategies and practices.

Article originally published in Waterfall Magazine issue 10 2016