Banking on a sustainable future

by Darren
Banking on a sustainable future

Standard Bank opens its new R1,6-billion “green” Rosebank offices.


A shining beacon of hope has arisen on the corner of Bolton Avenue and Oxford Road in Rosebank. Standard Bank’s new 30 Baker Street Building recently started welcoming its new occupants – 5 000 employees, who will be settling into the new 74 244m² building over the next few months.

30 Baker Street will join Standard Bank’s as its third office campus, including head office in the Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD) and the Constantia Valley office park in the Westrand . The completion of the building marks a step forward in Standard Bank’s sustainability journey. According to Karin Ireton, Head, group sustainability management at Standard Bank, the company looks at their journey from a trio of viewpoints:

“We continuously consider our own role within the bigger energy picture by managing our own energy footprint, but also by our customers – by evaluating and considering these aspects when we lend money to ensure that the mission of sustainable operation extends beyond corporate boundaries. Apart from that, we need to evaluate how we adapt and operate within a framework of global issues by understanding risk opportunities and the long-term impacts it has on clients, employees and society as a whole,” explains Ireton.


Over 60% of the building’s steel, for example, has more than 90% post-consumer recycled content


In line with a sustainability approach, Standard Bank was environmentally-conscious throughout the construction process of 30 Baker Street. The offices were built on recycled land rather than developing new, unoccupied land. However, this did not come without challenges. Leaking fuel tanks at the petrol station that previously occupied one corner of the property had contaminated the soil, which had to be removed, encapsulated and disposed of in a hazardous waste site. Rock from the excavations was also removed for recycling purposes.

Recycling played a significant role in the construction process of the new building. A dedicated recycling waste storage area is located in the working area, which will recycle office consumables, and another area is dedicated to recycling kitchen and restaurant waste.

The building uses a gas-powered tri-generation plant due to an existing Egoli Gas main gas line that runs past the property. This allows for the simultaneous production of electrical energy, heating and cooling from a single source.

The office boasts one of only two tri-generation plants in South Africa and aims to significantly reduce the building’s carbon footprint with its production capacity of 1MW. The rejected heat from the plant will provide 0,8MW of energy to be used for heating and cooling.


Tri-generation is commonly referred to as combined cooling, heating and power generation (CCHP).


Efficient lighting will ensure further energy savings. A digitally addressable lighting system (DALI) has been installed in 99,26% of the usable area, which allows individual light fittings to be programmed according to need. It also facilitates automatic dimming and switching of lighting, based on occupancy and daylight availability in a space.

The 30 Baker Street office building was able to achieve an impressive five-star Green Start rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), and according to Ireton, it will remain a continuous challenge to maintain that status. Ireton also emphasises that, as part of its sustainability journey, Standard Bank aims for a four-star rating throughout its business by implementing continuous waste- and energy management initiatives at all its new and existing buildings.


Quick facts

Total volume of soil removed: 320 637m³
Total volume of concrete used: 84 753m³
Area of formwork: 261 244m²
Number of bricks used: 4 889 027
Total glass area: 31 138m²
Weight of aluminium in curtain wall: 189 tons
Total area of stone cladding: 10 846m²
Total length of data cabling: 1 256km


Research increasingly shows the effects of indoor air quality on the productivity of employees, which is why Standard Bank also placed much emphasis on enhancing 30 Baker Street’s credentials in this area. Ventilation rates have been improved by 50% and 60% of all indoor areas have external views. About 50% natural lighting of at least 250 Lux is achieved for 95% of the office area, while daylight glare is reduced for 80% of the standard working hours.

All carpets, paints, adhesives and sealants boast a low volatile organic compound (VOC) rating. Additionally, state-of-the-art sound masking systems are incorporated into the open-plan office areas.


Internal noise levels are maintained at a maximum of 40dBA in office areas and 45dBA in open-plan areas.


The facade features a glass curtain wall system that covers more than 65% of the vertical external surfaces of the building and extends for 12 500m². It is triple-glazed, with remote shading blinds that can be retracted into the framing system to allow for maximum natural light on cloudy days.

The new offices will house the departments of head office operations within Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Standard Bank Africa, and will be fully occupied by October 2013.

Standard Bank
Tel: (011) 784 2598
Website: www.standardbank.co.za

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