The multibillion-rand ‘green-city’ precinct of Menlyn Maine on Wednesday broke ground at the site, where bulk earthworks for the construction of its first anchor tenant building will get under way.
The first tenant building would be completed by 2012.
Nedbank has been confirmed as the first company to establish offices at Menlyn Maine, and would make it the banking group’s regional head office, and consolidate its Pretoria operations.
The new building, located in the precinct’s commercial area on the corner of Southern Cross and Aramist boulevard, would provide office space for about 1 000 Nedbank employees, and would also include a ground-floor retail banking component.
The 15 800-m², five-storey building was one of nine projects currently registered for a Green Star South Africa (SA) design rating.
Nedbank’s phase-two head office, in Sandton, recently achieved a four-star Green Star SA rating, and the company anticipated that the development at Menlyn Maine would score highly in green standards.
The building systems were being designed and installed according to Nedbank’s exact requirements.
Menlyn Maine is one of 16 Clinton Climate Initiative green cities in the world, led by former US President Bill Clinton, and forming part of the Climate Positive Development Programme.
The programme supported the concept of real estate developments that strive to reduce the amount of on-site carbon dioxide emissions to below zero.
“We are trying to build the first green precinct in Africa. The goal is to build Menlyn Maine as a greenhouse gas negative development. We will be one of only a few in the world that are trying to achieve this, and the whole idea is that we can prove that sustainable development can happen in the world. The end goal would be that Menlyn Maine is good for the environment by coming into being,” Menlyn Maine project developer Justin Bowentold Engineering News Online.
Menyln Maine would be classified as a mixed-use development, and would be be divided into 140 000-m2 of office space, 35 000-m2 of retail and dining space, 85 000-m2 of up-market residencies and 15 000-m2 luxury hotel space – all of which would overlook 5 700-m² of parklands that run through the centre of the entire precinct.
A small wetland area, which was currently degraded and home to squatters, would also be rehabilitated.
The ground breaking event was three years in the making, and developers started with purchasing land, getting demolition permits and completing the relevant contracts with the Tshwane council. All of this, as well as the electrical and civil designs have now been completed, and “now the fun part starts”, said Menlyn Maine developer Carl Jankowitz.
The developers would develop local infrastructure for the ‘green-precinct’, and recently opened Aramist road – the main arterial road running through the city.