STANDARD Bank said on Wednesday its staff would start moving to its new environmentally friendly building in Rosebank in May.
The office complex, which cost more than R2bn to build, will house about 5,000 client-facing employees and is expected to create economic spin-offs in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
Retailers, restaurants and transport facilities such as the Gautrain and its bus service are expected to benefit.
The complex, which has been awarded a five-star Greenstar design rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa, comprises two buildings with nine and 11 floors, respectively. It also has 422 indigenous trees.
Stewart Shaw-Taylor, head of Corporate Investment Banking (CIB) Real Estate at Standard Bank, said on Wednesday that the green building would save the bank about 10%-15% in energy costs.
The glass-walled building, on the corner of Oxford Road and Bolton Avenue, is the second in South Africa to have a gas-powered trigeneration plant. This plant allows the bank to light, heat and cool the building. The plant has a production capacity of 1MW of energy and the glass in the building allows for the efficient use of natural light.
Rory Roriston, head of Standard Bank Real Estate Asset Management, said the bank had spent about R40m on the energy saving trigeneration plant. The building also has facilities to capture rain water, which will reduce water demand there by 50%.
Mr Shaw-Taylor said Standard Bank’s head office, housing 15,500 employees, would remain in the Johannesburg central business district. However, the 65,000m² Rosebank building would allow the bank to consolidate its head office functions and help the bank save on rental costs.
Mr Shaw-Taylor said the new building would also allow Standard Bank to upgrade its other properties for about R250m in the next five years.
The Rosebank building, built by construction company WBHO, was initially budgeted at R1.1bn. But the costs increased to about R2bn due to an increase in professional fees and other costs, Mr Shaw-Taylor said.