Exxaro’s new Centurion headquarters completed

Exxaro’s new Centurion headquarters completed

Exxaro’s new corporate headquarters in Centurion.

Growthpoint Properties has completed its R600 million development of Exxaro’s leading edge new head office in Pretoria, opposite the Centurion Gautrain Station.

Growthpoint’s development and workspace design team have created an innovative green building, integrating P-grade aesthetics and finishes and high-performance workspace.

Exxaro, one of the largest and foremost empowered South African-based diversified resources companies, commenced its long lease over all the new building’s 18 500m2 of gross lettable area in May, after six weeks of early occupation. Over a three-month period, Exxaro will relocate all its operations to the new building, which can accommodate up to 1 000 staff members.

Exxaro’s new corporate headquarters consolidate its offices in Pretoria and Joburg into a single workspace, at a convenient midpoint in an accessible location. The signature building comprises five storeys of offices atop four levels of structured basement parking.

Paul Kollenberg, Growthpoint’s head of asset management: offices, says: “Exxaro’s new head office is in tune with top commercial buildings in the world’s most prominent urban centres.”

The two-year development of Exxaro’s headquarters broke ground in February 2017 to become the second phase of Growthpoint’s redevelopment of the prime Lakeside site on West Street, Centurion.

A major challenge in the building’s construction is the site’s dolomitic bedrock. Over 100 boreholes were drilled to create a three-dimensional model of the bedrock. High-lying dolomite pinnacles were blasted and drilled down, upper layers of soil were compacted and a steel-reinforced concrete raft foundation was laid, complete with sensor monitoring.

Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint’s chief development and investment officer, says: “With excellent site information and expertise, Growthpoint’s development team overcame a massive challenge, to take advantage of a prime commercial site for Exxaro that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.”

As a prominent feature of the development, organic dolomite was chosen to inspire several building design elements. Its forms are subtly expressed in acoustic wall panels, bollards and other thoughtful features. The building’s innovative safe foundations are brought to life with a special glass covered manhole, which provides a view underground to a dolomitic pinnacle beneath the site’s parking area periphery.

“This is just one of many ways that this singular building tells its story, creates touch points, and encourages users to engage with it,” says Growthpoint development manager, Michiel Gerber.

In line with both Exxaro’s and Growthpoint’s high environmental standards, the development team’s efforts surpassed its targets to achieve a five star Green Star SA Design certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa. This will be confirmed with an as-built rating application, once the building is fully functioning.

Exxaro’s new energy-efficient building will foster a healthy, energising work environment and high productivity levels in a cost-effective setting. Green measures include a performance glazed façade, zoned lighting, energy-efficient building services and systems, water-efficient fixtures, rainwater harvesting, water-wise landscaping, low VOC interior finishes, abundant fresh air and natural light, as well as a hydro panel that generates water from air. It has dedicated parking for more fuel-efficient vehicles, such as hybrids, electric cars and scooters, as well as secure bicycle racks.

Although the building is owned by Growthpoint, it has been tailored to Exxaro’s specific requirements. The building creates a variety of experiences throughout, all custom designed to support Exxaro’s business goals, ethos, values and vision.

The curvaceous building is skirted with generous terraces and connects to the outdoors with pleasant external views, balconies and a roof terrace.

Arrival at the building is through a triple-volume entrance and reception, which open onto an atrium that soars upwards at the core of five floors of efficient, light-filled workspace. It includes a level dedicated to meeting, interacting, engaging and collaborating, and features a restaurant and a canteen with a kitchen, a state-of-the-art auditorium, and a coffee shop.

Even its bathrooms are innovative. Widely used in places like Western Europe, the waterless urinal for women is relatively new to South African offices and is being piloted by Growthpoint in Exxaro’s new headquarters. Also, an innovative idea for an on-site nutrient recovery urinal by the winner of the Greenovate Engineering Award in 2017, Craig Peter Flanagan who represented UCT, has been implemented at the building.