Growthpoint finding ways to reduce water use at its Cape Town buildings

12 September 2017

As Cape Town responds to Level Five Water Restrictions, Growthpoint Properties has made water saving a priority at its buildings across the Mother City.

Over 20% of Growthpoint’s R76.9bn South African property portfolio, not counting its 50% stake in the V&A Waterfront, is located in the Western Cape.

“We take water saving seriously,” says Timothy Irvine, Growthpoint’s Regional Asset Manager for the Western Cape.

Cape Town’s recently announced Level Five Water Restrictions require all commercial properties to reduce their monthly consumption of municipal drinking water by 20%. Growthpoint is already well on its way to achieving this target.

Growthpoint intensified its focus on saving water at its buildings across the country in February 2016 and has reduced consumption of municipal drinking water by an average of 16%, comparing 12-months ending February 2016 with 12-months ending July 2017, across its entire Cape Town office portfolio. Growthpoint expects further savings, taking it within reach of a total 20% reduction.

It has achieved even bigger savings at some buildings. Montclare has more than halved its water consumption over the past six months. Here, Growthpoint worked closely with its proactive clients, including Virgin Active, to achieve meaningful savings. Paramount Place has also halved its water consumption from six months ago. Both buildings are in Claremont.

Head of Sustainability at Growthpoint, Werner van Antwerpen, explains that achieving meaningful water savings at an any building that you own, but others use, isn’t easy.

Growthpoint has conducted detailed water audits of its office buildings to gauge their water efficiency and improve it.

In February 2016, a solid 40% of Growthpoint’s office buildings performed better than the EWP industry benchmark. Buildings not doing so were audited to discover the reasons behind their higher consumption, then water savings initiatives were identified and implemented.

By July this year, Growthpoint had improved its benchmark-beating water-efficient buildings to 67%. “We expect to grow this number to 73% in the next six months,” confirms van Antwerpen.

Immediate solutions Growthpoint applied to reduce its buildings’ water consumption include halting all irrigation and water features, installing water-efficient fittings including tap aerators and dual-flush toilets, and working with the clients of its buildings to encourage behavioural change.

Also, Growthpoint has invested in smart water meters for several buildings, which is proving to be extremely successful. These meters help to quickly identify leaks that could otherwise go undetected for weeks, even months.

Growthpoint has also ensured that any reports of water problems at its buildings in the Western Cape are automatically designated Priority-1 by the Growthpoint Maintenance Service Desk.

Greywater recycling at Growthpoint’s Bayside Mall has reduced its drinking water consumption by three million litres/month. The company also has a proof-of-concept running at its Sandton Head Office that turns air humidity into water, and V&A Waterfront is investigating desalination as a water supply.

More information from Werner van Antwerpen, Tel: 011 944 6598 /

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