Scania and Growthpoint extend their relationship with lease renewals at four properties

Growthpoint Properties has renewed four leases with Scania, extending its relationship with the global company that offers sales of trucks, buses, and services in more than 100 countries.

The leases were renewed for four properties located in established industrial areas across the province of Gauteng.

Two of the leases were renewed for seven-year periods, being the 12,650sqm South African headquarters of Scania in Aeroton, Johannesburg, and the 2,950sqm facility in Rosslyn, Pretoria. Leases renewed for five years include Scania’s 4,380sqm Alrode facility and its 3,740sqm Elandsfontein facility, both on the East Rand.

All four buildings were built specifically for Scania, designed around its business and services to accommodate the large, heavy vehicles and engines synonymous with this leading brand.

The Aeroton headquarters includes space for Scania’s offices, warehouses for assembly, storage and distribution. The other three facilities all offer Scania truck sales and services.

The lease extensions enabled Scania to achieve both cost efficiencies and key risk compliances for its business.

As part of the lease renewal transactions, Growthpoint made a R9 million investment in upgrading Scania’s facilities, with a focus on its in-country HQ. Its Aeroton head office was given a facelift with a fresh, modern new façade. The building also received a new fire tank and sprinkler system upgrade.

Both Scania’s Aeroton and Rosslyn buildings were the subject of upgrades to their yards and external paving, with excellent yard facilities being vital for the heavy vehicles.

Errol Taylor, Head of Asset Management: Industrial at Growthpoint, says: “We are thrilled to extend our relationship with Scania and look forward to continuing our long and positive association with this respected international business. We are pleased to continue to provide Scania with premises that support its business goals and performance and ensure that it enjoys the best position for the future.”

Growthpoint provides space to thrive with innovative and sustainable property solutions. It is an international property company and the largest South African primary REIT listed on the JSE. It owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 559 property assets, locally and internationally. Growthpoint is a Founding Member of GBCSA, a member of the GBCSA’s Green Building Leader Network, a component of the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and has been included in the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index for eight years running. It owns and co-owns the largest portfolio of certified green buildings of any company in South Africa.

A smart future for African real estate

Regarded as the continent’s premier gathering for key African policy makers, developers, corporates, and investors, the 9thannual Africa Property Investment (API) Summit & Expo will be held this year at the Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton Central, on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 September 2018.

Highlighting the significant improvements made across Africa’s real estate investment landscape in the past 12 months, this year’s API Summit & Expo will provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss how changes in technology, leadership, and skill in African property can build a smarter future for African real estate.

Kfir Rusin, Managing Director for API Events, says: “This year’s summit offers an unmissable opportunity for Africa’s most influential property stakeholders to connect with each other and discuss issues around optimal sizing and restoring global confidence, while also unpacking innovations in building, identifying new funding, and fostering better market transparency.”

The main sponsor for the event is leading commercial property services company Broll, who bring with them a vast amount of experience from across the continent as a multi-disciplined property service provider operating within the retail, office, industrial and residential sectors.

Looking at trends that are building a smarter future for African property, Leonard Michau, Head of Broll’s Africa Operations, comments“Investors and developers are starting to adjust their investment strategy, adopting a more educated, informed approach, while also reducing the number of speculative developments.”

Gold Sponsors for the event include Grit – the largest and only pan-African real estate income group listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the Stock Exchange of Mauritius – and Standard Bank, which has an on-the-ground presence in 20 countries across the continent and provides development funding in all areas of the real estate sector.

Zoning in on key factors influencing the future of African property, Standard Bank’s Gerhard Zeelie, Head of Real Estate Finance for Africa, reveals: “We are seeing growing consumerism in Africa, with increased use of mobile and the internet providing increased access to information and digital choice. The retail market for example is rapidly evolving and responding to changed consumer behaviour. Extreme traffic congestion means that people buy the basics at their local markets during the week, waiting for the weekend to travel to a destination mall that mixes both retail, health, wellness and leisure to deliver a fun experience for the whole family. This traffic driven behaviour in different cities and nodes is impacting the way people work (including travel to work) as well as shop and entertain themselves.

In addition, Bronwyn Corbett, Chief Executive Officer of Grit reports: “The most significant factor contributing to a smarter future for Africa real estate is a change in perception around Africa in general and Africa real estate specifically. The sector is by and large still in its infancy on the continent, however, it has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. In 2018, foreign direct investment, political stability and infrastructure improvements have all been catalysts for creating more depth in Africa’s real estate markets, and the world is slowly figuring out the opportunities present on the continent. Real estate has a big role to play in tapping into these opportunities.”

With eight years of success behind them, the 2018 API Summit & Expo is hosted by the well-established API Events and will include participation from almost 30 countries, over 600 delegates and 270 companies, providing infinite networking opportunities and a wide range of key discussions.

Michau notes: “Broll is proud to sponsor what is recognised as the leading real estate seminar within sub-Saharan Africa. The API Summit & Expo is well organised, providing a range of high-quality content, speakers, and panellists.”

Corbett of Grit adds: “The API conference provides one of the few platforms available to Africa Real Estate sector participants. The structure of the conference allows for interactive participation and knowledge sharing through panel discussions but also – and maybe more importantly – great networking opportunities.”

 Zeelie points out: “Our ability to connect our clients to opportunities is strengthened by strong relationships with governments, regulators, key industry players and investors in all the countries in which Standard Bank has a presence. The API Summit & Expo achieves impressive high-level participation from attendees across the continent while providing an important platform for delegates to showcase the trends and themes driving opportunity in real estate.”

With the backing of these top African real estate game-changers, as well as ABSA, Profica, Africa Logistics Properties, and JLL among its key industry sponsors, it is no surprise that the conference attracts the foremost leaders and influencers from across the continent.

Rusin concludes: “Designed by property professionals to provide insight, debate, deal-making, and networking opportunities, the API Summit will also feature a dedicated exhibition area, training workshops and in-depth case studies. The powerful combination of the Summit and the Expo makes this the ultimate African real estate event.”

For more information and to book to attend, visit www.apisummit.co.za.

Effective facilities management

A well-maintained facility is imperative for any business. Poor working conditions lead to a decline in the health and motivation of staff members, which, in turn, leads to a decline in productivity and profitability.

Facilities that are not properly cared for can potentially result in the ‘sick building syndrome’, whereby office workers are commonly affected with symptoms such as headaches and respiratory problems. There is much debate around the definition, validity and cause of the syndrome but according to medicinenet.com, “Known causes of illness such as lead poisoning, formaldehyde fumes, and many others have been associated with individual buildings.” It is no secret that a facility (where people are often working for many hours of the day) that is green and free of harmful radicals and chemicals is a healthier environment for employees.

According to FMLink, “High-performance buildings are characterised by their efficient use of resources and their ability to enhance the safety, health, and productivity of occupants. The Energy Independence and Security Act of the United States identified the following characteristics of a high-performance building in 2017: Reduced water, energy and material use, improved indoor environmental quality, reduced negative impact on the environment, increased use of environmentally preferable products, increased reuse and recycling, integrated systems in buildings, reduced environmental and energy impacts of transportation, consideration of the effects of the building on human health.”

Based on these characteristics, environmentally friendly, green cleaning products are an asset to facilities management as they help to improve and maintain the indoor environment of the facilities. The organic nature of these products reduces the negative impact that their chemically manufactured counterparts have on the environment, as well as on the health of employees working in the buildings.

While reducing instances of sick building syndrome, these products are also often more cost-effective, requiring less water and cutting the amount of product needed to clean a facility by 50%. “This saves resources, while cutting down financial expenditure,” explains John J Coetzee, CEO at Green Worx Cleaning Solutions. “Many facility managers have started taking the green working environment very seriously, and with positive results. Green buildings are becoming more commonplace as healthy environments emerge as the new desired goal.”

These greener, more sustainable spaces help to maintain the desired effect of healthier environments for people to work in.

Skyriders nets major maintenance work

Greenstone Shopping Centre is an 88 916 m2 retail development owned by Sasol Pension Fund and managed by JHI Retail. In October 2017, parts of the mall’s ceiling collapsed following a heavy wind and rain storm. Skyriders was contracted by construction and building company Bartlett Construction in October 2017, and completed its scope of work by March 2018.

Skyriders, marketing manager, Mike Zinn explains that the project was divided into several phases. During the first phase, personnel entered the mall’s ceiling workspace to remove all dangerous and loose materials, in order to allow safe access for contractors.

Phase two saw the installation of a temporary work platform system consisting of steel cables and heavy duty nets, which were crucial so the mall could continue operating, while allowing for the critical maintenance to be undertaken underneath the ceiling after hours. This saw Skyriders its particular scope of work on the project from 19:00 to 07:00.

“The netting system enabled specialised ceiling, fire protection, lighting and electrical contractors to access the affected areas in order to carry out the required maintenance and repair work on the damaged ceiling,” Zinn explains.

The temporary work platform system was an ideal solution, as hanging scaffolding could not be used on-site due to the weight constraints, while erecting scaffolding from the ground up was also not viable, as this would have restricted the free flow of shoppers in the mall during the day.

Therefore, the installation of the net system, about 20 metres above the heads of patrons, served a dual purpose. Firstly, it ensured that all objects that might fall from the ceiling during the repair and maintenance process were caught by the net and, secondly, that all contractors were able to carry out their activities effectively using the net system as a work platform.

Phase three of the project entailed moving the nets around the work area to allow workers to access the different sections of the ceiling that were in need of attention. In addition, steel erection rigging was utilised extensively, as large steel cables had to be installed on existing steel structures using specifically-placed chemical anchors. In turn, the netting system was attached to these steel cables.

“The temporary netting platform is definitely something we would like to see used more widely. It ensures that maintenance activities are carried out quicker and more cost-effectively. Other advantages include the system’s high level of flexibility, and the fact that it is reusable, as the nets can simply be rolled away and used again at the next project site,” Zinn concludes.

About Skyriders
Skyriders (Pty) Limited, established in 1998, is a leader in the South African rope-access industry, providing cost and time-saving solutions to clients in the power generation and petrochemical industries requiring rope access aided inspection, NDT, and maintenance work to be conducted in difficult to reach, high-up locations.

 

CCTV solution to protect warehouses

In most warehouses, the main problem is errors in loading or unloading merchandise with many retailers complaining of blind spots or lost pallets.

The French TEB solution, available exclusively in South Africa through local business partner Fidelity ADT Commercial, is designed especially for warehouses and aims to provide 100% follow-up of your merchandise from truck to storage zone and vice versa.

Clive van Ryneveld, commercial executive: Fidelity ADT Commercial, says located in the middle of the warehouse and in the delivery bays, the dome-shaped TUB camera® provides 100% visual cover and allows one to keep an eye on the entire warehouse. “Essentially it completely does away with blind spots and lost pallets which are a major source of risk for most retailers.”

The shuttle camera moves rapidly and precisely to allow any suspicious event to be watched from A to Z. “The solution not only guarantees a rapid return on investment (ROI) but assists in reducing costs and heightening security,” says van Ryneveld.

When looking for the most appropriate global or local partner, van Ryneveld says TEB with its track record and range of high performance solutions, specifically tailored to individual clients’ needs, was a natural partner. Through continuous research and development, TEB have stayed in the forefront of innovation and almost become a benchmark in the CCTV market.

“Security today has gone so much further than just protecting against robberies or shrinkage: it has become more about assessing and understanding risk, offering insights and information on trends and behaviour, and coming up with the most appropriate solution,” says van Ryneveld.

In line with this, Fidelity’s approach for businesses is generally to harden from the inside out by offering a fully-integrated solution starting with access control, backed by CCTV and supported by security guards with a pro-active control room to manage the situation.

“If the retailer is interested in running a centralised control room and operations centre it is best that all technologies are integrated and talk to each other. Over the last five years we have seen great technology advancements in retail solutions. Solutions have definitely moved from a copy-and-paste package to a customised solution based on a consultative process with customers becoming strategic partners. Customers can expect inventory intelligence, accurate stock takes and stock replenishments from stock room to sales floor,” he says.

Van Ryneveld says if one invests in disparate products they cannot be fully integrated or give accurate reports which run at an enterprise level. The best loss prevention solutions connect devices onto the corporate network and then run a software platform to make sense of all the data received from devices to ensure warehouse and, ultimately, store performance can be measured and evaluated.

“Inventory intelligence and traffic data are typical non-security technologies but will ultimately reduce or have an impact on the overall shrinkage. There’s no denying that an integrated solution is key in today’s world of security. Using a provider that understands your company’s needs, no matter what size the business is, will go a long way to ensuring you get the best solution possible,” he concludes.

Midway Industrial Park raises warehouse project bar

Well-known for its landmark Sandton projects such as Sasol Place, the Discovery Campus, and the Alice Lane Precinct, Paragon senior project architect Christiaan Liebenberg points out that Midway Industrial Park is equally iconic. Directly adjacent to the N1 highway, within the busy Samrand precinct, it is a site that not only slopes and exposes towards the highway, but also slopes towards the south, opening up very good views toward the building.

The unique design lines, feature compositions, striking colour contrasts, relief cladding surfaces, and varied surface textures make it stand out substantially in comparison to most industrial and warehouse buildings. “The idea was to purposely fragment the façade into strong design elements that not only unify the building, but also intentionally integrate services and minimise its visual mass,” Liebenberg elaborates.

The main aim was to maximise usage on the property for both warehouse space and delivery and dispatch facilities. Maximising the usable space internally and externally provides the most flexibility in terms of tenants that can be accommodated on the property, as well as facilitating well-designed front-of-house (FOH), back-of-house (BOH), administration and operations service, with increased access and functionality.

These main goals were achieved by relaxing building and servitude lines as much as legally permissible. In addition, the building height was maximised in accordance with the approved site development plan, in order to accommodate tenants’ specific needs.

Due to the fall of the site, some drastic level changes had to be introduced, which could potentially limit the usage and flexibility required by the client. This was resolved by a calculated splitting of the building length into two parts, providing either two very large warehouse spaces, or two sets of two smaller spaces.

Stormwater drainage also posed a challenge, which was addressed through a combination of well-drained platforms, carefully placed stormwater inlets, and a large stormwater attenuation pond on the south-western corner of the site. This attenuates the collected stormwater, reducing the water volume and speed at which the site’s stormwater enters the municipal and highway stormwater systems.

The masonry base of the façades intentionally incorporates functional requirements easily, but also minimise potential operational damage to the building’s sheeting. Due to the nature of the building’s use, using sheeting at lower levels will have meant a lot more maintenance and repair in the long term.

Large horizontal ventilation louvres on the south provide the required natural and smoke ventilation requirements, in conjunction with continuous slope and ridge-mounted ventilators on top of the building. This allows for smoke ventilation, and assists greatly in cooling the warehouse spaces without the need for mechanical ventilation. Large polycarbonate sheeting regions on the south façade also provide for substantial daylight provision within the warehouse spaces.

To the north of the building, where the office components are housed, aluminium-framed windows and shopfronts have been used, with thermal performance glazing throughout. To support the thermal performance of the glazing, horizontal shading devices have been positioned over all windows, large canopies placed over entrance shopfronts, and carefully designed vertical shading louvres used on the large north-western glazed corner of the building.

Paragon assisted some of the tenants in checking their racking requirements in terms of space and structural limitations, as well as providing fit-out designs and integration with the building and its services. In addition, Paragon designed the interiors of the bathrooms and fire escape stairs throughout the building.