The New Allan Gray Head Office at the V&A

No.1 Silo : New Intelligent Building Procurement Model in South African Financial Services Sector

Corporate South Africa is seeing a move to a new engagement/procurement model around the role of IT and facilities in real estate developments, according to Bradley Hemphill, Director of EES, an ISO 9000 professional engineering and management company.

"Our work with the financial services sector in particular indicates that provision for intelligent infrastructure is increasingly being made right from the word go during the design phases of the new headquarters of some of South Africa's leading financial institutions," says Hemphill. 

EES is providing the consultancy for the intelligent infrastructure of the new corporate head-office of privately owned investment management firm, Allan Gray, a household name in the South African financial services sector. The landowner and client in this project is the V & A Waterfront. The development is to be called 'No. 1 Silo'.

The V&A is in the process of developing the building for the investment firm, who are consolidating their Cape Town facilities with the construction of this new 18,100 m² head-office situated at the V&A Waterfront's Silo Square. The No. 1 Silo project is scheduled for completion in July this year. This location is centrally situated between Cape Town city and the main business hub of the Waterfront. 

EES also recently project-managed the roll-out of intelligent infrastructure for Alexander Forbes' newly built head-office in Sandton, Gauteng, consulting to the Alexander Forbes Group Information Technology (AFGIT) division. A design objective from the outset was for this building to achieve a four-star Green Star rating, which it was awarded in September last year. 

The original intention was for the Allan Gray building to be delivered with a five-star Green Star 'As Built' rating, however it has just been announced that the No.1 Silo office building at the V&A Waterfront has been awarded a six-star Green Star SA rating (Office Design) by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). It is only the second building to be awarded a six-star Green rating in South Africa and the first in the Western Cape. This rating is particularly significant given the scale of the project.

This project necessitates close working interaction between multiple professionals, the main contractor and his integrators. 

"The tenant is using his tenant allowance to integrate IT and intelligent infrastructure from the start as opposed to retrofitting. In this way the client obtains maximum value upfront, as its unique requirements and specifications are met. Such integration ultimately results in better business operations and commercial value," contends Hemphill. 

"Although we are installing new equipment, the continuum of being involved with the tenant through the design has brought about a strategic re-utilisation of existing equipment at Allan Gray to reduce waste and mitigate costs.

"The data centre has been designed using the Uptime Tier Standard, an owner driven performance standard, and we are satisfied that the facility will meet the stringent Tier 3 requirements," Hemphill explains.

The end result will be a high quality, energy-efficient, sustainable and intelligent building, enabling world class business operational effectiveness, in the 21st century 'datasphere'.

EES company profile:

EES is an ISO 9000 professional engineering management company. It provides engineering solutions to infrastructure, industrial and built environment applications, and specialises in the integration of multiple system infrastructure. This is achieved by means of data centre and smart connected real estate design in the global environment.

Its investment in technology allows it to work remotely irrespective of locality and in collaboration with its clients, contractors and technology providers.

The nerve centre of the modern built environment is the data centre. EES invests in training and development, and currently has four Certified Data Professionals on its staff, including an Uptime Institute Accredited Tier Designer.

It is committed to proactively assisting its clients to reduce their carbon footprint and facilitates the development of a 'green' commercial environment. Integral to this is an intrinsic awareness in the design process to ensure its clients save energy and improve their bottom line.