Rudolf Pienaar has been amongst those at the forefront of South Africa’s movement for green building and a sustainable built environment since 2008.
Rudolf is a divisional director of Growthpoint Properties, South Africa’s largest JSE-listed REIT and a JSE ALSI 40 company, which has property assets valued at nearly R100 billion and measuring approximately 6.6 million m². Growthpoint is a JSE Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index company and a Dow Jones Sustainability Index company. It is also a top performer in the CDP Climate Performance Index. Growthpoint also participated in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark Survey in 2014. Investec developed an ESG rating similar to that of a credit rating. Public information and several other ESG sources such as MSCI are used to compile the rating. Growthpoint is the only company that achieved an ESG rating of A.
Leading the way in green building in South Africa, Growthpoint is a Platinum Founding Member of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). It co-sponsored the GBCSA.s Energy and Water Benchmarking Tool. Growthpoint also plays an active role in piloting new tools with the GBCSA and is presently participating in the pilot programmes for the Green Star SA Existing Building Performance Tool and the Socio-Economic Category. Growthpoint has also partnered with the GBCSA for the Greenovate Awards – an initiative launched in March 2015 to inspire and encourage students of the built environment to discover, explore and invent ways to live more sustainably. The awards are designed to help link environmental challenges to innovative thinking, and are being piloted at three leading South African universities.
Growthpoint owns or co-owns the largest portfolio GBCSA certified green buildings of any one company in the South Africa: 10 buildings certified for design or ‘as built’. Its leadership in green building and sustainability innovation is widely recognised.
Rudolf is Deputy Chairperson of the GBCSA Board. He has been a board member since September 2010 and chairs its Marketing Committee and is a member of its Executive Committee. He shares his 30 years’ experience in the property industry and has his experience in senior management positions of five listed property companies. He has been a director of management companies of Barprop, Primegro and is currently a divisional director of Growthpoint, director of Acucap, a R16.8 billion fund, and the V&A Waterfront. Rudolf also serves on the Advisory Board of the Department of Construction Economics at the University of Pretoria.
An avid advocate of green building, Rudolf is responsible for Growthpoint’s significant R32 billion portfolio of offices, which is considered South Africa’s premier office portfolio. He is also a key member of the Growthpoint development team, which leads the company’s development of new green buildings, and has, so far, developed over R7.2 billion measuring 355,000m² in properties.
In his roles at Growthpoint, he has been a passionate driver of change for a greener built environment. Many of Growthpoint’s developments have won accolades for their sustainability and innovation. These ground-breaking developments have also led the way on South Africa’s green building journey, including receiving South Africa’s first Green Star SA rating for multi-tenanted green office building, the first major redevelopment to receive a Green Star rating, and the first Green Star SA rating recognising a roof-top solar installation.
Growthpoint’s office portfolio is not only excelling in green building performance, but financial performance too. With Rudolf at the helm, Growthpoint’s office portfolio won IPD/Financial Mail Listed Property Investment Awards for the best performing Office portfolio. Growthpoint has won South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) Awards for Innovative Excellence in Property Development for its office, industrial and mixed-use developments. It won the SAPOA Excellence Award for overall sustainability in 2013 and for Innovative Merit in 2014, specifically for the use of solar PV cells integrated into transparent glass to create a landmark office building with windows that generate energy, an African first.
The prestigious LUX International Project of the Year award in 2014 was presented on Growthpoint for its low energy lighting replacement programme across its whole portfolio. Growthpoint was the proud recipient of the Nedbank Capital Sustainable Business Award in the category Infrastructure and Renewable Energy for the years 2013 and 2014. It is also a finalist for the Eco-Logic Awards in 2014 for the category Energy Reduction, and won a merit award in the Recycling category.
Growthpoint are co-owners of the iconic V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, where the latest development of the Silo Precinct is a shining example of green building accomplishments. No. 1 Silo, the 18,500m² corporate head office, was awarded the region's first GBCSA as built 6-star Green Star SA rating. The development further received the SAPOA award for Best Sustainable Development, Best Office Development and Best Overall Development. It features innovations such as a seawater cooling system. No. 2 Silo residential development received a 4-star GBCSA Multi-Unit Residential Design rating and the SAPOA award for Best Residential Development. Its commitment to green building and sustainability played an important role in The V&A Waterfront being named the winner of the highly-contested international award for “Best Destination for Responsible Tourism” at the World Travel Market in London. The Award was given in recognition of the V&A Waterfront.s commitment and leadership in not only preserving the heritage of the property, but also its forward-thinking and planning in terms of sustainable development.
Believing the best way to lead is by example, under Rudolf’s hand, Growthpoint’s energy-efficient and environmentally innovative ethos sets its properties apart. It has already built South Africa’s largest portfolio of green building. Growthpoint targets a GBCSA Green Star SA 4-star ‘As Built’ certification for all its new office developments. Also, all its office buildings are in the process of being benchmarked against the GBCSA’s Energy and Water Performance Rating Tool.