RMB 8 Merchant Place

Achieving work-life balance through a sustainable wellness centre.

The new RMB 8 Merchant Place (8MP) is a new four-storey building located in Sandton, Johannesburg. It covers an area of 4000 m2 and includes a medical wellness centre, gym, crèche, retail stores, and a rooftop entertainment area with a running track.

RMB Private Bank recognised the need to enhance the work-life balance of its employees. It planned to consolidate all employee wellness offerings into a single integrated lifestyle facility building on its existing Merchant Place Campus.

Accomplishing the aesthetically striking architectural vision and client’s concept for the new building required exceptional ingenuity and civil engineering expertise.

Zutari provided structural, civil, wet services, and sustainability consulting services for the new RMB 8MP building. The structural scope of work encompassed the design and supervision of the new building, including strengthening the existing columns and underpinning the foundations, while the civil scope comprised the stormwater design.

The geometric complexities of the new building meant that 3D modelling and collaboration within the project team were vital for the project’s success. The building is defined by its curved geometry, with all floor plates differing from each other. Zutari and the architects drove the BIM collaboration on the project, ensuring all services were coordinated on one federated model.

The new facility resulted in long-term employment for people working at the gym, crèche, and various medical suites and shops.
The building was awarded a 4 Star Green Star certification under the Public and Education Building scheme of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).

The design was carried out to meet the Green Star compliance requirements. This includes using specific pipe materials, low-flow sanitary fittings, and a two-pipe drainage system that separates soil and wastewater for future project treatment and reuse. Additionally, a central hot water system was installed to comply with SANS low-power usage requirements while meeting the daily demand for hot water. All areas are metered via the Building Management System (BMS) to ensure optimal water management.

An improved indoor environment was created by increasing ventilation rates, incorporating glare-control elements, optimising external views, providing access to nature, and ensuring thermally comfortable spaces. This was further enhanced using occupant-friendly materials and finishes. Additionally, dedicated exhaust risers were installed within the tenancies to ensure that air pollutants, such as those emanating from printing machines, are effectively exhausted outwards.

The new facilities incorporated in 8MP would reduce the time the employees spend on their morning routines by having a crèche and gym within walking distance from the office. Medical facilities at the complex would also make visiting the doctor and having check-ups more convenient.

*The Aurecon Africa business has been officially renamed Zutari as at 21 July 2020.  Zutari acquired Aurecon Middle East on 20 November 2020.

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