Dr Werner van Antwerpen’s focus is to develop and implement sustainable strategies for Growthpoint Properties. He specialises in utility management, consumption reduction, renewable energy implementation and green building certification for office, retail and industrial properties.


Watch the first part of this video to learn more about his responsibilities.


Property portfolio


Growthpoint’s 471 properties in South Africa are valued at R71,6 billion. In addition they own 50% interest in V&A Waterfront properties in Cape Town, valued at R6,8 billion.


Werner is helping to build a sustainable future

Environmental conservation, global warming, climate change and the green economy are four buzzwords of our era. They speak of an attitude that is characteristic of the first two decades of the 21st century.


There are supporters and detractors of this. And then there are the champions in the frontline, fighting for a better future for tomorrow's generations. Dr Werner van Antwerpen is one of them.

The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) recently honoured this alumnus of the Potchefstroom Campus with the council's coveted chairman's award for his contribution to green buildings. “It was incredibly special,” says Werner, head of the Sustainability and Utilities division at Growthpoint Properties, from his office in Sandton.


Seana Nkhahle, chairman of GBCSA, was full of praise when he described Werner's contribution: “The fervour with which Werner drives Growthpoint's achievements as green-building leader is legendary.”


From the Free State to London


Werner’s journey has been remarkable. “I come from a mining family in Welkom, and from there we moved to Fochville.” From there he went to the Potchefstroom Campus where he served as primarius and deputy primarius of Patria men's residence for five years while studying engineering from 2001 to 2004.


During this period described by him as being “the best years of my life,” Werner met pharmacy student Leandré, now his wife. For the past 15 months, daughter Elsemay has been the third member of a very happy household.


Werner also holds a master's and doctoral degree in nuclear engineering from the NWU.After completing his studies, Werner and Leandré made a big decision. They sold their possessions, packed their suitcases, and moved to London where Werner completed his MBA at Hult Business School.


“Leandré was the breadwinner; she had to look after me while we were there,” he jokingly admits.


Keeping a healthy balance


There is no doubt that he is driven, but as is the case with the buildings that have brought him acclaim, he prioritises balance. “I enjoy playing tennis and golf, and I try to hit the gym as often as possible.”


A health nut, or what? “Most certainly,” he confirms with a laugh. “This is probably because my wife is a pharmacist. I also like listening to audio books when I am stuck in traffic, especially books on business and autobiographies. In the evenings I read my bible.”


A recent audio book that stood out was the new autobiography of Elon Musk, visionary entrepreneur and inventor of PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity. “He is causing a sensation in a field that interests me.”


Besides his obligations at Growthpoint, he also manages a non-profit organisation called Child Active. This is a sports academy with 10 coaches specialising in and identifying talent in sporting codes like cricket, tennis, hockey, and rugby in George and surrounding areas. Currently, about 150 children are involved with Child Active.


“It is a project very close to my heart and it is a privilege to be able to make a positive contribution to the lives of these children,” he says.


He tends to be a man of few words. Sustainable development is achieved through actions – which is why "doing" is the most important word in his vocabulary.



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more info


What is a green building?


Although the criteria for green buildings differ, the following are general considerations:


  • The use of solar panels
  • Improved insulation for better conservation of energy
  • Roof plants
  • Advanced ventilation
  • Lighting adapted to make optimal use of natural light
  • Water conservation
  • Building oriented towards the sun to regulate heat and cold
  • Environmentally friendly building materials
  • The use of rainwater systems
  • Smart heating and cooling systems


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