South Africas 1st 5 star green building rating

Aurecon’s office building in Century City, Cape Town, which is nearing completion, is the first building in South Africa to be awarded a 5 Star Green Star SA – Office Design v1 rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

Developed by the Rabie Property Group at a cost of around R130 million, the 7000 square metre office block is also the first building in Cape Town and only the fifth country-wide to achieve Green Star accreditation from the GBCSA. The four other buildings all achieved a 4 Star rating.

The new building will serve as the new regional offices for global engineering, management and specialist technical services group Aurecon who were responsible for the design of all the engineering services on the project and also the Green Star Rating application, with assistance from PJ Carew.

Rabie director Colin Anderson, who was responsible for the development, says they were ecstatic with the achievement, which was “doubly amazing given that we had to complete the building within a normal commercial budget”.

“Our success is due to the commitment, hard work and effort put into this project by the entire team and we thank them all for their valued contributions,” he said.

Albert Geldenhuys, Aurecon’s General Manager: South Africa, said that: “Increasingly, it has become important to demonstrate that our own buildings and facilities have been built in a sustainable manner. The group is committed to ensuring that we design and execute sustainable and environmentally responsible infrastructure projects and we have ensured that our teams include suitably trained and registered professionals, including environmentalists and Green Star SA Accredited Professionals.”

Announcing the 5 Star Green Star SA – Office Design v1 rating, Bruce Kerswill, Executive Chairman of the GBCSA, said: “The GBCSA is  thrilled that South Africahas its first 5 star certified building and that Cape Town is on the Green Star SA map. We wish to congratulate Aurecon and Rabie on their commitment in achieving this and we will be presenting the award at our annual Convention in October this year”.

Andersonsaid the 5 Star Rating had been achieved for the design of the building.

“However, as the building has been built to design there is no reason stopping us from also applying for an As Built Green Rating from the GBCSA. Only one other building in the country has so far achieved a Green Star rating in two categories and this was the Nedbank building in Johannesburgwhich achieved a 4 Star Green Star SA – Office Design v1 and a 4 Star Green Star SA – As Built v 1,” he said. Aurecon fulfilled the role of mechanical engineer and carried out specialist modelling for the green star submission for this project.

Andersonsaid in their questfor a Green-Star rating the professional team and building owners took into account the Green-Star SA criteria, namely Management, Indoor Environmental Quality, Energy, Water, Transport, Materials, Emissions, Land Use and Ecology and Innovation.

Finance for the development was provided by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance who has a long-standing relationship with the Rabie Group.

“We are immensely proud to finance this important achievement” says Frank Berkeley, managing executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance.

“For Nedbank, sustainability ultimately presents a means of achieving the delicate but essential balance between economic objectives, social development activities and environmental responsibility.”

The four storey building, which has been constructed on a podium covering a naturally-ventilated semi-basement of covered parking, was designed by MaC Architects and its orientation ensures maximum indirect sunlight and reduced east and west direct sunlight.

Other green measures undertaken include:

– A state-of-the-art air-conditioning system with a full economy cycle to provide free cooling when outside conditions are favourable
– A state-of-the-art Building Management System which monitors and controls and energy consumption
Grey water irrigation and the harvesting of rain water for the flushing of toilets
– High-performance glazing on the windows to reduce glare and radiant heat
– Innovative measures include the implementation of a “Green Lease”, believed to be the first in the country, in terms of which both the landlord and the tenant have undertaken to run the building as it was designed in terms of Green building principles

The building is due for completion at the end of this month, with occupation set for August.

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