Four Green Star SA Certifications for Buildings in South Africa

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) is thrilled to announce that there are now three buildings in South Africa which have been certified under the GBCSA’s Green Star SA rating system, one of these achieving both a Design and an As Built Certification.

These innovative buildings are starting to set the standards in terms of commercial green buildings and are the first to achieve independent certification in SA, with many more in the pipeline. “We are excited that we are covering both office and retail centre buildings with our current ratings tools, and very pleased with the take up of these tools in the South African market.” says Bruce Kerswill, GBCSA Executive Chairperson.

The GBCSA, after launching the first and second tools in the Green Star SA green building rating system toolset – these being Green Star SA Office v1 and Green Star SA Retail Centre v1 – have awarded four certifications to date and received applications from 15 other projects.

“While a number of projects are working towards the Green Star SA standards and benchmarks and even more using the tool as a guideline, four certifications have already been awarded,” explains Manfred Braune, Technical Executive of the GBCSA.

The first projects certified are:

1. Nedbank Phase II in Sandton, is the first project in SA to achieve a 4 Star Green Star SA Office Design v1 rating in October of 2009 as well as a 4 Star Green Star SA Office As Built v1 rating in September 2010;

This 45 000m2 extension of Nedbank’s existing head offices in Sandton Johannesburg, scored highest under the Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ), Management and Transport categories of the Green Star SA tool. The building is designed to capture and recycle rainwater, which will save significant volumes of water daily by reusing it in the building. The project has submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment for an onsite blackwater treatment plant (sewage treatment) that is pending approval from the authorities.

Nedbank Phase II has provided increased fresh air rates to the building (as compared to national building code), a CO2 monitoring system and maximised external views – these are all initiatives that improve the indoor environment quality, and impact on the occupants’ health, comfort and productivity. To save energy the project has also included an efficient central air-conditioning plant, variable speed drives for air-conditioning and an individually addressable digital lighting control system. The water savings will largely be achieved through the use of water efficient fixtures and fittings, as well as the rainwater treatment plant. The development is in close proximity to the Gautrain, and to regular taxi and bus routes, as well as to amenities that are in walking distance, which are all aspects that contributed towards the high scores achieved under the transport category.

2. Nedbank Ridgeside in Durban North received a 4 Star Green Star SA Office Design v1 rating;

Nedbank Ridgeside, the first project in KZN to achieve a Green Star SA rating, is a 9 300m2 new office building in the Ridgeside office park development on the Umhlanga Ridge. Developed by Zenprop, with Nedbank as the tenant, the architecture is “contemporary, but with a strong ecologically sustainable design influence” says David Talbot of dhk architects, the lead designers.

The project scored highest under the Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ), Energy and Water categories of the Green Star SA tool.

In the IEQ category, this was achieved largely through increased fresh air rates to the building, CO2 monitoring and control of the office space, as well as maximising the daylight into the building, maximising external views and using low VOC paints (Volatile Organic Compounds), low formaldehyde composite wood products. To save energy the Nedbank Ridgeside project has included an efficient central air-conditioning plant, highly efficient fluorescent office lighting design and a light switching zoning strategy. The water savings will largely be achieved through the use of water efficient fixtures and fittings, as well as through rainwater capture and recycling, as well as reduced potable water requirements for landscaping.

3. The Villa Mall in Pretoria received a 4 Star Green Star SA Retail Centre Design v1 rating in October of this year.

Villa Mall is the first project in South Africa to achieve a Green Star SA – Retail Centre Design v1 rating. This new, 130 000m2 shopping centre in Pretoria, which is being developed by Capicol, plans to have over 300 tenants, and scored highest under the Management, Energy, Transport and Water categories of the Green Star SA tool, says Braune.

In the Management category, this was achieved largely through committing to extensive commissioning of equipment, quarterly monitoring for the year after practical completion, as well as the development of a ‘green lease’ that tenants are signing. The main aims of the green lease are to ensure that quantities of energy, water and waste are monitored, tracked and improvements targeted annually, with related responsibilities between the landlord and tenant recorded in the green lease. To save energy the project design has included energy efficient Variable Refrigerant Volume systems for air-conditioning of tenancies, a highly efficient lighting design as well as a large photovoltaic (PV) array on the roof of the parking deck. According to the design, the PV array will be the largest in the country to be located on a building – approximately 2MW peak power.

The water savings will largely be achieved through the use of water efficient fixtures and fittings, as well as through grey water (shower and basin water) and rainwater capture and recycling, and reduced potable water requirements for landscaping due to selection of plants that will not require irrigation - these are all aspects included in the project design.

Green Star SA is a voluntary green building rating system under which developers may apply to have their projects rated and certified by the GBCSA.

The Green Star SA tools are designed for use by owners, developers and consultants (architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers, building contractors etc.) to independently rate and certify property developments via a common green building ‘language’ . The tool encourages these stakeholders to minimise the environmental impacts of their developments, and to receive recognition for their design initiatives.

Braune advises that the key objectives of the Green Star SA rating tools are as follows:

  • to provide an objective independent framework and standard for the measurement of green building
  • to establish a common language and act as a guide to building green
  • to recognise environmental leadership
  • to promote green buildings and environmental sustainability in the built environment
  • promote integrated, whole-building design,
  • raise awareness of green building benefits,
  • reduce the negative environmental impact of developments

Nicola Milne, CEO of the GBCSA says that the GBCSA is currently working on its third tool, Green Star SA for Multi Unit Residential buildings, which it aims to launch in PILOT form in December 2010.

“We are very excited to have awarded our first 4 Green Star SA certifications and with the number of applications coming in. It is a significant task for developers to put together a submission and the fact that we are seeing good uptake of the tools shows that the South African property industry is ready to adopt global best practises in green building,” concluded Milne.

For more information about Green Star SA, certification and professional accreditation and courses offered by the GBCSA, visit www.gbcsa.org.za or email info@gbcsa.org.za.

Article from: www.gbcsa.org.za