News from - Spire Property Management
SPIRE TAKING UP GREEN BUILDING CHALLENGE
Growing public concern about global warming is putting pressure on property developers to go green.
Bruce Kerswill, Managing Director of Spire Property Management says that with buildings consuming nearly 50% of the worlds energy, and with the ability of developers to reduce energy consumption in buildings by over 50% through green building techniques, the property sector can have a major impact on reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Spire Property Management has taken up this challenge and we are looking to incorporate green principles into all our operations, including property management and development. While we will be incorporating green building principles into all new developments that we tackle, we believe that it is also particularly important to be able to retrofit existing buildings, as this is where most of our building stock lies.
According to Kerswill, Spire is looking to offer a green building option whereby the fit-out of a tenants office space is done along green building principles. Keith Craddock, Director of Spire notes that there is a menu of options that can be used, starting with the appropriate configuration of space to allow maximum light penetration, and ranging through the use of environmentally friendly materials, low-energy and photo-sensitive lighting, water-efficient plumbing fixtures and non-toxic paints, to name a few.
The idea is to be as energy-and resource-efficient as possible, says Craddock. You have to approach the project with the mindset of saving energy and some of it is pure common sense with various options available to suit different budgets and some of the measures have no additional cost implication at all.
A project will start with an energy efficient installation, but needs to extend into the way the tenant uses the space - about developing a culture of energy-efficiency. To be really effective, users of space need to be conscious about, for example, minimising electricity usage, cutting down on waste (especially paper), and recycling.
According to Craddock, Spire are finding that many companies are wanting to be more environmentally responsible, particularly where they report on a triple-bottom-line basis. Our job will be to make it easy for them but it is not immediate plain sailing. We are doing a fit-out of our own offices using these principles, and finding that it is not always easy to get the appropriate knowledge and materials.
Kerswill, with support from SAPOA and assistance from the Australian and World Green Building Councils, is currently facilitating the establishment of a Green Building Council for South Africa, a non-profit organisation to promote green building. He notes that the Green Building Council will play a major role in promoting green building, acting as a resource centre, developing a green building rating system and educating the property industry generally facilitating the practice of green building in South Africa.
Issued by: Catherine Pate