En­ergy-smart build­ing im­presses

Pres­i­dent com­mends depart­ment for in­no­va­tion

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - LOUISE FLANA­GAN

HE OF­FI­CIALS have moved in and Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma has of­fi­cially opened the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs’ new “green” build­ing head­quar­ters.

It’s the first gov­ern­ment build­ing to achieve a 6 Green Star rat­ing from the Green Build­ing Coun­cil of SA and is re­garded as a land­mark in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency.

It’s a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship be­tween the depart­ment and Imvelo.

The de­vel­oper is Imvelo Con­ces­sions, which com­prises Old Mu­tual, Kag­iso Tiso Group, Wiphold and Aveng Gri­naker-LTA. The fa­cil­i­ties man­ager is Imvelo Fa­cil­i­ties Man­age­ment – a joint ven­ture be­tween Old Mu­tual Prop­erty and Di­jalo Prop­erty Group.

Con­struc­tion started in July 2012 and fin­ished in May this year, the depart­ment moved in in Au­gust and the of­fi­cial open­ing was last month.

The new build­ing is on the cor­ner of Sout­pans­berg and Steve Biko roads in Pre­to­ria.

Pho­to­voltaic cells line the roof; grey wa­ter is treated on site to use in the air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem, toi­lets and for wa­ter­ing the gar­dens; lights au­to­mat­i­cally light up or dim when peo­ple move in or out of an area; au­to­matic sen­sors open and close win­dows de­pend­ing on the tem­per­a­ture; there’s a huge “green wall” of plants at the en­trance; and the depart­ment’s elec­tric cars can be plugged into a so­lar power sta­tion to recharge.

The build­ing pro­vides 30 654 square me­tres of space.

Over­all en­ergy con­sump­tion is ex­pected to be less than 115kWh per square me­tre a year (any higher than that is for the pri­vate part­ner’s cost), and so­lar power pro­vides about 10 per­cent of the power and the City of Tsh­wane the rest.

At last month’s open­ing, Green Build­ing Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Brian Wilkin­son wel-

Tcomed the new struc­ture, say­ing green build­ing was pos­si­ble and made com­mer­cial sense. He said the build­ing was one of only three 6-star build­ings in South Africa.

Wilkin­son said green build­ings saved on av­er­age 34 per- cent on elec­tric­ity bills, 48 per­cent on wa­ter and 50 per­cent on waste to land­fill sites.

Zuma said the build­ing showed a com­mit­ment to lower emis­sions and a com­mit­ment to the green econ­omy.

“The Depart­ment of Envi- ron­men­tal Af­fairs is walk­ing the green talk,” Zuma said, adding this should en­cour­age oth­ers to follow suit.

PIC­TURE: KOPANO TLAPE / GCIS

EMIS­SION-FREE: Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in­spects the zero-emis­sion ve­hi­cles at the of­fi­cial launch of En­vi­ron­ment House, the green head­quar­ters of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs in Pre­to­ria.

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