Bald­win is go­ing green with so­lar en­ergy and wind power

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Roy Cokayne

LISTED Bal­win Prop­er­ties, one of the largest builders of sec­tional-ti­tle homes in South Africa, has part­nered with So­larAfrica to in­tro­duce so­lar en­ergy to its up­mar­ket de­vel­op­ments.

Steve Brookes, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bal­win Prop­er­ties, said yes­ter­day that So­larAfrica’s clean en­ergy so­lu­tions for the res­i­den­tial sec­tional ti­tle mar­ket in South Africa would re­sult in a ben­e­fit to their clients of an about 10 per­cent sav­ing on their util­ity ac­count.

Brookes said the so­lar en­ergy so­lu­tions were be­ing in­tro­duced to two of its Jo­han­nes­burg de­vel­op­ments, Kikuyu in Wa­ter­fall and The Whisken in Crowthorne, but would be in­tro­duced to all fu­ture Bal­win projects.

He added that res­i­den­tial units in Kikuyu and The Whisken were mod­ern and el­e­gant and came stan­dard with pre­paid elec­tric­ity and in­di­vid­ual wa­ter me­ters.

Brookes said Bal­win Prop­er­ties was also con­sid­er­ing in­tro­duc­ing wind tur­bines in its projects in the Western Cape and KwaZu­luNatal, which would be placed on top of the club­house in projects. He said wind tur­bines had the added ad­van­tage in that they did gen­er­ate power at night.

Brookes added that it was much eas­ier to in­stall green en­ergy so­lu­tions, such as so­lar en­ergy, dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase rather than at­tempt­ing to retro fit them to res­i­den­tial units.

He said So­larAfrica could retro fit them, but Bal­win was not in­volved in that, be­cause the units it de­vel­oped were sold.

Brookes said Bal­win was con­tin­u­ally tai­lor­ing their de­vel­op­ments to match mar­ket de­mands, of­fer­ing in­no­va­tions in life­style, con­ve­nience and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency.

“While we al­ready of­fer pre­paid me­ters al­low­ing res­i­dents to ac­tively man­age their elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion, the ad­di­tion of so­lar power will save res­i­dents on their monthly elec­tric­ity bill, which is of ut­most im­por­tance con­sid­er­ing the ris­ing cost of liv­ing.

“We are proud to be lead­ing the way in driv­ing green ini­tia­tives for de­vel­op­ments like ours.

“This is clearly a con­cept that we will look to roll out to se­lect fu­ture de­vel­op­ments,” he said.

Gra­hame Cruick­shanks, the man­ag­ing ex­ec­u­tive of res­i­den­tial at the Green Build­ing Coun­cil South Africa, said Bal­win’s Kikuyu and The Whisken projects were tar­get­ing Edge cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and would de­liver sig­nif­i­cant en­ergy sav­ings to res­i­dents who “live smart” in their homes through a range of prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions that con­trib­uted to­wards achiev­ing a min­i­mum of 20 per­cent sav­ings in the pre­dicted en­ergy and wa­ter con­sump­tion of the homes.

Cruick­shanks said an ad­di­tional 20 per­cent re­duc­tion in the em­bod­ied en­ergy of the ma­te­ri­als used in con­struc­tion would re­sult in a re­duced en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

“Once cer­ti­fied these projects will be amongst the first Edge cer­ti­fied projects to in­clude so­lar PV tech­nol­ogy, of­fer­ing en­ergy sav­ings ben­e­fits to res­i­dents and set­ting an ex­cit­ing trend in green homes,” he said.

James Irons, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of So­larAfrica, said the part­ner­ship with Bal­win was ex­cit­ing, adding that their so­lar and load man­age­ment so­lu­tion at The Whisken and Kikuyu would demon­strate how greener build­ings could lower util­ity costs through en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly liv­ing.

‘This is clearly a con­cept that we will look to roll out to se­lect fu­ture de­vel­op­ments.’

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