Gugulethu re­tail cen­tre set­ting ‘green’ pace for South Africa

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

GUGULETHU Square, the R350 mil­lion re­tail de­vel­op­ment due to open in Gugulethu in Novem­ber, may help shape the rat­ing tool to be ap­plied to shop­ping cen­tres by the Green Build­ing Coun­cil of South Africa.

South Africa has adapted the Aus­tralian Green Star rat­ing sys­tem to as­sess build­ings for their en­ergy and re­source ef­fi­ciency and en­vi­ron­men­tal friend­li­ness, says Mzoli Ng­cawuzele, spokesman for the de­vel­op­ers, Mzoli Prop­er­ties.

It is part of a con­sor­tium com­pris­ing the IDEAS Fund, a part­ner­ship prod­uct be­tween Old Mu­tual and Unity (a con­sor­tium of trade unions), Group Five and Khula Fi­nance.

Ng­cawuzele says en­ergy-sav­ing al­ter­na­tives ap­plied to Gugulethu Square in­clude an en­ergy-ef­fi­cient wa­ter-cooled air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem, a rain­wa­ter sys­tem, in­tel­li­gent lighting and tilt-up con­crete façade construction re­quir­ing no ex­ter­nal paint­ing and less trans­port than usual construction meth­ods.

Other mea­sures were the use of on-site ma­te­rial for back­fill­ing, re­use of 4 000m brick paving from the site on which the cen­tre has been de­vel­oped, sal­vaging of de­mol­ished ma­te­rial for com­mu­nity use, and the in­tro­duc­tion of op­er­a­tional waste man­age­ment sys­tems.

“The for­mer Ey­ona Cen­tre on which Gugulethu Square has been de­vel­oped was not de­mol­ished con­ven­tion­ally,” he says. “It was dis­man­tled at a higher cost s o t hat ma­te­ri­als and com­po­nents from this build­ing, with a value of R300 000, could be do­nated to and re­cy­cled by the im­me­di­ate com­mu­nity.

“Apart from sal­vaging brick paving from Ey­ona, de­mol­ished con­crete was set aside for re-use un­der roads and for some con­crete work. Re­cy­cling crushed con­crete into bricks spec­i­fied for the project also meant re­duced waste to land­fill and fewer new ma­te­ri­als.”

Ng­cawuzele says the use of a con­crete ad­di­tive as a wa­ter­proof­ing agent elim­i­nated the ad­di­tional ap­pli­ca­tion of bi­tu­men, acrylic or epoxy coat­ings, a layer of screed with ei­ther paving or tar­mac. This meant fewer trades and ma­te­ri­als and also re­duced fu­ture costs of main­te­nance and re­place­ment of ma­te­rial. He says the wa­ter-cooled air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem cost 21 per­cent more than an air-cooled sys­tem, but its en­ergy con­sump­tion was 30 per­cent less.

Bet­ter work­ing and shop­ping con­di­tions would be pro­duced by an air-con­di­tion­ing mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem which con­verts to an econ­omy cy­cle wh e n e x t e r n a l c o n d i t i o n s a r e favourable.

“This will mean more fresh air cir­cu­lat­ing around the build­ing, a clear­ing of car­bon diox­ide build-up af­ter hours, and a re­duc­tion in ther­mal build-up,” says Ng­cawuzele. “Re­duced en­ergy con­sump­tion and air con­di­tion­ing re­quire­ments will flow from the use of ef­fi­cient light fit­tings to curb heat loads and sen­sors con­trol­ling light ac­ti­va­tion.

“Gugulethu Square will also sup­ply all ir­ri­ga­tion for its land­scap­ing from its own rain­wa­ter and grey wa­ter tanks.

“It is also aim­ing to re­duce the amount of waste trans­ported to land­fill sites through waste sep­a­ra­tion by re­tail ten­ants and col­lec­tion of re­cy­clable ma­te­rial by ser­vice providers.”

Ng c aw u z e l e s ay s Gu g u l e t h u Square’s of­fer­ing as a ma­jor re­tail cen­tre will mean less trans­port and time spent on shop­ping by res­i­dents.

“Also, since the cen­tre ac­com­mo­dates most of its park­ing re­quire­ments on the main roof, less valu­able land at g round level is ded­i­cated to park­ing. Di­rect con­tact be­tween the street and the cen­tre will en­cour­age foot traf­fic and make for a safer en­vi­ron­ment.

“The in­tro­duc­tion of bi­cy­cle racks and fa­cil­i­ties for peo­ple work­ing at Gugulethu Square is in­tended to re­duce ve­hi­cle trips, make it eco­nom­i­cal for them to com­mute and give them a healthy al­ter­na­tive,” says Ng­cawuzele.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.