Chevron SA Cape Town’s five-star head of­fice is ‘wa­ter pos­i­tive’ by al­most 50%

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

CHEVRON’S R200- mil­lion, 9 000m² head of­fice at Chevron Cen­tury Boule­vard in Cen­tury City, is a wa­ter-pos­i­tive build­ing, col­lect­ing more wa­ter than it con­sumes.

Chevron South Africa has re­duced its elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion at its head of­fice with a dif­fer­ence. Rain­wa­ter and air-con­di­tion­ing con­den­sate are har­vested from the roof and bal­conies and stored in a tank be­low the base­ment, which is al­most the size of an Olympic pool.

“This has re­sulted in a re­duc­tion in wa­ter con­sump- tion in the build­ing by ap­prox­i­mately 90 per­cent,” says Shashi Rab­bi­pal chair­man of Chevron SA, which trades un­der the Cal­tex brand in South Africa.

Chevron SA is part of Chevron Cor­po­ra­tion, the world’s sec­ond largest in­te­grated en­ergy com­pany. Chevron SA op­er­ates a crude oil re­fin­ery in Cape Town with a pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of 100 000 bar­rels a day. The re­fin­ery pro­duces petrol, diesel, jet fuel, liq­ue­fied gas and other prod­ucts for SA and for ex­port to other African coun­tries.

Chevron Cen­tury Boule­vard is one of a hand­ful of build­ings in the area that has been awarded a Five-Star Green Star rat­ing by the Green Build­ing Coun­cil of South Africa for ex­cel­lence in green build­ing design, con­struc­tion and man­age­ment.

Com­ment­ing on the sus­tain­abil­ity per­for­mance of the head of­fice, Rab­bi­pal says Chevron SA wanted to pro­vide the most ap­pro­pri­ate and sus­tain­able long-term of­fice ac­com­mo­da­tion for the well-be­ing of its em­ploy­ees and en­vi­ron­ment in which it op­er­ates.

“The op­er­a­tion of the build­ing over the past 12 months shows that design and con­struc­tion tech­niques are crit­i­cal to pro­duc­ing sus­tain­able spa­ces,” he says.

Since it was first oc­cu­pied last year, the new Chevron SA head­quar­ters has re­duced its elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion by roughly half. Contributing to the re­duc­tion in elec­tric­ity is the in­stal­la­tion of Dig­i­tal Ad­dress­able Light­ing In­ter­face, a so­phis­ti­cated light­ing con­trol sys­tem that is en­ergy ef­fi­cient and per­mits in­di­vid­ual con­trol over each light.

“Louis Karol Ar­chi­tects fo­cused on us­ing mostly lo­cally sourced ma­te­ri­als in the build­ing, and be­lieve that design for de­tail per­ma­nence and cre­ative re-us­abil­ity are an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to ar­chi­tec­tural sus­tain­abil­ity.

“Build­ing ob­so­les­cence is an en­vi­ron­men­tal catas­tro­phe. Aside from the con­ven­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal pri­or­i­ties of en­ergy and ma­te­ri­als con­sump­tion, given that build­ings can con­sti­tute the most pol­lut­ing en­ti­ties on Earth, cre­ative reusabil­ity is one of our great­est con­tri­bu­tions to ar­chi­tec­tural sus­tain­abil­ity,” says Rab­bi­pal.

“Chevron world­wide is at the cut­ting edge of tech­nol­ogy so it is ap­pro­pri­ate that we have a mar­riage of hu­man needs and ar­chi­tec­tural ideals in this build­ing. It’s a fine ex­am­ple of how good ar­chi­tec­ture can com­bine with tech­nol­ogy to in­flu­ence our moods and con­sump­tion be­hav­iour, which is so im­por­tant con­sid­er­ing SA’s wa­ter and en­ergy needs.”

In ad­di­tion to the recogni- tion for its en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly fea­tures, the de­vel­op­ers also re­ceived an award for safety from the Mas­ter Builders’ As­so­ci­a­tion in 2013 for achiev­ing a zero-in­jury sta­tus dur­ing the 450- day con­struc­tion pe­riod.

“Chevron SA has main­tained a pres­ence in the coun­try dat­ing back to 1911 and Chevron Cen­tury Boule­vard is the mod­ern sym­bol of our on­go­ing con­tri­bu­tion to the coun­try and the econ­omy of Cape Town. This year, the govern­ment has put more em­pha- sis on im­prov­ing the strug­gling econ­omy, cre­at­ing jobs, de­vel­op­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery and mak­ing SA more en­ergy se­cure.

“We all have a role to play in this. The com­bined work­force of Chevron SA and its busi­ness part­ners sup­ports over 100 000 jobs, which amounts to about 0.8 per­cent of to­tal em­ploy­ment in SA. For each em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­nity cre­ated by Chevron SA and its di­rect sup­pli­ers, 3.1 ad­di­tional jobs are sus­tained by Chevron SA through­out the econ­omy.

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