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