WSP Green by Design, a division of WSP Africa, set another engineering consulting industry benchmark when WSP House in Bryanston, Johannesburg, was awarded a 3 Star Green Star rating under the Existing Building Performance (EBP) Pilot Rating tool. The rating was certified by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). 

“We are thrilled with this outcome! When the new EBP tool pilot rating was announced at the annual Green Building Convention last year, we couldn’t wait to put it to practice.  And what better way to demonstrate its efficacy than with our own building,” says Gregory Rice, Sustainability Consultant, WSP Africa Building Services. “We treated this process the same way we would a client’s building or project.  We employed our own expertise within WSP Green by Design to identify design features and operations already in practice in the management of WSP House. We then collated these operational plans and design documentation into the submission and this was presented to the GBCSA for assessment of the building under the EBP Pilot Rating.”

The Existing Building Performance rating awarded to the project team and the building is a reflection of WSP’s commitment to embracing environmental sustainability into the day-to-day operations of the business.  Rice says: “Sustainability really is at the heart of our business. With this project, we are truly showing what we put out into the market. At the same time, it is to the benefit of our own staff, building and business operations.”

Situated in the Bryanston Place Office Park, some 20km North of the CBD of Johannesburg, WSP House consists of 2 floors that are occupied by the campus reception, meeting rooms, campus canteen, open plan office space and a spacious and adaptable functions hall. Additionally, a naturally ventilated single level car parkade below the building and exterior permeable paving provide parking facilities for the building’s occupants. Some of the inherent sustainability features of WSP House include; an abundance of natural light throughout the open plan office spaces, shading on the North facing glazing, occupant controlled blinds, few permanent/fixed interior features to allow for easy adaptation of space and a naturally ventilated basement to reduce the build-up of pollutants. The management of WSP House also continually maintain documented procurement, replacement and operations processes.

“Of the operational initiatives for this building that we had identified and submitted for assessment under the EBP Pilot Rating, the points we were awarded were aligned to our expectations across the board and in some instances, even exceeded them. This demonstrates to us that we are on the right track. Additionally, the feedback we have received through this pilot has not only enabled us to identify areas where we can improve on performance, but it has also provided us with great insights and learnings that we can apply to future projects for our clients. Transforming any existing building into a better, greener one truly is a journey,” concludes Rice.