During the handover, WSP in Africa Managing Director, Mathieu du Plooy, said: “We are delighted to receive the Green Star plaque from GBCSA for our new HQ in Knightsbridge – and congratulate all members of our Green by Design team who were not only involved as sustainability consultants on this project from start to finish, but have had an active hand in setting a number of benchmarks in sustainable design, locally and in Africa.”
The company’s underlying intent on this project was to prove that it is possible to have a well-designed, efficient building that is more cost effective to build and maintain than a non-rated building. The design of the building is on the cutting edge of modern working environments. Following biophilic design principles, the building offers staff an amazing space to be inspired and work in.
Some keen features and sustainable attributes of this building include:
- High fresh air rates - 66% improvement on SANS requirements.
- Exclusive use of Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paints, carpets and sealants.
- High quality daylight levels in 60% of the usable area of the building and, 80% of the office usable area has access to views of the outdoors to enhance the indoor environment.
- Energy is reduced through a combination of natural and efficient mechanical basement ventilation, efficient light fittings and zones controlled by occupancy sensors as well as efficient air conditioning systems that meet the thermal comfort needs of the local climate with low energy consumption.
- Water efficient flushing systems, taps and shower facilities, as well as rainwater harvesting contribute to the overall water resilience aim for the building. High quality potable water for irrigation demand is reduced through water-wise plant selection, as well as through irrigating using rainwater collected from the western platform.
- Water and energy meters have been installed to monitor substantive uses, and are connected to the Building Management System (BMS) for the overall precinct. This allows the precinct and building managers to effectively monitor, trend and identify any wasteful consumption patterns of the building.
- The construction materials were selected for their low carbon content, including concrete with a high fly ash content and reinforcing steel with a high (90%) post-consumer recycled content.
- Smoking within the building is prohibited.
- A beautiful rooftop garden that speaks to the overall biophilic design of the building.