WSP in Africa has partnered with long standing client Vodacom and implemented sustainable interventions at the telco provider’s Cape Town regional head office – targeting a Green Star Existing Building Performance Rating through the GBCSA.
Vodacom subscribes to a philosophy of purposeful and continuous improvement – and its regional head office building in Century City is a testament to this, having undergone several enhancements since it was first constructed. The organisation has taken the step to be more purpose led, which aims to deliver on one of the pillars “planet”. The pursuit of an EBP rating fits in well with this objective, by creating and managing more sustainable working environments.
The Vodacom Century City building consists of 3 floors of office space, with external open parking and basement parking. The office development has a GLA of around 9500m². Located within the “happening” Century City Precinct, allowing for great public transport opportunities. There is a central atrium area where natural daylight penetrates through a large skylight to the lower levels - 81% of the occupied space has a clear line of sight to external views, including views into the day lit atrium.
In 2012 WSP oversaw the construction of a 500 kWp single-roof photovoltaic solar array on the building. The installation comprised of about 2 000 mono crystalline solar panels onto SolarWorld Sundeck and 100% recycled Suntabs roof sheeting over a 3 600 m² area. At the time, the project was said to be the largest array of solar panels on a single building in Africa and formed part of Vodacom’s aim of reducing its energy consumption and carbon footprint.
More recently, in 2017 Vodacom embarked on an extensive refurbishment of their Century City building - aimed at creating meaningful spaces within its office building, by using a combination of great design, materials and consideration for how the occupants will utilise the facilities.
The strategy behind the refurbishments was in recognition that green buildings are not solely about reducing energy, but are also about consuming less water, using less and more sustainable materials and resources, reducing waste, improving air and light quality, the restoration of habitat, reducing dependency on vehicles and much more…
During the refurbishment, WSP oversaw the design and implementation of a number of environmentally sustainable design features which allows the building to be on a path for a better future. However, these features are only efficient and valuable when the building is operated in support of the design intent. In line with this, WSP has provided guidance to Vodacom relating to sustainable operations, aimed at maximising on efficiencies of the environmentally sustainable design features – and continues to support Vodacom in monitoring the performance of the building towards attaining the targeted Existing Building Performance Green Star rating.
Initiatives for Green Star SA rating: Existing Building Performance
The elements briefly outlined below provide an indication of the various processes Vodacom has implemented or will be implementing in the near future – over-and-above existing efficiency interventions already in place - in order to show their commitment of moving towards operating the facility in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner:
- Publication of the Building’s User Guide: transparent knowledge transfer
- Sustainability Awareness Program: Driving education through talks, interviews, internal communication, posters and presentations
- Solid Waste Management: In order to ensure recycling is improved and that the amount of solid waste going to landfill is reduced
- Green Procurement: To ensure that the purchasing of operational consumables associated to the building are carefully selected in order to minimise impacts on the environment
- Green Cleaning: Exchange of standard cleaning consumables with a range of environmentally friendly cleaning products that reduce negative impacts on occupants
- Green Travel: This encourages the investigation of alternative transportation such as car-pooling, public transport, walking and cycling
- Indoor Air Quality Management: To ensures that the air in the usable area is of great standard which improves productivity and occupant well-being
- Grounds-Keeping Practices: Includes landscape, hard surfaces and integrated pest management plans which encourages operations that are environmentally friendly in order to reduce adverse impacts on the delicate nearby ecology and habitat