The new Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) head office in Pretoria has received a 6 Star Green Star SA Office Design v1 certification from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).
This is the first government building in South Africa to achieve a 6 Star Green Star SA rating, as well as being the first 6 Star rated green building in the City of Tshwane. A further stellar accomplishment was that the project achieved the highest score for a large commercial office space of this magnitude awarded by the GBCSA to date.
“The DEA has taken the lead, and is demonstrating commitment to market transformation in the built environment in South Africa. This is an exceptional illustration of the public and the private sector working together to deliver an outstanding example of green building,” said GBCSA, CEO Brian Wilkinson.
Achievement of this 6 Star Green Star SA rating signifies world leadership in green building and shows dedication to sustainable design by all stakeholders in this sizeable public-private partnership (PPP) project.
’This is not just another good looking block of offices in town, but a performing green building with specific targets on energy efficiency, water efficiency, an industry first sophisticated energy consumption mechanism never implemented in any other project in the construction sector, the use of renewable source of energy and a unique first facilities management system that encapsulate a rigorous penalty regime (with no precedent in the construction sector) to reward operational efficiency and penalise poor performance” says Minister Edna Molewa.
The DEA specified that the building should achieve a minimum 4 Star Green Star SA rating; however, the professional team surpassed this goal by scoring full points in the energy category, as well as being only the second project to achieve five points in the innovation category.
Once construction is complete and the building is occupied, the DEA head office will also submit documentation towards receiving an ‘As-built’ Green Star SA rating, which ensures that the original intentions in the design phase were adhered to.
The Facilities Management (FM) team has been involved with the project from the very start – including decisions on designs, suppliers, materials, and sub-contractors. FM plays a role in the commissioning of the building, ensuring that accurate data is collected, and used as a benchmark to evaluate the ongoing building performance.
“Operating the Building Management System will require specialised training, as will the Facilities Management System. Facility managers will attend the GBCSA Accredited Professional course to gain insight into green building and what they are required to do to keep this building green,” explains Dijalo Property Group director Peter Gray.
Green buildings represent responsible investment and reduced liability, and financial benefits of green buildings are realised through savings on energy and water over the long-term. Importantly, green buildings can also play a role in increasing productivity in the workplace, and greater attraction and retention of valuable skills.
The new DEA head office is likely to be a catalyst in the South African built environment, spurring momentum of the adoption of sustainable building practices.