No1 Silo at V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Making green building history in South Africa, the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has announced that No. 1 Silo at V&A Waterfront in Cape Town has been given country’s first ever 6-Star Green Star SA “As Built” rating. No.1 Silo received a 6-Star Green Star SA – Office v1 As Built rating.
No. 1 Silo also previously received the Western Cape’s first 6-star Green Star SA rating for Design from the GBCSA. This makes it the first development to receive six green stars for both its design and the completed building.
The 18,500sqm office building was designed and built to be the new headquarters of blue-chip tenant Allan Gray. No. 1 Silo is developed by the V&A Waterfront, owned in equal parts by Growthpoint Properties and the Government Employees Pension Fund represented by the Public Investment Corporation (SOC) Limited. It is designed by Rick Brown Architects, VDMMA, and its green/sustainability consultants were ARUP.
Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA, comments: “We’re thrilled to award the maiden 6-Star Green Star SA As Built rating to such a deserving development.”
He adds: “No. 1 Silo had a great professional and project team who worked together to integrate green design into this commercial development. The developers and Allan Gray originally set out for a 4-Star rating for the building, then they set their sights on five stars. Later, they realised that, with a few more sustainable measures, a 6-Star rating was within reach. That’s what we need, even greater ambitions around green building and development in South Africa.”
Chief technical officer of the GBCSA Manfred Braune explains the Green Star SA Design ratings are important. They show green and sustainable elements are being considered in a new building development, right from the start. But, “As Built” ratings are perhaps more crucial as they show developers are following through on the green objectives set out in the design of the buildings.
As Built ratings only make up about 15% of the 59 buildings that have been awarded Green Star SA ratings across South Africa so far. Most ratings have been given for design.
Braune notes: “All buildings that receive Green Star SA Design ratings should ultimately be targeting As Built ratings too. But, sometimes budget constraints and other factors mean some original green design elements end up being excluded from the actual construction.”
But, Braune believes the property industry is starting to recognise the importance of achieving an As Built rating too. “The first 6-Star Green Star SA As Built rating is a sign that green building in South Africa is gaining momentum among industry leaders. No. 1 Silo has set the benchmark in an innovative industry that prizes the quality, appeal and sustainability of its properties. I have no doubt that we will start to see more and more applications for As Built ratings as a result,” said Braune.
No. 1 Silo is one of two buildings that make up the first completed phase in the new Silo Precinct of the V&A Waterfront, which will soon see the redevelopment of the historical Grain Silo.
Combining innovative green design solutions with proven technology, Silo No. 1 includes electric-car charging points in the basement, low-flow water fittings and a private roof garden.
Key sustainability features at Silo No.1 include the high-performance, fully glazed, double-skin glass façade that maximises views – including those over Silo Square and the Atlantic Ocean. It ensures optimal use of natural light.
Taking the best advantage of its location, it has a sea-water cooling system. It makes use of water from the ocean to reject waste heat from the cooling plant, which allows for significant potable water savings and improves the overall efficiency of the building.
And, this is only the beginning of the many meaningful measures incorporated in the building. All in all, this eye-catching commercial building shows how the latest green building innovations can be used to create modern, state-of-the-art corporate headquarters.
“No. 1 Silo is a world-class designed building that could easily be found in leading cities such as New York or London,” enthuses Braune. “The fact that it is in Cape Town and located in the prime V&A Waterfront precinct is fantastic. It speaks volumes about the commitment of the owners and tenant, and the value they place on green building — both design and construction.
He adds: “As a commercial development, the developers had to be aware of both budgets and time frames, but still managed to get this impressive 6-Star Green Star SA As Built rating, which is remarkable.”
David Green, CEO of V&A Waterfront comments, “The V&A is committed to leadership in sustainability practices – this is an integral part of our operations and all development at the Waterfront. Our pragmatic role is commercial yet we are able to be slightly more experimental in our mission to adhere to green and sustainable practises. The GBCSA’s 6-Star Green Star SA ‘As Built’ rating shows that we have followed through on a sustainability promise made in the design phase.”