No. 5 Silo awarded prestigious 6-Star Design Rating

V&A Waterfront Silo District Award Function
Left to right: Dorah Modise (CEO, Green Building Council of South Africa), Colin Devenish (Executive Manager of Operations, V&A Waterfront), Brian Wilkinson (Former CEO, GBCSA), Martin Kearns (Development Executive, V&A Waterfront), Mark Noble (Development Manager, V&A Waterfront), David Green (CEO, V&A Waterfront)

The V&A Waterfront has cause for double celebration, having received both international and local design awards for their Silo District development.

The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design recently announced a 2017 Green GOOD DESIGN™ Award for the Silo District, citing it as an “important example of sustainable design”. The committee gives just 100 awards each year, but receives hundreds of submissions for consideration from around the world.

Additionally, multi-tenanted office building No. 5 Silo has become the second development at the Waterfront to be awarded a prestigious 6-Star Design Rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), in recognition of its industry leading and environmentally sustainable design.

Speaking on these awards, V&A Waterfront CEO David Green said, “Sustainable development and green operations are fundamental to the V&A Waterfront’s overall development strategy. We are committed to ensuring our environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives are at the forefront of all our business practices, and are honored to receive these awards as recognition of our efforts.”

Founded in Chicago in 1950 and adjudicated by worldwide leaders in the design industry, the Green GOOD DESIGN Awards intend to identify and emphasize the world’s most important examples of sustainable design and to develop a public awareness program to the general public about which global companies are doing the best job ecological and sustainable design for global environments.

Previous winners include some of the world’s most prominent manufacturers and FORTUNE 500 companies.

GBCSA awards No. 5 Silo awarded 6-Star Design Rating

The award comes off the back of the local but internationally recognized GBCSA 6-star Design rating for No, 5 Silo, a building within the Silo District that is illustrative of why the District received the Green GOOD Design Award.

6-Star Design Ratings are awarded by the GBCSA to buildings that not only incorporate sustainable principles in their design, but can also offer proof that these design principles work in practice long after construction is complete. All design principles considered in the rating are subjected to rigorous testing, as was the case with the V&A Waterfront’s No. 5 Silo.

Extensive commissioning was done on No. 5 Silo during the development and construction stage, all under the guidance of an Independent Commissioning Agent, to ensure that both during construction and once complete, the building would operate at optimum efficiency. This required a strong focus on training and raising the general awareness amongst professionals and contractors involved in the building’s construction.

Having worked on previous V&A Waterfront projects, including the award-winning No. 1 Silo (Allan Gray) building, technical engineering consultants Arup were appointed to consult on the construction of No. 5 Silo. Acting as sustainability consultants, and facade, wet services and structural engineers, Arup’s input was crucial in making the V&A Waterfront’s vision of a top-notch sustainable building that functions in line with international sustainability best practice a reality.

Among No. 5 Silo’s most notable green features are the building’s high-performance facade that ensures optimal use of natural lighting, a landscaped roof with photo voltaic, and an advanced sea water heating and cooling system that uses cold Atlantic seawater to both heat and cool the building. The building’s lighting system has been designed to reduce unnatural ‘light pollution’ on the night sky.

Water efficient sanitary ware fittings were also used in the building, to reduce potable water consumption by occupants, and the building’s ventilation system was designed to optimize natural airflow as much as possible: No. 5 Silo’s atrium is in fact ventilated by natural airflow alone.

An on-site metering system continually monitors and manages water and electricity consumption to ensure the building remains efficient, and the ‘smart’ ventilation system monitors carbon dioxide levels in the building, to ensure fresh airflow from outside.

The building’s close geographical position to Cape Town’s MyCiti bus service and a secure bicycle parking facility also means that No. 5 Silo promotes the use of sustainable public and non-motorized transport. Owners of electric cars have also been catered for in the building’s design, with a number of car charging stations installed in the building.

To test the implementation of some of No. 5 Silo’s sustainability features, the contracting team conducted an air tightness test, one of only a few ever conducted in South Africa. This test was used to ensure that the building envelope was sufficiently sealed to prevent loss of energy through the facade and therefore improve the overall efficiency of the building.

Finding the right ‘green materials’ was also a challenge, and, in the end, No. 5 Silo was built using sustainable timber, 40% less cement than a building of the same size built according to ‘business as usual’ practices, and more than 70% of all waste generated on-site was recycled. The construction team worked hard to ensure minimal use of virgin steel during development.

Once fully tenanted, the V&A Waterfront further aims to achieve a high ‘As Built’ rating for No. 5 Silo. ‘As Built’ ratings recognize buildings that are designed to be environmentally friendly, and follow-through and function in practice as their design proposals indicate they should.

No. 5 Silo forms part of the broader Silo District development, which also includes the re imagining of the historical old Grain Silo complex by internationally renowned designer Thomas Heatherwick. When complete, it will house the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA).