Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  12 Nov 2008

BUILDING: Gateway Goes for Green


Recent Western Cape Business News

Pioneering measures have been taken at Rabie Property Group’s new mixed use development, The Gateway, at Century City to ensure that it is as “green” as can be.

Development manager Colin Anderson said that while the building could not be rated with the first pilot rating tool issued by the Green Building Council of South Africa as the office component did not constitute more than 80% of the building, they were confident of a high rating when an appropriate Green Building rating tool becomes available.

The R150m Gateway project consists of 4256 square metres of motor showrooms for BMW, a second showroom of 735 square metres and 3615 square metres of lettable office space, both of which are available to let.

“Right from the start, the development team made a conscious decision to implement as many green building measures as was economically viable. This was before the South African Green Building Council was established and The Gateway was developed with an eye on the Austrlian Green Star system on which the South African system is now being based,” he said.

Anderson said a formal Environmental Management System had been implemented and an environmental management officer had been appointed for the duration of the construction stage.

“While the need for energy conservation is paramount to any development in South Africa at this time, the green building concept encompasses much more than pure energy savings and includes the full built environment – from building structure and materials, to building location, land use, ecology and transport infrastructure, potable water use and sewage and other emissions and finally, building design, management and innovation.

“The Gateway encompasses savings in all these fields thanks in part to Century City being at the forefront of environmentally friendly initiatives including its mixed use environment with all amenities being in easy walking distance of each other, its recycling programmes, the use on non-potable water for irrigation and its public transport facilities.

“The Gateway has also made particular strides in terms of energy saving and the built environment which are key to a high energy star rating,” he said.

Dave Cousins of Rawlins Wales & Partners, electrical engineers on the project, said efficient air conditioning systems and state-of-the-art lighting and lighting control systems would create a world class working environment at The Gateway.

“The humble light switch has run its course and no longer has a part to play in the building environment. Lighting systems have been designed to automatically switch off when rooms are empty and to dim down light fittings and save electricity when natural daylight is available in the space.

“Lighting in common areas has been designed to sense both activity and daylight to dim down to preset levels in the day and when no-one is around. At night the levels are reduced at preset times to acceptable safe levels and automatically increased when someone is present to light their way,” he said.

Cousins said that parking lighting would be reduced to a minimum at all times. “In the day natural light levels determine the requirement for lighting and reduce electricity consumption, and after hours lights automatically switch off leaving only the minimum safety lighting until you walk or drive in. After a prescribed time the lights once again switch off saving electricity and money.”

Anderson said energy reduction translated directly in electrical and cost savings.

“The Gateway project has optimised this and will reduce the tenant’s ongoing running costs. With electricity costs set to rise by another 50% next year this translates to direct savings to the tenants while optimising the working environment and creating a world class workspace.”

Other energy saving measures which had been implemented included special glazing on the windows which will cut the estimated air conditioning running costs by up to 23 percent.

“In addition we have made the windows large on the South and East sides of the building to allow in as much indirect natural light as possible and reduced the size of those experiencing direct sunlight to reduce radiant heat.”

Anderson said that the Rabie Property Group had appointed an in-house Green Building Committee that was tasked with ensuring all current and future projects were developed as far as economically viable along Green Building principles.

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