ENVIRONMENT: V&A Gets Green Credentials
Recent Western Cape Business News
CAPE TOWN’s iconic V&A Waterfront, one of South Africa’s most visited and recognised tourist destinations is the first of its kind in Africa to be independently audited and certified for its environmental compliance - the Heritage Environmental Management Company (Heritage) announced last month.
The V&A Waterfront, which attracts more than 23 million visitors annually, was awarded the Heritage Sliver classification after a recent bench-mark audit by Heritage.
“The V&A Waterfront has always been known as a world-class waterfront property and as Cape Town’s premier destination to live, work, eat, sleep and play. We take our reputation and green credentials very seriously and are committed to ensuring our environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives are at the forefront of all our business practices and deliver world-class standards and practices,” says Colin Devenish, executive manager of operations of the V&A Waterfront.
Management at the V&A Waterfront aims to achieve Heritage’s Gold status within the next year through increased awareness generation and the implementation of more sustainable practices across all its operations.
“We believe greening our operations is the right and responsible way to operate as one of South Africa’s leading tourist destinations and the City of Cape Town’s largest and most diverse property offerings. We also realise the efficiencies and cost savings that greening our operations provide,” Devenish says.
One example of the efforts that have already been made to meet their objective is in the area of waste management. The precinct currently recycles around 40% of its waste or 120 ton a month which translates into savings of over R876 000 per year. The company has recycled more than 4 000 tons of waste since it started recycling in October 2009. The V&A management says it is aware of the considerable burden of waste management to the City of Cape Town and that landfill sites are already overloaded. The V&A encourages its visitors to participate in its green conscious ethics by making use of the recycling bins located throughout the property.
In addition to the cost-saving benefits of greening its operations, caring for the environment also improves staff morale and attracts and retains blue-chip tenants.
“We are encouraged to be part of the Heritage Programme and we value independent verification,” Devenish adds.
Echoing this belief is the redevelopment of the Clock Tower Precinct at the V&A Waterfront – and in particular the construction of No 1 Silo – which is guided by the strictest global requirements for environmentally sustainable construction, as governed by the Green Building Council of South Africa.
“We have adopted a comprehensive green construction and sustainable solutions imperative as a critical part of the overall V&A Waterfront development strategy,” says David Green, chief executive officer of the V&A Waterfront. Upon completion, this new office building will adhere to the strictest global environmentally sustainable building requirements. The building has been registered as a Green Star SA Office Design, and is aiming for at least a four star Green Star SA rating.
The Green Star rating was established by the Green Building Council of South Africa in 2008, with the aim to evaluate the potential environmental performance of buildings, based on criteria such as energy and water efficiency, quality of indoor environments and resource conservation. One of the key differentiators of this building will be its energy efficiency due to its unique positioning to the ocean and ability to benefit from a sophisticated seawater cooling system,” Green says.
“The energy performance of a typical No.1 Silo office floor has been compared against a similar typical floor with system and material properties set as the minimum required by the building energy use standard SANS 204. The analysis shows that a saving of roughly 50% electricity consumption and CO2 emissions over a ‘normal’ building is predicted,” he explains.
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