New Sandton development is SA’s thirtieth Green Star building

Jul 06, 2013
New Sandton development is SA’s thirtieth Green Star building

Building developer Abland has received a four-star Green Star SA certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for the green building design of its Alice Lane project, in Sandton. This is the GBCSA’s thirtieth green star certification.

The project provides easy access to the Gautrain station, malls, embassies, hotels and offices. The prominent new green building forms part of Abland’s larger R1.7-billion mixed-use development on Alice Lane road, which will comprise three phases.

Green building certification company Solid Green Consulting owner and consultant Marloes Reinink says that Abland and the future tenants of the sustainable building started the Green Star SA certification process early in the green design process, making it simpler.

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“Abland has committed to constructing the second and third buildings at Alice Lane as Green Star SA buildings, to create the first Green Star rated precinct in the area,” says Abland project manager Janet Glendinning.

Solid Green owner and consultant Marloes Reinink says that Abland, in conjunction with the future tenants of the building, started with the Green Star SA certification early on in the design process, which made the accreditation process simpler.

The building will also be one of the first in South Africa to negotiate a ‘green lease’, which is vital to ensuring that green buildings live up to their promise, and operate at optimum levels. Reinink says that developing a green lease is a significant achievement, particularly since there are several parties involved, including developers, tenants, facilities managers, and lawyers, for example.
From the outset, all involved in the development were aware of their roles, and the different benefits they would derive from the green building.

The development of the Alice Lane building involves constructing three office towers that are linked by a central landscaped piazza, which will be pedestrian friendly and a naturally greened environment. The sustainable building will incorporate convenience and service retail by including a bank, restaurants, hairdressers, dry cleaners and convenience-food outlets.

Location in relation to amenities such as public transport, and facilities within the building, such as the gym and coffee shops, play a significant role in achieving the Green Star SA rating, as this makes transport (with its associated emissions) and access to the building more efficient.

Green features of the building include energy efficient lighting and air-conditioning systems, and it is designed in such a way that the maximum amount of natural light enters the building. The offices will be finished with paints, adhesives and carpets that are low in volatile organic compounds, making it a healthier space to work in.
The awarding of Abland’s Green Star SA certification brings to 30 the number of certifications awarded by the GBCSA another milestone signalling the transition of green building into the mainstream in South Africa, says GBCSA technical executive Manfred Braune.

“The GBCSA was established in 2007, and it has taken time and an enormous amount of effort to gain momentum. But a tipping point has been reached, and the number of Green Star SA certifications has doubled year-on-year since 2009,” says Braune.

“The 30 certifications achieved to date have made a significant difference to the built environment in South Africa. Considering the number of developments registered for certification, the GBCSA looks forward to increasing the total number of certifications in South Africa to 60 by the end of 2013.

“More than 3 000 people have attended educational courses run by the GBCSA, and there are now more than 400 Green Star SA accredited professionals in South Africa.

“The combined dedication of the GBCSA, property developers such as Abland, accredited professionals such as consultants, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, and contractors means that South Africa is transforming and lessening the impact of the built environment on the natural environment, and enhancing quality of life, while making greater business sense,” says Braune.

The first 18 000 m2 green building, on Fredman Drive, is under construction and will be completed and occupied in August. The second 16 000 m2 sustainable building, situated on the Alice Lane side of the property, will be ready for occupation in September next year. The third building will be on the corner of Alice Lane and Fifth streets.

The Alice Lane project will be one of the first in South Africa to negotiate a ‘Green Lease’, which is vital to ensuring that green building in South Africa live up to their promise and operate at optimum levels.

Reinink notes that developing a Green Lease is a significant achievement, particularly since there are numerous and diverse parties involved, including the developers, tenants, facilities managers and lawyers. Therefore, all involved in the development are aware of their role and the benefits they will derive from the green building.

The green building in South Africa site is a brownfield site and did not require the disturbance of previously unused land for construction. During the green building construction, processes, such as waste management and recycling, are closely monitored. The final touches to the offices will include paints, adhesives and carpets that are low in volatile organic compounds, making it a healthier space in which to work.

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