Ground breaking ceremony at Aurecon’s Cape Town offices

Cape Town offices goes green

Aurecon Cape Town offices going green

27 July 2010 - Construction of R150m new offices at Century City for Aurecon got underway this week. This follows a decision by Aurecon to consolidate its Cape Town operations from three separate buildings into a single location.

Paul Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of the group’s global operations, had the honour of breaking the first ground at the site of the new office, saying that what was even more encouraging was the fact that not only was construction officially underway but the building had also been officially registered for a Green Star SA rating.

The building, which will be rated using the Green Building Council of South Africa’s Office Design v1, Office As Built v1 rating tool, is a Rabie Property Group development.

Jeff Robinson, Sustainable Buildings Group Leader at Aurecon, explains that the current economic situation has meant that, generally speaking, large project owners are prioritising their overall spend in order to ensure they occupy a ‘sustainable’ building. “We’ve finally moved beyond asking ‘why should we go green?’ to asking ‘why shouldn’t we?” explains Robinson.

Aurecon will be responsible for all the engineering design disciplines on the project. The group has vast experience in the green building arena, having fulfilled the role of mechanical engineer on Phase II of Nedbank’s head office in Sandton, Johannesburg, which was certified as South Africa’s first Green Star SA building under the Green Building Council South Africa’s (GBCSA) Office v1 rating tool. In their quest for a Green Star rating, the professional team and building owners are taking into account the GreenStar criteria Management, Indoor Environmental Quality, Energy, Water, Transport, Materials, Emissions, Land Use & Ecology and Innovation.

The design places great emphasis on green innovation, the likes of which include:

  • A central chiller plant which will ensure that energy is not wasted.
  • A Building Management System (BMS) which will control the light fittings to ensure that energy is only used for lighting when and as required. The BMS system will also control the HVAC system to ensure that enough fresh air is circulated in the building and that the building is not over cooled or over heated.
  • All light fittings in office areas will be equipped with electronic control gear. This will ensure that all lights can be controlled by the BMS System.
  • Where possible, LED lights will be used to take advantage of their low energy requirements.
  • The standby generators used will be of the low emission type.
  • An atrium as well as light well has been included in the design of the building. This will ensure that the core of the building is penetrated by natural daylight, reducing the energy required for illumination.
  • The design includes an exhaust riser which will remove indoor pollutants from printing and photocopy areas.
  • Facilities to encourage the use of energy efficient transport systems such as bicycles, car pooling, motorcycle transport etc.

Albert Geldenhuys, Aurecon’s Managing Director: RSA regions, concurs with Robinson, saying that “Increasingly, it has become important to demonstrate that our own buildings and facilities have been built in a sustainable manner. The group is committed to ensuring that we design and execute sustainable and environmentally responsible projects for our clients and we have ensured that our teams include suitably trained and registered professionals, including environmentalists, engineers and Green Star SA Accredited Professionals.”

Occupation is set for July 2011. “Our vision is to create an office which demonstrates that we can deliver a superior, integrated end product that is an asset to the people who use it and the natural landscape which surrounds it,” concludes Geldenhuys.

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