New Department of Health office building wins green accolades

The R128 million regional office building at Karl Bremer Hospital in Bellville became the first recipient of the GBCSA Socio-Economic Category Pilot Award. The project was also awarded the GBCSA 5-Star Green Star Certified SA rating for design of a public or education building. If everything goes according to plan, the new office will be completed in January 2017.

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The Socio-Economic Award goes to a green building project that has made a significant contribution to employment creation, economic opportunity, skills development and training, community benefit, empowerment, as well as health and safety. The Green Star rating measures the extent to which the design of a building performs well in terms of management, indoor environmental quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions, and innovation. Four stars means “best practice”, and five stars means “South African excellence”.

The facility under construction on a 14 000 m2 site on the corner of Mike Pienaar Boulevard and Frans Conradie Drive will provide accommodation for over 320 public servants. It is expected to be a catalyst for the regeneration of surrounding areas once it is complete. Since construction started in January 2015, R70 million has been spent on procuring services from local contractors. The project is boosting the fortunes of building contractors, particularly small contractors and local suppliers.

The project’s economic opportunity targets have three main elements. The first requirement is a minimum contract participation goal of 5% of the total project value being spent on joint-venture contracts with developing contractors who also receive enterprise development support from the main contractor. The second target is to spend 25% of the contract value on the procurement of project-specific goods and services from black-owned and women-owned small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs). The third is to spend 70% of the contract value in respect of materials, products and services on locally produced goods and services.

The office will use less water, generate less waste, and provide healthier working conditions for employees. Passive solar design minimises the need for heating and cooling. Activity spaces are open and aimed at encouraging communication between offices and promoting a sense of community. Bicycle-friendly facilities are provided for building staff and visitors to encourage commuters to use non-motorised transport. The innovative and creative design will help create a comfortable and productive work environment that integrates functional offices with amenities and access to social activities.

The GBCSA has independently verified that the Bellville regional office building is on par with the best South Africa has to offer. The Department continues to make a valuable contribution to job creation, economic empowerment, and skills development in the province in every project that it undertakes.

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