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MENLYN PARK SHOPPING CENTRE BECOMES ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY

Coveted Green Star rating awarded ahead of World Environment Day

Pretoria, 30 May 2016 – The extension of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria has been awarded a 4-star Green Star Retail Design rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for the substantial effort undertaken to develop their first building phase, on environmentally friendly design and construction principles. This forms part of the R2 billion redevelopment of the centre, which began in 2014. Due for completion in November this year, the shopping centre will become the largest centre in Africa, with over 500 shops and a trading area of 170 000m2 on offer.

Significant undertakings were implemented to achieve the rating for this phase of the development. Amongst others, use of post-consumer recycled reinforcing steel, ordinary cement in concrete was reduced by 30% through substitution with fly ash; more than 70 % of waste was repurposed; and cyclists are given dedicated parking bays and showers to encourage cycle use rather than emission-heavy alternatives. Potable water consumption in the phased section was also reduced by approximately 70% in comparison to a conventional building of this type.

“Using GBCSA’s Green Star Retail Center V1 rating tool, the extension of the centre was awarded its design rating, based on an independent assessment. This is a significant achievement for the South African retail sector as it opens the way for other centers to follow suit,” says Yovka Raytcheva-Schaap, Associate in the Buildings Unit of Aurecon South Africa.  Similar to the Green Star office rating system, the retail center rating tool assesses the environmental performance of the building in eight categories, including management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land-use ecology and emissions. The retail sector, however, has been lagging in the application of the Green Star tool for rating of projects in comparison to the office buildings sector.

“Given the nature and the size of the project, the certification process was time and detail intensive, which entailed us working closely with the GBCSA on a number of aspects to attain the targeted points in the various categories,” says Yovka Raytcheva-Schaap.

The design of the reconfigured centre includes facilities for alternative transport, preferential parking for fuel-efficient vehicles, and integration into the region’s mass public-transport system. “We wanted to reward our customers and tenants for using alternative transport,” says Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto Limited, owner of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. “For example, we provided parking bays for scooters or motorbikes close to mall entrances to incentivise people to be part of our low-carbon-emission philosophy.”

The use of building materials that did not have a negative impact on the environment was vital to keep within the prescribed GBCSA guidelines. “We went to great lengths to source building materials in close proximity to the site,” says Neil Graham, project manager and CEO of Origin Project Management. “Great effort was made to source all material locally, which helped in lowering our CO2 and other harmful emissions from transporting the materials.” Timber had to be from environmentally responsible forests and reinforcing steel used in the project has high recycled content.

Use and disposal of waste was another key issue. “It was essential that waste from pre-construction and construction was either reused or recycled,” explains Graham. “We made mulch from wood offcuts, for example, while surplus building materials, such as bricks, were ground down to be used for landscaping or fill.”

Efficient water use involved several strategies. “The municipal water consumption had to be limited” says Raytcheva-Schaap. “And so we implemented a number of initiatives to optimise the water performance of the centre, of which the most notable are rain water harvesting system with extensive capacity and water wise landscaping. In addition, low flow sanitary fittings and metering of the major water uses for continuous monitoring contribute to reduction of municipal water use.

Other important aspects of an environmentally friendly building are access to daylight, connection to the external environment and air quality. “Many people don’t realise how instrumental fresh air is to your health and wellbeing,” says Raytcheva-Schaap. “We exceeded the minimum regulatory fresh air requirements set out by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) by 150%, ensuring optimal indoor environment quality which safeguards against any indoor air pollution.”

Ample access to daylight is made possible throughout the extension via the use of glass and skylights, creating a comfortable and health-wise building. In addition, paints, sealants, and adhesives with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC) were selected in order to enhance the indoor environment quality.

Energy consumption had to be reduced by approximately 50% when compared to a reference building with design properties as stipulated in SANS204, which would also contribute to lower greenhouse-gas emissions. “We installed an energy-efficient heating, ventilating and air-conditioning [HVAC] system,” says Aurecon mechanical engineer Brandon Huddle. “The chilled water air-handling units run on a 100% full outside air economy cycle when the conditions are favourable and have CO2 monitoring for demand controlled outdoor air, which results in a massive reduction in energy usage by the building. Large fans and chilled water pumps make use of variable speed drives which allows only the optimum quantity of air and water to be delivered in order to meet minimum building demands, which reduces unnecessary motor energy consumption. Thermostatically controlled variable air volume dampers in turn deliver only the necessary quantity of air required by the shop based on the heat load which prevents over supply of air into the shops.”

Menlyn Park runs all proficient lights on occupancy and time controls, which are monitored through an integrated building management system, ensuring energy levels are checked regularly for any incongruities.

“We’ve made a commitment to reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink waste,” says Muller, “and this requires that at Menlyn Park we move away from traditional solutions that focus on waste after it has been generated, to a greener approach that looks at the prevention of waste, as well as minimising waste as a by-product of production.” To this end, a waste and recycling management plan (WRMP) was put in place at the shopping centre, to manage the collection, storage, treatment and disposal of all waste. The end goal is to recycle 57% of waste generated, which will ultimately result in diverting up to 80% of waste produced away from landfill.

“This project took the work of many dedicated people, and we are elated to finally see all our hard work and many hours of planning acknowledged by this prestigious Green Star rating,” says Muller.

About Menlyn Park Shopping Centre

Menlyn Park, situated just off the N1 highway to the east of the city, has long been the city of Pretoria’s premier shopping Centre. Established in 1979, it is a sprawling, four-level complex covering 118 253m2, offering a wide mix of retail brands, from fashion and food to electronics and homeware, as well as food and family entertainment.

For more information, please contact:

ANDREA DE WIT
Marketing Manager
Menlyn Park Shopping Centre
012-471-0600
andreadw@primelife.co.za

NATALIE PEREIRA
PR for Menlyn Park Shopping Centre
021-418-2466
082-920-5366
natalie@dummettandcompany.co.za

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Park Lane building awarded 5 star green rating

Green development should become the norm, not the exception to the rule, and Assetmatrix are proving that their company is committed to practising what they preach by improving on sustainability and green ratings on each build they are involved in, says managing director Vivienne Gutsche.

Such is the case at 17 Park Lane, where the Green Building Council of South Africa has awarded a five-star Green Star rating to a building developed by Assetmatrix on behalf of Gutsche Investment and Management Company (Pty) Ltd (GIMCO), a property investment Company based in Port Elizabeth. Phil Gutsche of Gimco, the developer and owner of the prestigious Park Lane building, has said the company had a strong desire to further invest in the property portfolio already owned by Gimco in Cape Town.

At Park Lane, Assetmatrix assimilated what they learned on their previous green development (also a Gimco project) and have improved on systems to achieve an even better working environment as well as an ecologically sound building.

This can be seen by the manner in which the Park Lane building, from conception, was designed to be a building which could be flexible in how it was tenanted and also achieve a five-star Green Rating. The professional team developed an inspired design which led to the successful occupation of this prestigious building, which is at the forefront of modern sophisticated technology and complies with all the latest regulations including receiving this esteemed rating from the GBCSA.

As a result of this very successful development GIMCO is now considering further property development and investment into the Western Cape.

The professional team all had to have had the same vision and worked together towards a common goal to achieve an outstanding green rating and as an added bonus, said Vivienne Gutsche, this was done on time and on budget.

The Terramanzi Group, the green building design consultants involved with the planning and later assessment of the building along with the submission to the GBCSA, stated that the 61 weighted points achieved is an outstanding achievement. The five-star Green Star requirements are stringent and it is not only the actual building that is evaluated but the future management and use of the building as well, said Fabio Venturi of the Terramanzi Group.

Paul Truscott, the consulting architect at MLH Architects on 17 Park Lane, said numerous factors were taken into account in the designing of this building. Apart from adhering to GBCSA’s guidelines, they also had to bear in mind the Century City Property Owners Association guidelines for the Park Lane precinct, which are low mono-pitch roofs and small building forms. In order to meet with these requirements but use all the space available on the four erven available, the “look” of smaller buildings was put in place, with glass “boxes” joining each one to create the 3 629m² building it is today.

“MLH Architects have achieved a good balance between green building and timelessness and sophistication,” said Vivienne Gutsche.

The exteriors are fitted with integral architectural sun control in the form of vertical and horizontal fins, which minimises sunlight infiltration and thereby reduces the heat loading within the building. With regards to light, the width of the building is the optimal dimension to maximise natural light penetration, with the result that less artificial lighting is needed, which in turn reduces energy consumption.

A state of the art building management system monitors and controls energy consumption, and records the usage of all building services such as electricity, lighting, air-conditioning or airflow adjustments, water consumption, standby generator, and other electronic installations.

Full cyclist facilities have been installed, from secure bicycle parking to showers and locker facilities. Dedicated bays for recharging of electrical cars has been provided and the building is also situated to enable staff to make use of the comprehensive public transport system within Century City.

“We feel this encourages people to think about using an alternative to their motor vehicle to get to work, or to use greener methods of transport,” said Truscott.

Water consumption has been addressed and kept to a minimum, with indigenous plants chosen for the communal garden which will only need to be watered for the first year and will not need further watering after this. In the meantime, only non-potable water is used in the gardens, said Venturi.

Recycling of all waste has also been addressed with full recycling facilities in the basement.

“In order for a building like this to work and to keep the green rating viable,” said Vivienne Gutsche, “there needs to be a “buy-in” and commitment from the users, i.e. the tenants. To assist them in doing so, Terramanzi Group have provided a Building Users’ Guide, which explains in detail how the facility operates and the various green initiatives implemented, from energy usage and environmental strategies, heating and cooling within the building, transportation, recycling, and so on. This will ensure that the tenants reap the rewards of working in a green environment in the future.”

Source: eprop


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Cape Town’s Hotel Verde achieves a global first

Hotel Verde, has just been awarded a second Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum Green Building Certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) making Hotel Verde the first hotel globally, to achieve a double Platinum certification for LEED®.

The first Platinum certification was awarded in May 2014 for New Construction in the Green Building Design & Construction category. This established Hotel Verde as one of only six hotels in the world and the only hotel in Africa, to receive this accolade, at the time. The second and most recent certification was awarded for the Existing Building Operations & Maintenance of the hotel, giving Hotel Verde their double Platinum status and proving that Hotel Verde is, in fact, Africa’s greenest hotel.

Sustainability consultants for Hotel Verde on the LEED submission, André Harms of Ecolution Consulting and Jutta Berns-Mumbi of Ecocentric, targeted several strategies to obtain the second Platinum Certification in the category for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (v2009).

Hotel Verde’s ardent team have collectively gone above and beyond conventional industry practices by dedicating themselves to a sustainable work lifestyle. From stringent waste management and procurement policies to corporate responsibility campaigns, departmental sustainability, biodiversity maintenance and offering a carbon neutral hotel experience. Most importantly, it is the hotels aim to create an eco-friendly working environment in which staff health, happiness and productivity is optimized.

“I quickly realised that my dream to provide something luxurious and sustainable was not only possible, but it was also a business model worth sharing, with the potential to change lives and the industry as we know it,” says Mario Delicio, owner of both Hotel Verde, Cape Town Airport and Verde Hotels.

Launched during the World Travel Market Africa tourism trade show, Verde Hotels is leading hotel management solutions that are not just sustainable, but thrivable. Thrivability is the new frontier of sustainability. It encompasses all that is associated with sustainability but supersedes it by maximising the triple bottom line of people, profit and planet. It is on these principles that Verde Hotels bases its core foundation.

“We had the opportunity at Hotel Verde, Cape Town Airport, to look at everything from the ground up with regard to sustainability and efficiency with the commitment to operate sustainability. But The latest accolade showcases that Verde Hotels is ready to also optimise the operation and maintenance of existing buildings” said Harms, sustainability manager and founder of Ecolution Consulting, a trained mechanical engineer and the expertise behind some of the more technical aspects of Hotel Verde.

“As a hotel management company, this certification has been fundamental in allowing us to provide our potential clients with the assurance that we deliver truly sustainable and commercially viable hospitality solutions,” says Delicio, “Managing a thrivable hotel means a higher return on investment, lower operational costs, better environmental quality, a lower carbon footprint and a higher PR and marketing value, all whilst safeguarding natural resources and uplifting local communities.”

“On behalf of the Western Cape Government and 110% Green, I would like to congratulate Hotel Verde on achieving double platinum LEED and receiving the first ever 6 Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). I am delighted to know that under our 110% Green Campaign, companies such as Hotel Verde have not only committed to doing business which contribute to economic growth, and continue to lead in innovation in the green economy. I have no doubt that these ground-breaking achievements will lead to many more while inspiring many other businesses to follow suit and adopt these best practices ” stated Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape, South Africa.

Source: mediaupdate


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‘Traditional buildings’ get a green wash

Green Building Council’s new tool assigns ratings to existing buildings.

Nearly eight years ago, green building was considered ‘the right thing to do’, but more developers and building owners now view it as an economic necessity.

This is according to Nedbank’s executive head of property finance Rob Lockhart-Ross. “New buildings represent about 2% of South Africa’s building stock and existing buildings represent some 98% – clearly we have to work on existing buildings.”

New buildings are more likely to have energy efficient initiatives than existing buildings, which are mostly built to traditional standards.

Brian Wilkinson, CEO of Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), says a green building on average saves 25% in electricity and “if all the buildings did that [go green] we would not have an energy crisis”.

Developers are starting to take stock of the benefits of going green, through retrofits such as energy efficient light fittings, investing in rain harvesting technology, waste disposal and solar panel heating.

Beyond the cost saving elements, energy efficient buildings are said to be competitive, better marketed and generally preferred by occupants over traditional buildings.

Rating ‘old’ buildings

As green building continues to take off at a rapid rate in South Africa, the focus will now be on greening buildings that are built to traditional standards.

This is already happening with the GBCSA’s Existing Building Performance (EBP) tool, a first of its kind in the country. The tool, which was launched in 2013, assesses the management of a building in order to maintain optimal sustainability performance.

Since the launch of the tool about 65 non-efficient buildings have registered to be assessed for a green star certification. About 25 buildings of the total have applied for their energy efficient certification.

Already, two existing buildings have been awarded a green certificate and more are expected to be announced says the CEO of GBCSA Brian Wilkinson.

The latest green certificate was awarded to WSP House building in Bryanston, which was awarded a three-star green star rating.

The North Park (pictured below) in the Black River Park office park in Observatory, Cape Town, was the first building in the country to be awarded an existing building certification.

North Park15 copy (2)

The building was awarded a five-star green star certification from the EBP tool for its 75 000 square metre office park size.

Some of the buildings which are undergoing an EBP tool rating include Redefine Properties’ Cape Town CBD-based The Towers (previously Standard Bank Centre), Growthpoint Properties’ Fredman Towers, Grayston Office Park in Sandton and KwaZulu Natal’s Lincoln on the Lake.

Nedbank’s 105 West in Johannesburg, Menlyn Maine in Pretoria, Clock tower in Cape Town and WSP House Bryanston are awaiting an EBP rating. The regional headquarters for BP Southern Africa near the V&A Wharf Shopping Centre in Cape Town is also in line for a possible rating.

The GBCSA had no rating tool applicable to existing buildings, focusing its efforts largely on new buildings instead.

In April, the council certified its 50th building, representing a million square metres in space, says Wilkinson. “We hope to reach our 100th building in April this year. It took us six years to get 50 buildings,” he says. The registered buildings on the EBP tool will enable the council to reach its certification targets.

GBCSA’s technical manager Jenni Lombard says certification of a building using the EBP tool lasts only for three years to enforce the continued monitoring of buildings.

“With new built tools [referring to tools for newly constructed buildings] you get a once-off rating that you keep forever,” Lombard says. However, she expects that existing buildings will be reassessed every three years to renew their rating. “We need to know that the building managers are still maintaining and managing a building, in the same way.”

Wilkinson says in terms of green rating existing buildings, they can be awarded from a three- to six-star green rating – representing best practice to world leadership.

Despite South Africa being fairly new to green building compared with established markets such as Australia, the US and Europe, the country is considered the fastest-growing green building market.

Source: Moneyweb.com

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Net Zero Waste in Construction

By Gordon Brown

According to the World Green Building Council the construction sector accounts for up to 40% of waste in landfill sites worldwide, and while this figure may be lower in South Africa construction remains a significant contributor to landfill content. The National Waste Information Baseline Report (DEA2012) indicates that the construction sector is responsible for 8% of all waste generated, although it is unclear whether this number includes the waste from product suppliers during production, which is significant. Importantly this statistic also excludes the ongoing operational waste generated in all occupied buildings, and so is understated.

Construction waste is made up of aggregates (concrete, stones, bricks) and soils, wood, metals, glass, biodegradable waste, plastic, insulation and gypsum based materials, paper and cardboard, a very high percentage of which are reusable or recyclable if separated at source. Currently 16% of construction waste is recycled in South Africa (NWIBR).

Trends and forces for change

The green building movement is being spearheaded by the CSIR and the Green Building Council of South Africa, the latter having set up rating tools that award points for, amongst other green building aspects, resource efficiency for designs which reduce waste.

Best Practice

Construction waste emanates due in some part to inconsiderate design, construction, maintenance, renovation and demolition, as well as supplier considerations such as packaging. Intelligent design and best practices during each phase can significantly reduce waste.

Design

Architects and engineers have a very significant opportunity to affect the waste generated through the life cycle of a building by determining the method of construction and the materials specified. From simple strategies like utilising building rubble onsite as fill for instance, or reusing items from demolished buildings such as wooden window frames, by specifying materials with recycled content, and adopting strategies and building methods geared to dismantling and designed for deconstruction – design affects everything, and with careful planning and consideration given to waste and reusing materials at concept stage, much waste to landfill can be avoided. An example of this is modular construction.

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It is also very important at design stage to consider how the building is going to manage operational waste while the building is occupied – sufficient space will be required for recycling storage and sorting, as well as the access to various floors and of course for collection.

Construction

At a waste management level, there are a number of best practices to ensure maximum recyclability of materials on site:

  • Make this consideration a key performance criterion when appointing contractors
  • Set targets for % of waste not to go to landfill (refer to Green Star SA for achievable best practice)
  • Have a waste management plan drawn up according to best practice prior to beginning the project(ie. Part of the tender/brief document)
  • Have correctly marked skips for certain waste streams
  • Ensure that the correct paper work is filed for all items removed from site
  • Safe disposal tickets for hazardous waste must be kept

Keep a monthly and overall project reports of all waste and at the conclusion of the project –confirm whether targets are being achieved

There are many great examples of achieving excellent standards in construction waste management, one of these was the first Green Star SA certified project in South Africa, the Nedbank Phase II building in Sandton – in 2008 the contractor was initially concerned about the high standards set within Green Star SA for waste diverted from landfill (30, 50, or 70% of construction waste). By the end of the project, with the good waste management programme they employed, they were surprised at the incredible success – they were able to divert over 90% of their construction waste from landfill. This is a significant achievement, and is replicable across all construction projects by implementing good waste management programmes.

Product and Material Suppliers suppliers have huge potential to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Many suppliers could provide their materials to site in a way that requires less or no ‘packaging’, or packaging that is recyclable, and also ensure that their contract with the construction contractors is such that their packaging is returned to them directly for recycling or reuse. ‘Packaging’ is a significant waste source. (Packaging refers to anything that is not the actual material that will be used and left installed on site.) Besides the ‘packaging’ referred to, the product suppliers are also responsible for a significant amount of waste at their own factory or storage houses – the contractors and design team can have a significant influence on the downstream waste impacts by contracting only with suppliers that minimise their waste production and maximise recycling and reuse of waste.

The building in operation

During the course of a buildings life it will require multiple new light bulbs, new carpets and flooring, painting, filling, stripping, windows due to breakages etc. Good building managers and operators can make the necessary effort to separate materials.

The Green Star SA rating tools will reward designers for making provision for separation operations within the utilities area of the building, and building maintenance would utilise these facilities for its waste streams. It is important to have both the space designed to store and sort the waste for collection, but also to have waste management policies in place for the ongoing operation while the building is occupied.

Market forces

As the market places a greater value on sustainability, products with recyclable content become more sought after. Masonry bricks made from crushed aggregates, tiles made from recycled plastics, are just two examples of products gaining traction.

On the waste disposal side, costs are rising but it remains relatively cheap to dispose of construction waste to landfill, cheaper in fact than general waste disposal which costs R272.00 per ton.

As costs increase so too does illegal dumping, which poses an environmental problem, and municipalities need to consider increasing the penalties imposed on transgressors and to find ways of policing illegal dumping more effectively. Perhaps funds from increased charges for legal dumping can be directed in part to policing illegal dumping.

The construction sector has a massive impact and a commensurate opportunity to effect positive and meaningful change. Through a combination of product design and innovation, building design and methods, and through best practice waste management on site the sector can radically reduce the amount of waste created and significantly improve on the rate of recycling.

Source: Green Building Handbook Volume 6


 

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Mauritius Commercial Bank: Ebene Building

By: Jean Francois Koenig, Architect

The Mauritius Commercial Bank, the oldest bank in Mauritius and the Indian Ocean islands founded in 1878 and based in the capital city Port Louis, February 2006 saw me design offices and training facilities in Ebene, in the centre of the island, which decentralised them from Port Louis for the first time in history.

Their brief came with instructions to keep it simple and inexpensive. They got something different that went far beyond the brief. The building reinvented the client’s way of working and thinking about the workplace and the environment.

To put it in context, it started at a time before many Green Building Councils around the world had been formed and it became the first building in the southern hemisphere to obtain a British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certificate. The building also became the first Mauritian work of architecture to represent with four others the best of African architecture at the International Union of Architects (UIA) World Congress inTokyo 2011, a triennial event and with it, I was elected as one of the ‘100 Architects of the World 2012’ in a competition organised by the Union of International Architects (UIA) and the Korean Institute of Architects (KIA).

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It has become so popular with the client that they all want to work there and sometimes board meetings traditionally held in Port Louis have been switched from head office to the new building. Energy savings begin with a well insulated building and optimum orientation. The concrete shell is insulated with 50mm rigid polystyrene, an air gap of 350mm and an 8mm thick honeycombed aluminium external skin. The portholes in the glass rings all around the ellipse are double glazed and with the air gap of the outer reflective glass skin creates a triple glazing solution. The two glass facades of the ellipse are true north-south with sunscreens whose projection depths were determined by sun path analyses. They are 1.8m on the north face and shallower at 1.2m on the south to prevent direct sunlight hitting the full height double glazing during working hours from 8.30am to 4.30pm. During this period, the blinds remain up to allow maximum glare free daylight to enter the 22m deep floor plate eliminating the need for artificial lighting entirely. Low angled early morning and late afternoon sun is controlled by perforated blinds which drop down automatically from sun sensors relayed to the computerised building management system.

The building is the expression of an abstract geometric shape in the form of a pure ellipse. It is held aloft on four pillars. Born from the need to accommodate both auditoria and offices, it is the architectural synthesis of these two different requirements fused into one single shape. It is an example that Islands care about, and can make a leading contribution to global sustainability even though they have a low carbon footprint and insignificant impact on climate change.

The orientation of the elliptical glass facades is true North-South. The blank curved East and West ends are well insulated and the portholes are triple glazed. The photovoltaic cell farm contributes to over one third of the total energy needs at peak with clean solar power.

The Board Room on the top floor shows the expressed steel structure, natural light entering from the roof and the sides, and the ample space provided for the long table as well as two rows of plants under the glass rings.

Plant rooms, traditionally situated on the roofs of buildings, are situated on lower levels for ease of access and maintenance. This liberates the roof allowing large spans and column free spaces on the upper floors facilitating internal planning.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 2.07.17 PMFull height double glazing allows in a maximum amount of natural daylight. The depth of sunscreens, deeper on the north facade and shallower on the south facade are determined from the study of sun paths. Sensor controlled perforated venetian blinds are activated automatically to control glare. To eliminate interference from external noise from the nearby motorway the glass walls of the auditoriums are triple glazed.

There are no suspended ceilings in the building, not even in the acoustically engineered auditoriums. The underside of the concrete slabs are kept bare and painted white.

Underfloor cooling passes through a stabilised air plenum without ducts optimising flexibility. No ceilings allow cold energy stored within the thermal mass of the structure to radiate directly into the floor below keeping ambient temperature down and diminishing cooling loads.

The ‘all air’ air conditioning uses ‘free cooling’ in winter months. Three large thermal storage tanks insulated and clad in polished stainless steel store energy to further reduce cooling loads.

Night time illumination accentuates the shape of the building whereby its beauty, like the soul, comes from within. Five glass rings encircle the building accentuating the purity of its geometry. Portholes enhance the air and space ship quality of the architecture gives the sense that the building is ‘landed’ on its base.

Access to the plant rooms are through “gull wing” doors. The materials chosen are long lasting and mostly maintenance free. The pillars are clad in travertine marble. The louvers are in semi-matt stainless steel. The shell is clad in aluminium and, in an honest expression of function, no attempt is made to hide the blue insulation of the shell which is seen through the glass rings. The drop off entrance porte-cochere lights are recessed in the thickness of the concrete slab. Kerbs, bollards and the sloping and curved retaining walls are in white off -shutter precast concrete.

Source: The Green Building Handbook Volume 6

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2015 Green Building Trends

The US Green Building Council’s Colorado chapter predicts the following green building trends for 2015:

Green construction powers industry: the Centennial State will continue to grow as a center of green construction expertise and ownership. “As a panel of developers and owners told us at our Commercial Real Estate Forum, green buildings are becoming a must-have for owners,” said Sharon Alton, executive director, USGBC Colorado.

Commercial real estate brings together the public and private sectors: Denver’s Union Station opened its doors in summer 2014, forming the core of a major urban revitalization project to sustainably build a 21st century urban community. The project is attracting international attention for its commitment to creating partnerships between the private and public sectors.Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.58.03 AM

USGBC Colorado credits Colorado’s commercial real estate industry with successfully bridging the gap between sectors to execute Union Station and other green building projects large and small. The organization’s 2015 Commercial Real Estate Forum will work to facilitate the relationships public, private and nonprofit leaders need to realize sustainable design.

Green schools leaders gain resources: Colorado schools are under enormous pressure as their enrollments grow and their buildings age. A handful of private and public programs in the state support schools that wish to renovate or build their facilities sustainably.

The Colorado Energy Office will bundle all its programs in a new Energy Savings for Schools offering this year while the Colorado Department of Education will open a new Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Program grant round with an expected $35–$45 million of available funding.

Meanwhile, a study published last month found certified commercial green buildings on average cut greenhouse gas emissions from water consumption by 50 percent, reduced solid waste management-related GHG emissions by 48 percent and lowered transportation-related GHG emissions by 5 percent, when compared to their traditional California counterparts.

Source: Environmental Leader


 

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Passive Design Principles: Te Miruniru, Kawakawa, New Zealnd

This design is rooted in the Genius Loci of its locality in New Zealand, overlaying Maori cultural concepts of creation and birth with sound passive design principles. This inspired the womb-like earth banked form, symbolising ‘Whenua’ (meaning both earth and placenta in Maori), and generated the outstanding environmental achievements of the building.

Architect

In 2014, the design received a 6 Greenstar Rating (highest possible) from the New Zealand Green Building Council making it one of only three buildings in NZ to receive this accolade, and is the only Greenstar rated early childhood centre in the whole of Australasia. It also won an Innovation Award from the NZ Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and an Excellence Award in Sustainable Design from the NZ Property Council for its dramatic 69% reduction in energy usage and C02 emissions compared to a standard building. All of this is achieved passively without resorting to simply adding PV’s to generate electricity.

Architect

Design:

  • BIM/IES and other environmental software used to test initial concept designs
  • Passive design oriented to maximise solar gain in winter, eliminate mechanical cooling in summer by exposed thermal mass and PAHS design
  • Classrooms fully daylit requiring zero energy in daytime

Construction:

  • Over 80% of steel was recycled steel
  • 20% of concrete aggregate and 20% cement replaced by fly-ash waste product
  • Over 70% of construction waste recycled
  • All internal materials were responsibly sourced, featuring eco-label certification and low or zero VOC/formaldehyde

Architect

Operation:

 

  • IEQ very high – natural ventilation 2.5-6x building code min and low/zero VOC’s
  • Buildings environmental features incorporated into childrens curriculum as teaching aids. Building user guide produced for owner, staff and children
  • Travel schemes implemented resulting in 56% reduction in private car usage
  • Portable water usage reduced to around 80% of standard building type
  • Significant increase in biodiversity due to green roof and native planting

Source