The South African government’s Department of Environmental Affairs has opened a brand new head office in Pretoria that exemplifies its approach to sustainable building, including the country’s National Climate Change Response Policy.
The building, which is 6 Green Star SA Office Design rated, is designed with the aim of capping energy consumption at 115kWh/m2 per year, 20% of which comes from the solar photovoltaic panels that cover the roof. A concentrated photovoltaic panel in the car park also tracks the sun in order to provide solar-powered charging stations for electric cars.
The design also makes use of rainwater harvesting and irrigation systems, and water-saving indigenous plants, in order to reduce water consumption by 30%.
In order to incentivise low energy consumption, the building also operates a “green lease” with it maintenance contractors, which monitors performance and introduces penalties if the building consumes more than planned.
“This landmark new Green Building represents a major commitment by the government to green building and sustainable development. We welcome the green leadership shown,” commented Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the government-affiliated Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA).
“For any building to achieve a 6-star rating is a feat that should be celebrated because of the high standard of green building design and construction applied. For a government building, this is a precedent setting move by the leadership of our country and is quite a progressive demonstration of consciousness for the green movement.”
Source: Intelligent Building Today
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A multimillion-rand manufacturing facility will be opened in Cape Town by SMA Solar Technology, a German manufacturer of solar inverters, on Friday, 12 December.The facility includes a production line and quality test centre for SMA’s Sunny Central inverters, warehousing, as well as the African branch of the SMA Solar Academy training centre.This is the third renewable energy manufacturing facility, supported by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to open in the country in the past four months.The factory would contribute to the drive to expand the capabilities of the South African manufacturing industry and to increase the country’s industrial base, the DTI said.
The green economy has been identified as a key focus area of the Industrial Policy Action Plan, and provides significant opportunities for job creation and economic growth. Minister Rob Davies said that Trade and Investment South Africa (Tisa), a division of his department, had facilitated investments to the value of R3-billion in the manufacturing of equipment and components for the renewable energy industry since the 2013/2014 financial year.”Investment in the green economy therefore contributed significantly to Tisa’s 2013/14 investment pipeline of R60-billion. The current pipeline for the 2014/15 financial year is at R27-billion, with a significant contribution from the green economy [at R10-billion],” he said.
SMA said it had made the decision to invest in South Africa’s manufacturing capacity in response to the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP), through which 1484 MW of solar photovoltaic projects have been procured. Thorsten Ronge, the managing director of SMA South Africa, said the group chose to set up its manufacturing base in Cape Town as it was close to the existing solar supply chain.The company has already supplied inverters to the recently completed 40MW Linde PV plant in Northern Cape province, as well as to the 75MW Kalkbult project, also in the Northern Cape.