Aurecon, a global engineering consultant, has been awarded a 5-Star Green Star SA
Office v1 Design rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for the company’s second office building in Century City, Cape Town. Aureconâ€™s earlier premises in Century City were completed in 2011 and achieved the distinction of being the first 5-Star Green Star SA rated building in South Africa.
“Aurecon is leading by example in designing and occupying green buildings for our own offices,” says Aurecon’s Cape Town Office Manager, Coenie Fick. “We are reaping the benefits of much lower electricity costs with more than 60 per cent saving, pleasant and productive environments, as well as an enhanced reputation as one of the world leaders in sustainable development.”
Rapidly outgrowing their first 7 000 mÂ² Century City office premises, Aurecon developed a second building that is connected to the first one by a sky-bridge. The new building is called Aurecon West. The versatile design of the new Aurecon West makes provision for the company’s continuing growth in the Cape region, comprising 4 700 mÂ² of premium office space on three levels together with 3 200 mÂ² of parking space on two levels. Aurecon is initially only occupying one office level. The remaining floors have been made available for other tenants to experience the benefits of a 5-Star green office environment. In addition, the lowest office level has been adapted for use as a third parking area, which will enable a convenient expansion of the office space in the future.
Continuing the successful project partnership established with the first Aurecon Century City offices, the second building has been developed by the Rabie Property Group for owners Ingenuity Property Investments. Aurecon was responsible for the engineering services and the Green Star rating application, assisted by Ludwig Design Consulting. MaC Architects were again involved with the design of the building.
Aurecon West was completed in February 2016 at a cost of R92.7 million. “The steep learning curve to address the ground-breaking challenge of achieving the country’s first
5-Star rated building with Aurecon East had the benefit of enabling a seamless delivery on Phase 2,” comments Aurecon Technical Director, Heinrich Stander. “This was also in line with the international trend as supply chains for green materials and technologies mature, and the industry becomes more skilled at delivering green buildings.”
The power efficiency that Aurecon achieved for the Phase 1 building had a spin-off for Phase 2. With efficiency far exceeding expectations and the consequent reduced requirement for back-up power, it was possible for one of the two back-up generator sets to be relocated to the Phase 2 project. Another interesting development was in the approach used for water conservation and management. Instead of the rainwater harvesting system used in Phase 1, the new project exploited its access to treated effluent water from the Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Works. The effluent water is processed within the building to an acceptable level that completely eliminates the demand on potable water for toilet flushing.
Aurecon has accumulated first-hand experience of the positive return on investment achievable with efficient green building design. Phase I was the first green rated building in Century City and Phase 2 has become the tenth. “The trend doesn’t stop there,” claims Stander. “The cost-neutral and beneficial green design principles that Aurecon engineers and designers have experience in applying are also proposed for, and generally incorporated in, our ‘non-green’ rated projects.”