The officials have moved in and President Jacob Zuma has officially opened the Department of Environmental Affairs’ new “green” building headquarters.
It’s the first government building to achieve a 6 Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of SA and is regarded as a landmark in energy efficiency.
It’s a public-private partnership between the department and Imvelo.
The developer is Imvelo Concessions, which comprises Old Mutual, Kagiso Tiso Group, Wiphold and Aveng Grinaker-LTA. The facilities manager is Imvelo Facilities Management – a joint venture between Old Mutual Property and Dijalo Property Group.
Construction started in July 2012 and finished in May this year, the department moved in in August and the official opening was last month.
The new building is on the corner of Soutpansberg and Steve Biko roads in Pretoria.
Photovoltaic cells line the roof; grey water is treated on site to use in the air-conditioning system, toilets and for watering the gardens; lights automatically light up or dim when people move in or out of an area; automatic sensors open and close windows depending on the temperature; there’s a huge “green wall” of plants at the entrance; and the department’s electric cars can be plugged into a solar power station to recharge.
The building provides 30 654 square metres of space.
Overall energy consumption is expected to be less than 115kWh per square metre a year (any higher than that is for the private partner’s cost), and solar power provides about 10 percent of the power and the City of Tshwane the rest.
At last month’s opening, Green Building Council chief executive Brian Wilkinson welcomed the new structure, saying green building was possible and made commercial sense. He said the building was one of only three 6-star buildings in South Africa.
Wilkinson said green buildings saved on average 34 percent on electricity bills, 48 percent on water and 50 percent on waste to landfill sites.
Zuma said the building showed a commitment to lower emissions and a commitment to the green economy.
“The Department of Environmental Affairs is walking the green talk,” Zuma said, adding this should encourage others to follow suit.