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
Menlyn Park Shopping Centre
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South Africa has allocated R18-billion for distressed mining communities across the country. Headed by the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) in charge of revitalising mining communities, projects being undertaken include housing and wellness.
“Overall R18-billion has been dedicated to ongoing work in distressed mining communities, benefitting the following provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West,” President Jacob Zuma said on 30 June.
“The bulk of this funding is from [the] government, with mining companies contributing approximately a third of the funding.”
Zuma appointed the IMC shortly after the Marikana tragedy, in which over 44 people lost their lives during labour unrest at the Lonmin mine in North West in 2012. Its mandate is to oversee the implementation of integrated and sustainable human settlements, improve living and working conditions of mine workers and determine the development path of mining towns and the historic labour-sending areas.
“The fundamental mandate of the IMC is to change the face of mining in South Africa working with business, labour and other sectors.”
South Africa had undertaken a socio-economic diagnostic study of the 15 prioritised mining towns and 12 prioritised labour-sending areas to get a better understanding of the extent of the challenges in each town and to determine the most appropriate actions to address these.
“In changing the face of mining, we are also drawing lessons from other countries,” Zuma said. He spoke about the Australia-Africa Partnership Facility, saying the country was benchmarking the policy and regulatory system governing the mining sectors in Australia, Chile, South Africa, and Zambia.
Regarding housing, the Department of Human Settlements was implementing about 66 public sector housing projects in the 15 prioritised mining towns. In the 2014/15, financial year more than R419-million was spent from the ring-fenced budget for upgrading informal settlements in prioritised mining towns in Limpopo, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West.
“Overall over 7 000 units have been delivered in the mining towns.” For this financial year about R1-billion had been ring-fenced, which would deliver about 19 000 new houses.
Two of the housing projects were in Marikana, where about 500 houses would be built on land donated by Lonmin.
In addition to the ring-fenced human settlement grant funding, the department’s housing agencies have contributed over R1-billion to integrated human settlements in mining towns. This includes 17 341 loans of R239-million for incremental housing from the Rural Housing Loan Fund; R673-million delivering 3 405 mortgage and social housing units from the National Housing Finance Corporation; bridging loans of R95.6-million for 1 177 affordable houses and R36-million for 4 546 subsidy units from Nurcha’s Construction Finance and Programme Management.
Zuma said the government embraced partnerships.
“We understand that when working together, we can achieve much more that leads to a greater impact than when working in isolation,” he said, adding that stakeholders in business, labour and the government had actively supported and participated in formulating the government’s strategic approach for accommodating mineworkers in decent housing and living conditions in mining towns.
Turning to socio-economic conditions, Zuma said that, led by the Department of Trade and Industry, the departments of Co-operative Governance, Traditional Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform and Small Business Development were facilitating large and small scale industrial projects in the 15 mining towns.
These were critical in creating business and employment opportunities. In addition, Trade and Industry is helping selected municipalities and regions to develop and implement regional industrial development plans.
These include interventions in Bojanala and the Greater Tubatse local municipalities for the establishment of a platinum group metals special economic zone (SEZ).
Feasibility studies, business plans and the appointment of a project management unit have been completed and the SEZ designation and land acquisition is being finalised.
Others include the establishment of an agri-hub in Bojanala, Madibeng and Marikana for agriculture production and a processing facility, as well as the Vulindlela Industrial Park Revitalisation in King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality, in Eastern Cape.
These projects, which include a multi-sectoral business park, will promote sustainable manufacturing investments into the region.
On the wellbeing of the miners, the Department of Health, together with the departments of Labour and Mineral Resources, is working towards the alignment of the industry’s occupational health and safety policy.
The goal is to build an enhanced social protection system, as well as reorganise the compensation system and access to benefits for former and current mineworkers.
“The Department of Mineral Resources is employing mine accident and occupational diseases prevention mechanisms through improved mine inspections, audits, investigations and monitoring of occupational exposure levels,” Zuma said.
Enforcement and inspections have been beefed up through 40 regional medical inspectors, analysis of annual medical reports from the mines’ provision of standards on workplace exposures, implementing inspection and audit tools for occupational health services, promotion of occupational health in the mining industry, and reviewing research relevant to occupational medicine in the mining industry.
Furthermore, the departments of Mineral Resources and of Health are employing strategic interventions to promote healthy and safe working conditions. These include ensuring the reduction in falls of ground accidents by 20% annually; actively promoting awareness of the National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB; preventing personal over-exposure to silica dust; and promoting active linkage of dust exposure to medical surveillance.
The Department of Health has established one-stop service centres to bring health and compensation services to former and current mine workers in the mining towns and in labour-sending areas.
There are centres in Mthatha in Eastern Cape as well as Carletonville in Gauteng. More one-stop service centres will be established in other provinces, beginning in Kuruman in Northern Cape and Burgersfort in Limpopo.
The state will also set up mobile units in neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and Swaziland during the 2015/16 fiscal year.
Zuma said he was making good on his promise in his State of the Nation Address to launch a mining version of Operation Phakisa, the integrated delivery system in the health and oceans economy sectors.
It would be discussed when the National Consultative Forum on the Mining Sector met later this year.
“To date, the Presidency has engaged in more than 15 consultative meetings with the [chief executives] of mining companies, representatives of civil society and national office bearers of labour unions and there is overwhelming support for the Phakisa process.”
His government was determined, working together with other stakeholders, to steer the mining industry towards increased investment, growth and transformation while being mindful of the social, environmental and health impacts on people in mining towns and labour-sending areas.
“The migrant labour system has been the backbone of the mining industry in South Africa and continues to have an enduring impact on both mining towns and rural labour-sending areas,” he said, urging all stakeholders and communities to work with the government to try to revitalise the mining sector.