THE new No 1 Silo office building at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town was this week awarded a six-star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa.
The development is the country’s latest — and largest — green office building. It is only the second building to be awarded the six-star rating in South Africa and the first in the Western Cape. Mobile telecommunications group Vodacom was the first to achieve this feat in 2011 with its Vodafone Innovation Centre in Midrand, Gauteng.
The Green Star rating system was established by the building council in 2008 to evaluate the potential environmental performance of buildings.
A green building should be energy and resource efficient and environmentally responsible. Design, construction and operational elements need to be combined to significantly reduce or eliminate the building’s negative impact on the environment and its occupants.
"Sustainable development and green operations are fundamental to the V&A Waterfront’s overall development strategy," David Green, CEO of the V&A, said on Thursday.
"We have adopted a rigorous approach to green construction and sustainable design principles, and to the efficient use of natural and energy resources."
The No 1 Silo building — which is due for completion in June — is expected to be one of the most advanced sustainable buildings in Africa, providing its tenants with a healthier working environment and saving up to 50% in operating costs in the long term.
Features of the building include using seawater to cool the building and heat generated from the computer server room to warm the reception area. A high-performance, double-skin glass facade will maximise views of Table Mountain and the sea, and ensure optimal use of natural light. Displacement ventilation will push larger-than-usual quantities of fresh air through the building, and for much of the year the air can be drawn directly from outside.
"The building is equipped with an intelligent building management system to help maximise the benefit to the occupants of the various green technologies and the opportunities presented by the high-performance facades," Mr Green said.
Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the Green Building Council of South Africa, said that a six-star rating signified "world leadership and further affirms the V&A Waterfront’s bold leadership and continued commitment to environmental sustainability in the development of this iconic precinct".