Vodacom achieves South Africa’s first 6-star Green Star SA rated building
Vodacom, and its parent company Vodafone, have broken new ground in South Africa by achieving the first ever 6-star Green Star SA rating for the Vodafone Innovation Centre building in Midrand, Johannesburg.
This is the first time that a South African building has achieved this rating.
The Vodafone Innovation Centre will be carbon neutral and powered by renewable energy. Once completed, the Centre will house a team of experts tasked with creating energy efficiency solutions that are expected to significantly reduce Vodafone’s global emissions.
According to the Green Building Council of South Africa, a green building is a building which is energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible. It incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of development on the environment and occupants.
Pieter Uys, Vodacom CEO says: “We are delighted that our building has achieved this accolade. Over the last few years, we have worked hard to reduce the Group’s impact on the environment; it is a core strategic priority for both Vodafone and Vodacom. The Innovation Centre, as the hub of our creative thinking around a low-carbon future, will play a critical role in the reduction of carbon emissions across the Group.”
According to the World Green Building Council, the built environment is one of the main contributors to climate change.
There are number of international reports that state that buildings represent the single largest opportunity for greenhouse gas abatement, outstripping energy, transport and the industrial sectors combined. Building green really is an opportunity to use resources efficiently and address climate change while creating healthier and more productive environments for people to work and live in.*
Bruce Kerswill, Executive Chairman of the GBCSA, says that the GBCSA is proud that South Africa has its first 6-star certified building. “6-star Green Star SA is equivalent to World Leadership – meaning that the Vodafone building puts South Africa firmly in line with global best practice in terms of green building – this is a fantastic achievement for Vodacom and Vodafone.
“Our rating systems are all about recognising excellence in sustainable design. The highest rating, six stars, is reserved for those projects that are truly world class.
Vodafone has set a new South African benchmark and we are so proud that this huge international company chose South Africa for the location of this innovation centre and that they targeted, and achieved, the highest Green Star SA rating possible,” concludes Kerswill.
The Vodafone Innovation Centre is expected to open in the first quarter of 2012.
Manfred Braune Technical Executive at the GBCSA says:
“The GBCSA would like to congratulate Vodafone, Vodacom and their project team on achieving the first 6 Star rating in SA – a highly commendable achievement. The design has tested and explored various cutting edge building designs and technologies in South Africa that have not yet been tested in commercial buildings – this project can become a fantastic national educational opportunity to spark further transformation in the built environment. The GBCSA encourages the project to follow this achievement up with an As Built rating, which will confirm that was committed to in their Design rating was built, and will maximize the educational opportunities this building will have in operation.”
Other certified and registered projects in SA
The green movement in the built environment is spreading like wildfire and in the last two months alone the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has rated four new green buildings in SA under the Green Star SA rating system.
This brings the total number of certifications in SA to twelve, with two of these having achieved both Design and As Built ratings.
“These innovative buildings set the standards in terms of commercial green buildings and there are many more in the pipeline which have submitted applications for Green Star Rating,” says Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA. “A year ago the GBCSA had issued only one official Green Star SA rating, as opposed to the current figure of ten.”
“The Green Building Council of South Africa wishes to congratulate Vodafone on their new Innovation Centre and its 6-Star Green Star status,” says Wilkinson. “This is truly a great achievement, not only for Vodafone, but also for Green Building in South Africa in general and the GBCSA is very proud to be involved in the rating of this pioneering building.”
About Green Star
“Green Star SA is a voluntary green building rating system under which developers may apply to have their projects independently rated and certified through common metrics by the GBCSA,” explains Manfred Braune, Technical Executive of the GBCSA,
The Green Star SA tools allow for the certification of buildings, based on the following levels of achievement:
• 4 Star Green Star SA Certification - “Best Practice”
• 5 Star Green Star SA Certification - “South African Excellence”
• 6 Star Green Star SA Certification - “World Leadership”
To date the following Green Star SA tools have been developed:
• Office v1
• Retail Centre v1
• Multi Unit Residential v1
• Public & Education Building PILOT
Who is the Green Building Council of South Africa?
The GBCSA is an independent, non-profit, membership-based organisation that was formed in 2007 by leaders from all sectors of the commercial property industry. They are a full member of the World Green Building Council and the official certification body of buildings under the Green Star SA Rating System. The organisations primary aim is to ensure that all buildings are built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way - so that all South African's work and live in healthy, effective and productive environments.
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