Constantly managing, monitoring and aligning construction costs against budget when implementing Green Star sustainable building-rating initiatives helps developers to achieve the objective ratings, says infrastructure and engineering consulting firm Aecom cost management, buildings and places associate quantity surveyor Kristina Moodley.
Green buildings benefit occupants, have a lower impact on the environment and reduce costs of occupancy for clients.
The company was responsible for the structural, civil, geotechnical and quantity surveying aspects during the development of coal and heavy minerals mining major Exxaro’s head office in Centurion, Gauteng, by property investment and development company Growthpoint Properties.
The Aecom team provided a financial blueprint that balanced the Class 8 dolomitic ground conditions against various site constraints, market rentals and client aspirations in terms of green accreditation and return on investment. This enabled the team to deliver a cost-effective project.
Aecom was also part of the Green Star submission process and had to provide quantity surveying reports that evaluated and quantified the data used by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) to assess the building’s compliance against Green Star targets.
“We were actively involved in assisting the green consultant with budget calculations on the different points and strategies required to achieve the As-Built 6-Star Green Star-rating from the GBCSA, which is the highest level of sustainability accreditation in the country. The building was also the first in South Africa to achieve Silver Level WELL certification for core and shell by the sustainable building International WELL Building Institute,” elaborates Moodley.
Sustainable practices were incorporated into the stormwater attenuation and filtration systems while rainwater is collected and fed into the stormwater filtration system. This water is recycled and reused by the building for irrigation and sanitary flushing. All parts of the system including soil drainage, water supply and stormwater attenuation have leak detection incorporated into them.
Sustainable practices were incorporated into the stormwater attenuation and filtration systems. Rain water is collected and fed into the stormwater filtration system. This water is recycled and reused by the building for irrigation and sanitary flushing. All parts of the system, including soil drainage, water supply and stormwater attenuation, are equipped with leak detection.
“These detection methods link back to the building management system, which alerts facilities management of any leaks to reduce water consumption while complying with dolomitic restrictions,” Moodley explains.
Sustainable buildings benefit occupants and reduce occupancy costs for clients and impact on the environment. Tenants are more aware of the benefits of occupying green buildings, which makes leases more attractive, she adds.
The Exxaro head office won the aggregates and building material company AfriSam Innovation Award for Sustainable Construction at the Construction World Best Projects Awards 2019, and was highly commended in the Consulting Engineering category.
“Our experience with green buildings and our substantial portfolio in executing these projects have given us invaluable knowledge to manage the finances of the complex of projects successfully,”
Despite the impact of Covid-19 on the property development sector, large corporates still require expansive office space. However, those who have adapted to working remotely will follow the trend of smaller, hot-desk workspace setups, she says.
“Aecom quantity surveyors have the expertise, knowledge and proven record to assist with client developments across the commercial, residential, industrial and infrastructure sectors. We work closely with our clients to make their vision a reality,” concludes Moodley.