The National English Literary Museum, in Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape, has been awarded a 5-Star Green Star SA Public Education Building v1 As-Built rating – a first for South Africa.
The museum was built by the Department of Public Works (DPW) for the Department of Arts and Culture at a cost of R145-million. Construction started in February 2014 and was completed in June 2016.
The total gross floor area is 10 812 m2, of which 5 851 m2 is office space.
Solid Green Consulting undertook the Green Star certification process, while Intsika Architects was responsible for the design.
“With this building, attributes beyond cost, time and quality became key measures, such as the achievement of social objectives through job creation; local small, medium, micro and macro enterprises’ and suppliers’ involvement; and the project being accepted by the broader community,” DPW senior project manager Dr Een Greyling said.
The building aims to reduce potable water consumption by more than 95% below benchmark, and water meters have been installed to monitor and facilitate management of water consumption.
Stormwater detention ponds were introduced to release stormwater gradually and prevent the erosion of the related river system.
Rainwater is harvested from the roof area and used for irrigation, as well as toilet and urinal flushing.
“Mechanical and electrical equipment was chosen for its low energy use, and a building management system has been introduced to actively control and optimise the effectiveness of building services,” Greyling noted.
Air-conditioned and mechanically assisted natural ventilation systems were specified to effectively deliver optimum air quality to each occupant throughout the occupied area.
The air-conditioning system is a variable refrigerant volume system with heat recovery, which can provide cooling and heating simultaneously to different parts of the building. This feature has the potential to deliver maximum energy savings.
“Further, a heat-recovery system can transfer the heat extracted from those spaces requiring cooling to areas demanding heating, reducing energy requirements and operating costs.”
Natural lighting to interior spaces has been improved and artificial lights can be adjusted individually.
“From a social transformation perspective, local labour was used where available to provide the community with a sense of ownership and generate economic upliftment. In total, 205 local job opportunities were created during construction,” Greyling stated.