The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has certified the first mall in South Africa after the release of its Green Star South Africa retail centre rating tool, which was launched in 2009.
The centre scooping the accolade of being the first Green Star design rated shopping centre, was the Villa Mall in Tshwane.
"Villa Mall is the first project in South Africa to achieve a Green Star SA - Retail Centre Design version 1 rating. This new, 130 000 m2 shopping centre in Pretoria, which is being developed by Capicol, has over 300 tenants and scored highest under the management, energy and water categories of the Green Star SA tool," said GBCSA technical executive Manfred Braune.
The Villa Mall was scheduled for completion in September 2011.
"In the Management category, this was achieved largely through committing to extensive commissioning of equipment, quarterly monitoring for the year after practical completion, as well as the development of a ‘green lease' that tenants are signing. To save energy the project has included energy-efficient variable refrigerant volume systems for air-conditioning of tenancies, a highly efficient lighting design, as well as a large solar photovoltaic (PV) array on the roof of the parking deck. Once this PV array is complete it will be the largest in the country on a building - approximately 2-MW peak power," added Braune.
It was also noted that the water savings at the Villa Mall would largely be achieved through the use of energy efficient fixtures and fittings, as well as through grey water - or water from showers and basins, and rainwater capture and recycling. Reduced potable water requirements for landscaping were also achieved owing to the selection of plants that would not require irrigation.
The retail design certification for the Villa Mall was the fourth certification that the GBCSA has awarded since the establishment of its Green Star SA rating tools for green buildings in South Africa.
The first project certified was the Nedbank phase two office building in Sandton, which received a design rating in October 2009, followed by an ‘as built' rating in September 2010.
The Nedbank office building in the Ridgeside development in Umhlanga also achieved a Green Star SA office design version 1 rating, and was the first building in KwaZulu-Natal to be certified.
Braune explained that Nedbank Ridgeside was a 9 300 m2 new office building and was developed by Zenprop, with Nedbank as the tenant. The architecture was described as modern, but with a strong ecologically sustainable design influence.
Braune stated that the project scored highest under the indoor environment quality (IEQ), energy and water categories of the Green Star SA tool.
"In the IEQ category, this was achieved largely through increased fresh air rates to the building, CO2 monitoring and control of the office space, as well as maximising the daylight into the building, and external views. Using low volatile organic compound paints also made a difference, as well as by using low formaldehyde composite wood products," said Braune.
To save energy the Nedbank Ridgeside project included an efficient central air-conditioning plant, highly efficient fluorescent office lighting design and a light switching zoning strategy.
The water savings would mostly be achieved through the use of energy efficient fixtures and fittings, as well as through rainwater capture and recycling, and reduced potable water requirements for landscaping.
Green Star SA is a voluntary green building rating system, under which developers may apply to have their projects rated and certified by the GBCSA.
The Green Star SA tools were designed for use by owners, developers and consultants, be it architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers, and building contractors, to independently rate and certify property developments through a common green building ‘language'.
The tool enabled stakeholders to minimise the environmental impacts of their developments, and to receive recognition for their design initiatives.
It was hoped that Green Star SA would promote integrated, whole-building design, raise awareness of green building benefits, and reduce the negative environmental impact of developments.
The GBCSA was currently working on its third tool, Green Star SA for multi-use residential units, and hoped to launch the pilot of this tool in December 2010.