In May, the Reid Lifestyle Centre, developed by Balwin Properties, achieved a six-star Green Star Public & Education Building certification.
Part of an upmarket lifestyle estate situated close to the Marlboro Gautrain station, the building is also targeting a Net-zero Carbon Level 2 rating.
The Reid Lifestyle Centre includes business, leisure and sporting amenities such as boardroom facilities; a restaurant, cinema and games room; a children’s play area; and a gym, swimming pool and sports fields.
Solid Green Consulting sustainable building consultant Nomamfengu Mbele explains that the location of the project provided interesting opportunities for the professional team.
“The site – to the east of the N3 (Eastern Bypass), south of Marlboro drive and north of London road in the Linbro Park area – falls outside the central business district, and contains a wetland.
"This challenging location encouraged the team to consider sustainability initiatives that ensure the development contributes to its environment – including the development of a watercourse management plan; wetland rehabilitation; and a focus on ensuring minimal light pollution from the lifestyle centre.”
The upgrade to the degraded wetland system, which is directly adjacent to the lifestyle centre, included using the wetlands as an attenuation and water treatment system for stormwater.
The lifestyle centre opens towards the wetland area, and the landscape design integrates the swimming pool and restaurant with the wetland area. A nature trail through the wetland is also part of the wetland rehabilitation plan.
Mbele explains that, as the lifestyle centre is targeting a net-zero carbon rating, its 15 kW photovoltaic solar system will be expected to meet 100% of the development's energy needs – which is also possible thanks to the array of energy efficiency measures that have been implemented.
All enclosed spaces are individually switched, making it easy to light only occupied areas.
Moreover, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units have motion sensors that switch the units off if spaces remain unoccupied for a predetermined time.
Air-quality sensors were also installed to continuously measure the air quality, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter (dust) and nitrogen dioxide in the centre. This information, together with data on energy and water consumption, is displayed publicly throughout the building as a learning resource, because the behaviour of users is critical to reducing consumption.
Circuit level monitoring has also been implemented, which allows for a more specific data collection process from individual circuits to optimise operations and align with net-zero carbon reporting requirements.
The overall water demand of the building has been reduced to 800 m³/y through the use of water efficient fittings, xeriscape landscaping and a grey water system installed to reuse water used in the laundromat.
Balwin also focused on construction materials as well as waste management practices.
This includes specifying concrete types which result in a 40% reduction in the quantity of Portland cement, steel products with 90% recycled content, and masonry units with a minimum of 20% perforation.
Balwin also committed to 20% of the project contract value being dedicated to products sourced within 400 km of the site; and 1% of the project contract’s value comprises recycled/reused materials.
An internal waste recycling storage area has also been provided, which allows for occupants to further divert waste away from landfill.