SA’s first Green Star Design rated government building achieves its As Built rating
WSP, one of the largest multi-disciplinary engineering consultancies in Africa, has achieved a 4 Star Green Star SA As Built rating for the refurbishment of the Agrivaal building and the newly constructed adjacent Batho Pele House.
Located in Pretoria CBD, Agrivaal was the first public sector building to obtain a Green Star Design rating in 2012. Following environmentally-innovative refurbishments of the Agrivaal heritage building and construction of the new office building on the site, Batho Pele House, achieved a 4 Star Green Star SA Office v1 – As Built rating from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).
The site was chosen by the DPW as the building is situated in the heart of the Pretoria CBD, integrated into an old network and the growing new metropolis of public transport in the area, with the Gautrain and the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) – offering easy transit for all the building’s occupants and bringing people back into this once derelict part of the CBD..
What remained clear throughout the project was that achieving 4 Star Green Star credentials was a critical priority. Importance was placed on restoring and protecting the heritage of the existing Agrivaal building – as well as designing the easy transition between the new 10 storey building.
For this project, WSP formed part of a design team, Akani Consortium, inclusive of a project manager, quantity surveyor and architect – with multi-disciplinary technical skills and services provided by WSP, including full scope of engineering (across structural, civil, electrical, mechanical, lifts, fire, electronic, wet services etc.) and sustainability consulting.
The formal designs for the new building were forged around the time the country’s initial carbon emissions reduction target of 34% by 2020 were pledged in 2010. The following year the country hosted the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) during which discussions were tabled on potential regulations for all buildings to become more green and sustainable.
Roxanne Dovey, Sustainability Consultant, WSP, Building Services, Africa, said: “This was a challenging project, especially given the time from when it commenced, to construction and \occupation – which was longer than usually experienced with commercial building projects. Over this time the design team needed to closely monitor the sustainability aspects through changes in both the designs and people involved in the project – to ensure consistency was maintained and that we achieved compliance and met the criteria for the 4 Star Green Star rating.