Green Building Council visits city's greenest building

Project Focus

Green Building Council visits city's greenest building
Green Building Council visits city's greenest building

The City of Cape Town's Human Settlements Contact Office in Manenberg, which opened last year and was the first municipal building in South Africa to receive a Green Star SA rating, recently hosted a Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) event.

"The fact that GBCSA has chosen our Manenberg Human Settlements Contact Office as a showcase of the standard to which green buildings should adhere, is a positive indicator of our commitment to making our organisation as environmentally sustainable as possible,” said Member of the Mayoral Committee for Human Settlements, Councillor Tandeka Gqada.

The council used the event to provide updates on its work to its members, sign pledges of compliance, and conduct a tour of the facility.

GBCSA members were on a roadshow across the country, showcasing the latest in rating tool development and local case studies, and showing how to make a commitment to energy efficiency. The roadshow is being held in partnership with the leading South African efficiency movement, 49M.

The Manenberg Human Settlements Contact Centre houses just over 20 staff members, who provide administrative support to residents and manage the city's rental stock and dwellings purchased through the City of Cape Town.

The design and construction of the building embraced the principles of being green and sustainable. Some of the walls are made of sandbags and were constructed by specially trained local community members. Other materials were chosen for their ecologically efficient properties, and the amount of concrete used in the building was reduced. Between 30% and 40% of the building's energy is supplied by solar panels, while water collected on the roof is used to flush the toilets. Fresh water is used only for drinking, and all other water is treated and reused, irrigating the garden.

Local schools were involved in the creation of artwork for the building, which has a landscaped public space for the enjoyment of the community, featuring a lawn with indigenous trees and plants. As a result, it was the first fully constructed local municipal building in the country to achieve the GBCSA's 4-Star rating.

According to Cllr Gqada, this building is one of a number of initiatives aimed at environmental sustainability.

"Last year, the City of Cape Town received the South African National Energy Association’s Energy Project Award. The City was described as demonstrating leadership, innovation and visionary qualities through its various campaigns and projects designed to ensure the responsible use of energy."

 

Article courtesy of the City of Cape Town

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