South Africa – Emira Property Fund, a South African Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) has committed to sustainable development through greening their portfolio with the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).
The REIT has committed to pursuing Green Star for all of its new developments as well as Green Star Existing Building Performance ratings.
The triple certification for their flagship Knightsbridge development in Bryanston, Johannesburg demonstrates Emira’s commitment to building green. Each of the three Phase 1 buildings achieved a 4 Star Green Star – Office v1.1 Design Rating from GBCSA.
Justin Bowen, development manager at Emira Property Fund says, “Knightsbridge is the new way of working, and we are committed to healthy buildings and a healthy environment because it is the right thing to do. We are proud of our flagship development and are encouraged by the uptake by tenants for the development. This reinforces our commitment to sustainable construction and operations.”
Manfred Braune, the GBCSA’s executive director: certifications says, “The GBCSA congratulates Emira on this triple achievement and for demonstrating their firm commitment to green building, both for new buildings and their buildings in operation.”
The buildings boast a number of sustainability focused measures, which also protect the health and improve productivity of occupants. There is a heavy focus on the indoor environment and the buildings are characterised by high fresh air rates – well above SANS 10400:2011 regulations. Only low VOC finishes have been used, and high quality daylight levels and access to views to the outside enhance the indoor environment, which is beneficial to the health and wellbeing of building occupants.
Emira’s Knightsbridge development ensures energy usage reduction through a combination of natural and efficient mechanical basement ventilation, efficient light fittings and zones controlled by occupancy sensors, as well as efficient air conditioning systems that meet the thermal comfort needs of South African climate with low energy consumption.
The development also employs water efficient flushing systems, taps and shower facilities, as well as rainwater harvesting which contributes to the overall water resilience of the precinct with water tanks that allow for two days of drinking water self-sufficiency. Demand for high quality potable water for irrigation is reduced through water wise plant selection, as well as the use of harvested rainwater.
Water and energy meters are installed and are connected to the precinct building management system (BMS). This allows the precinct and building managers to effectively monitor, trend and identify wasteful consumption during the operational phase of the buildings.
The construction process of Knightsbridge also aimed at cutting on carbon emissions by using materials with low carbon content. Concrete with a high fly ash content and reinforcing steel with a high post-consumer recycled content have been used.
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