South Africa’s equivalent of the green building rating tool from Australia and New Zealand, Green Star SA will officially recognize the office on 115 West Street with a four star rating in March, 2013. Organized for optimum orientation in accordance with South Africa’s new energy legislation, the building is flooded with natural light thanks to 12 8.4 meter cones that float above two atria. External louvers mitigate excess solar gain.
Planted with several 6m high, living Ficus trees, the lobby is an inspiring space that boasts excellent air quality. The building is fitted with a robust grey water recycling program that helps to conserve water, which is a precious resource in South Africa, and the exterior is xeriscaped with indigenous, low-maintenance plants for the same reason. Recycling facilities have been provided to help guide a more responsible office culture. Ultimately, buildings of this enormity are only sustainable for the so-called 1%, but given that South Africa has long lagged in the green building industry, we have to give kudos for this beautiful construction.
Images © Andrew Bell