The Green Building Council recently awarded South Africa’s highest possible Interiors Green Star v1 certification to Capetown-based company Formfunc Studio’s office spaces — the first such rating to be awarded in the country for an office and distribution center. Spearheaded by local multidisciplinary environmental firm Terramanzi Group, the design optimizes energy efficiency as well as occupant health and wellness.

a brick wall with a sign saying "Humanscale"

Designed with the Green Star Rating Tool in mind, the environmental consultants from the Terramanzi Group assessed all elements of the office fit-out to ensure ratings of between 75 to 100 credits for each evaluated category. This meant careful planning on a wide range of factors, from materials used to Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and emissions. Key to the design was a “less is more” approach that led to a minimalist interior design with unplastered walls and exposed ceilings to minimize materials. Low VOC paints and sealants were used wherever possible. 

interior office space with brick walls and glass

Low-tech and high-tech solutions were used throughout, such as the installation of floor-to-ceiling glazing that takes advantage of natural daylight and the highly efficient HVAC system that improves outside air rates into the building to achieve above SANS 10400 requirements. Sensors were also installed to monitor and control carbon dioxide, water, and electricity levels. To promote responsible environmental stewardship, the office has been equipped with a recycling station and a composting unit for organic waste. Employees also have access to biking and motorbike parking on-site. 

Related: This amazing green office is covered with native plants that were rescued on-site

interior office space with white walls and computers

“As we are the exclusive distributor of Humanscale® ergonomic chairs, workstations and other office accessories to the southern African market, it was imperative that our office environment went beyond just an ergonomic solution but also reflected our brand and our philosophy of recreating workspaces that are simpler and healthier for our employees to work in,” Kim Kowalski, director and co-founder of Formfunc, explained in a project statement.

+ Terramanzi Group

Images via Formfunc Studio