They say it takes a village to raise a child. This profound statement has never been truer than it is in our modern times. Growing a person from child to fully functioning, productive and happy adult is a daunting task and one that can simply not be accomplished by parents alone. An entire “village” – teachers, friends, extended family, mentors and others – all contribute in their own way, be it small or large – to the child’s growth and development. What does this have to do with green buildings, Allan Gray and Carrier chillers? Only everything! Because just as it takes a committed group of people to raise a child, it takes an equally committed group to raise a building with a 6-star green building rating.
Asset management company Allan Gray created just such a group.
“Allan Gray had 15 different sub-tenancies in three different buildings in the Waterfront [in Cape Town],” said Michael Smith, the company’s Head: Facilities Management. “From a communications point of view, it was an inefficiency. We needed to get everybody under one roof.”
The company approached the V&A Waterfront and asked them to build them a new head office.
“Allan Gray as a client is very, very innovative,” says Mark Noble, the Waterfront’s Development Manager.
It is this spirit of innovation that inspired the company to design a Green building that would embrace all the available sustainability initiatives with the aim of being awarded a prestigious 6-star Green Star Rating.
What Is A Green Star Rating?
Green Star Ratings apply to a building’s overall environmental impact, using specific tools to apply points across nine categories. Each category is divided into credits, and these credits, in turn, have points allocated to them. The total number of points a building scores in each of the categories are then added up and a star rating is awarded.
The categories are:
- Management – concerns how well environmental principles are adopted throughout the lifespan of the build, from project inception to design and construction, through to the final commissioning and operation of the buildings and its systems.
- Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) – this is all about the well-being of the building’s occupants. It looks at lighting, heating, cooling and indoor air pollutants.
- Energy – examines factors such as energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Transport – how are the building’s occupants being encouraged to use alternate, Green methods of transport?
- Water – how is potable water usage being reduced? Is there a rainwater collection system, for example, or a grey-water recycling system in place?
- Materials – How is the use of raw natural materials reduced, and did the developers make use of materials that can be reused or recycled?
- Land Use and Ecology – What is the building’s impact on nearby biodiversity and ecological systems?
- Emissions – applies to emissions during the construction period as well as once the building is complete.
- Innovation – this category encourages, recognises and rewards innovation when it comes to processes, designs and technology, and the impact they have on the building’s overall environmental performance.
What Makes The Allan Gray Building So Special?
Representatives from the company decided from the beginning that they wanted their new Head Office to have a 6-star rating. “Being at the tip of Africa, Cape Town is probably closer to all the real, tangible impacts of global warming and the lack of attention to greening and sustainability,” says David Green, the Waterfront’s CEO.
After the initial design, the building was only worth a 4-star rating. It was time to go back and relook things. The Waterfront identified that the primary organs of a building are the façade, the air conditioning system and the Building Management System (BMS). This is what inspired the new head office’s high-performance façade.
The façade features an inside weather line, which is double glazing, with a single pane – about 800mm thick – on the outside of that. In between these two layers of glass is a blind, which automatically lowers when the sun hits the façade, effectively capturing the heat of the sun within the cavity. Natural convection ensures the heat rises and goes out of the top before it can enter the building.
“The building also features raised access floors. The cavity underneath these floors is used as a way to distribute air throughout the building. The air below the floors is just below room temperature. As it trickles out and rises, it heats up. This is very energy efficient, as you’re not airconditioning the whole space, only the area which people are occupying.
AHI CARRIER – Contributing To The Greening Of South African Buildings
AHI CARRIER is beyond proud to have been associated with Allan Gray’s groundbreaking project, supplying and installing no fewer than four Carrier chillers in their head office building. Chillers work by cooling the water circulating through the cooling elements of a building’s HVAC system. The cooling water from the chiller is heated by the warm indoor air, while the room itself is cooled. The chiller then cools the warm water and sends it back into the room.
Energy efficiency is at the very heart of all the research and technology behind every single Carrier chiller system. We’re thrilled to have been associated with the Allan Gray project and look forward to partnering with you on yours.
To find out how you can benefit from our expert knowledge and wide range of energy efficient offerings, contact us today on +27 11 878 6320 OR 021 5520336 or complete this form, and we’ll contact you.