NELSON Mandela Metropolitan University’s new R116-million business school is the first in South Africa to receive official “green” design rating accreditation for a public and education building from the Green Building Council of South Africa.
The four-star green design rating for the three-storey building at the university’s Second Avenue campus is also the first for any building in Port Elizabeth.
The rating followed months of rigorous planning and implementation in the areas of energy efficiency, materials, water usage, indoor air quality, transport, ecology and lighting to ensure stringent standards were achieved.
“We’re very proud of this achievement. It sends a clear message that NMMU is intent on living its value of respect for the natural environment,” NMMU’s Graham Gouws of infrastructure projects, who championed the project, said.
He said that although “going green” could add up to 20% on initial building costs, NMMU expected to reap savings of at least R45000 a year from efficient lighting, the use of occupancy sensors and solar energy, as well as a further R68778 in water savings.
The Green Building Council’s technical manager, Manfred Braune, said the Green Star SA rating tool played “a key role in ensuring an integrated design approach with better environmental outcomes, which are clearly evident on this project, where the project team worked closely together to achieve an excellent design outcome for this facility”.
The new building will use about 60% less energy than a similar building, and 75% less water.
The new 5500m² building will open for business in March.