Further green boost for education and the public sector

Further green boost for education and the public sector

The four-star Green Star SA certified KZN Department of Education Ugu District Office.

Further evidence of the public sector’s commitment to sustainability is the four-star Green Star SA Office Design v1.1 certification that the KZN Department of Education: Ugu District Office has received from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).

The 6 701m2 six storey building is in Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal.

GBCSA chief executive, Dorah Modise, says: “Green building entails designing, building and operating buildings in a sustainable way. The Department of Education: Ugu District Office integrates this with all the amenities that come with its central location, including easy access for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, thus lightening its environmental footprint.”

The building is designed for generous natural light with all office spaces placed to have a direct line of sight to the outdoors. It has an energy-efficient lighting system and low volatile organic compound finishes. Other sustainable building features include parking spaces for two wheeled and fuel efficient vehicles close to the entrance as an incentive to encourage the use of these types of vehicles.

During construction, most materials used were sourced close to the site, reducing carbon emissions. Embodied energy was reduced through the use of industrial by-product in the concrete mixture and a large percentage of recycled structural steel. Dedicated areas for waste sorting and storage were allocated during construction and these have been retained for ongoing use.

Particular focus on this project was placed on creating employment for local young people, with 218 positions created during the construction and operation of the office.

Kiru Naidoo, KZN Department of Education Director: Communications says: “The Green Star rated green building for our education department in Port Shepstone supports government’s national resource efficiency and green building objectives.”

Derrick Edwin Classen, Director of Zatovect, which developed the project, says: “This is the first green building in Port Shepstone, and how wonderful that it is a government building showing leadership in this region. We hope to build many more green buildings.”

“Sustainable public spaces are resource efficient and cost efficient. Hubs of green building have the power to appeal to and attract economically active and skilled people to live, work and visit. The development of this Department of Education building is a fine example of the best practice sustainable development our public sector is delivering, and the GBCSA is here to work with every level of government to achieve their green goals,” concludes Modise.