Earlier this year it was announced that FNB Namibia Holdings’ @Parkside building achieved the first 4-Star Green Star design rating in Namibia and was aiming towards an ‘As Built’ rating. With further innovations, this has been achieved and the building was awarded a 5-Star Green Star Africa As Built rating by the Green Building Council – making it the first 5-Star rated building in Namibia and Africa, outside of South Africa.
Greg Rice, Sustainability Consultant, WSP Building Services Africa, says: “As the first As Built rating outside of South Africa, this is a remarkable achievement in itself for the sustainable construction industry in Africa. The As Built rating verifies that the building has been constructed and has been optimised to perform in the most efficient way possible, ensuring that the efforts put into design are in fact carried through to completion.”
Rice indicates that the project had achieved 55 points in its Design rating in 2014/2015, which is a comfortable 4 Star rating as the threshold is 45 points. “As the building had already achieved an excess of 10 points, it was deemed appropriate to investigate further opportunities to achieve a 5-Star rating – which requires 60 points to be certified. Overall, the building achieved 64 points for its final As Built rating.”
Comprehensive energy modelling – performed by WSP in the design phases – used the building specifications and efficiencies built into the design to evaluate the expected energy consumption of the building. The detailed modelling included the mechanical efficiencies designed by the mechanical engineer – where this optimisation and the inclusion of the rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system introduced to the project during construction – realised a better performing building in terms of overall energy for the As Built rating.
Sarel van Zyl, CEO of FNB Namibia Holdings, says: “Our building is the first As Built rated building outside of South Africa, as well as the first 5 Star rating outside of South Africa. We are immensely proud of this achievement and once again thank all involved parties who have made this possible. This is a great achievement and a testament to hard work by the construction and operational team.”
Added to this, the building owner, FNB Namibia Holdings, worked closely with WSP through all stages of the project to identify further opportunities to increase the efficiencies and sustainability of the building. This process included the following innovation aspects that also contributed to attaining the 5-Star rating:
- Community accessible bicycle racks, for use by building visitors and community members for nearby amenities.
- Significant energy savings as each light fitting in the office area is fitted with an occupancy sensor to reduce energy consumption or wastage through active lights in areas where there are no occupants.
- As part of the project development, community trader stalls and amenities have been installed on the active street network along Independence Avenue, this has helped to revitalise the central business district, bringing tourists close to the commercial zone of Windhoek.
- FNB has implemented a Waste and Recycling Management Plan that addresses operational waste production, suitable storage and how operational waste is diverted from landfill for the life of the building.
- Inclusion of an access flooring system that contains recycled content, which is also fully recyclable after use.
“This is a comfortable 5-Star rating – at 64 points – and has certainly pushed the boundaries of sustainable construction in the Namibian context, as the country continues its journey to a more sustainable and less harmful developing built environment. We are exceptionally proud of our continued contributions on this project that led to the building attaining this rating,” concludes Rice.