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S. African building wins 6-star rating for green design

12-03-2011 15:36 BJT Special Report:Durban Climate Change Conference |

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As the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference continues in Durban, South Africa, a company there has been awarded a major environmental accolade for the greenness of one of its buildings. The African Mobile Communications Company, Vodacom’s Innovation Center, has received a six-star green rating for its energy-efficient design and operation. Our South African correspondent,

The Vodacom Innovation Center - which is carbon-neutral and powered by renewable energy - is the first South African building to receive a six-star rating - the highest green rating possible. Once it’s completed, this centre will house a team of experts that will focus on creating energy-efficient solutions that are expected to significantly reduce the mobile company’s global emissions.

As the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference continues in Durban, South Africa, a
company there has been awarded a major environmental accolade for the greenness of one of
its buildings.

Ettiene Gerber, program manager, said, "As you know, we’re a big industry, and we do consume quite a bit of energy. This is our way of saying we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint."

Xavier Huybrechts, architect, said, "There’s only a few in the world that get to this level of greening. It means that every single thing, from the foundation, to the air-conditioning system, to the electrical system, to the glazing, every single thing had to be thought very specifically, to have the most and greenest building we could."

Construction on this building started just six months ago. And after being awarded the six-star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa, it’s now the greenest building in all of Africa.

As the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference continues in Durban, South Africa, a
company there has been awarded a major environmental accolade for the greenness of one of
its buildings.

Ettiene Gerber, program manager, said, "To have seen this being completed and then also to have this as my working space in the future is quite a big privilege. We are excited to see people coming to visit us, to show this off to people. But to also in this building, the main aim of it is the innovation, to create innovations that we can share with the rest of the world about what we are doing to improve our situation, in terms of energy consumption and how it impacts on the environment."

Besides using photo-voltaic powered solar panels, water which is filtered on site and mostly natural materials in the construction of the building... the building is also climate-specific. It was designed specifically for the climactic conditions in and around Johannesburg, where there are very big differences between day and night temperatures throughout the year.

Xavier Huybrechts, architect, said, "And that allowed us to use what we call a rock-store passive cooling. What happens is that we take the air during the night through some support stonework that is below the building. The rocks like you see on the right there. And the air goes through there, is dropped by about 7 degrees in temperature and then it’s filled into the building. This allowed us to have fresh air that is 7 degrees cooler, without having to mechanically cool that air."

Environmentalists say building green is an opportunity to use resources efficiently to address the issue of climate change, while creating a healthier and more productive environment for people to live and work in. And that is certainly the plan for this world class building, which will be officially opened in January 2012.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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