Four stars for cement manufacturer’s new headquarters that save energy and water.

 

The new PPC Ltd headquarters in Sandton has been awarded a four-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). Located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Northern Johannesburg business centre, it was imperative for PPC to become wary of its own environmental footprint and its contribution to the overall carbon footprint reduction.

Eastgate 20 on Katherine Street, which was strategically designed to efficiently reduce energy and water, now houses one of the largest cement suppliers in Southern Africa.

The Green Star rating system from the GBCSA was intended to provide the commercial property industry with an objective measurement for green buildings and to create and reward environmental leadership in the property industry. A four-star rating recognises a building for its best practices.
 
Reduced energy consumption
In order to consume less energy, Eastgate 20 utilises efficient lighting which is only activated when an area is occupied, almost giving incumbents the feeling that they light up the room. Further to this, the design has enabled the building to take advantage of natural light, reducing the building’s electricity demands during office hours.

“We have also made considerable progress through our new air-conditioning system. It uses inverter technology for the compressors – the speed is controlled so that only as much cooling is provided as needed and the motors do not just stop and start,” says Tshilidzi Dlamini, PPC’s group sustainability and environmental manager.

A power converter is a power electronic device that changes the supply voltage from a fixed 50 cycles per second mains AC waveform to a variable frequency and variable voltage waveform. This enables a standard fixed speed AC motor to be run at variable speeds, and for the speed of the motor to be accurately controlled. AC motors that are not fitted with a power converter are only capable of running at full speed (switched on) or zero speed (switched off).

With a power converter fitted, the output of the driven machine, for instance a pump, fan or compressor, can be adjusted and controlled to deliver the exact output volume, for example water flow or airflow, required to meet demand, and therefor energy is not wasted.

Although the cost of installing a power converter is significant, the potential energy savings are too, making it worthwhile.

Water preservation

Eastgate 20 is expected to make a significant reduction in the usage of potable water through the installation of water-efficient fittings for taps, urinals and toilets.

Furthermore, the company has taken steps to increase the quality of the water in the adjacent environs.

“Normally during a storm event, rainwater runs off hard surfaces into stormwater drains and is directed into the nearest river to avert flooding. In built-up areas, the abnormally amplified increase in water flow during storm events disrupts the natural balance of the ecosystem and the river’s ability to function as part of a healthy ecosystem,” says Dlamini.

PPC has therefore added a stormwater treatment site adjacent to Eastgate 20, where they treat all the stormwater from the new premises and that of the neighbouring sites to ensure that it is clean before it flows into the river.

PPC Ltd
Tel: 011 386 9309
Website: www.ppc.co.za

Eastgate 20 green features:
Electricity savings:
– Smart, efficient lighting with occupancy sensors.
– Use of natural light.
– Air-conditioning system with power converter.
Water savings:
– Water-efficient bathroom fittings.
– Stormwater treatment site.
End-result:
– Four-star Green Star rating.