The World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) newly refurbished headquarters received a 6 Green Star rating from the GBCSA.The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has awarded the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) newly refurbished headquarters in Braamfontein a 6 Green Star rating. The 655m2 three-storey office was redesigned for minimal environmental impact with minimal material usage and it is the first local retrofitted building to receive the highest level of recognition for a green building possible.

Simon Cretney of Alive Architects used salvaged materials from the deconstructed 1906 structure to give the building a facelift that perfectly reflects the preservation ethos of this international environmental agency.

“Not only does it symbolise our commitment to sustainable practices and the wise use of our resources, but it also celebrates the interconnectedness of our natural and built environments,” said Dr Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF.

The original façade, a well-known landmark on the corner of Melle and De Korte streets, was retained and the balance of the L-shaped structure was deconstructed brick by brick to make way for the new layout. The modern interior incorporates the preserved bricks, timber and sheeting in the project.

“We breathed new life into this bold, old structure that really merges the old with the new,” said Simon Cretney of Alive Architects.

GreenTag certified Belgotex Floors supplied the Charcoal BerberPoint 920 carpeting that was installed in the meeting rooms, audio-visual centre and boardrooms for comfort as well as thermal and sound insulation. These stainproof, stylish grey carpets not only add warmth and comfort to these areas, but also improve the Indoor Air Quality [IEQ13] whilst meeting the GBCSA’s stringent requirements for low volatile organic compounds (VOC). The Charcoal BerberPoint 920 carpeting also guaranteed 100% of available points credits for flooring on the interiors rating tool.

Did you know?
Uninsulated floors contribute 10 – 20% of heat loss in a room, with greater heat loss occurring in larger areas. Research conducted in New Zealand found that the energy savings, both heating and cooling, were in the range of 8 – 12%. Findings indicate that carpeted floors feel warmer underfoot and do not require the heating that a smooth surface may need, while they also promote thermal comfort, energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Carpets are natural insulators and because of their low heat conductivity, they help to reduce energy costs for heating and cooling when there is a temperature differential between the indoor air and that under the floor.

The rooftop of the newly retrofitted building is being transformed into a “green” zone with live plants that are fed from a drip irrigation system from the basement water supply. The salvaged corrugated sheeting will be added back as a front-face treatment to the planter area after the planter wall capping has been installed. The rooftop is set to be a relaxing, beautiful and green space in a year’s time.

For more information, contact Belgotex Floors on +27 (33) 897 7500 or via www.belgotex.co.za.