Shopping mecca gets green thumbs up

by Darren
Shopping mecca gets green thumbs up MENLYN

Based on environmentally friendly design and construction principles, the extension of the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre has received a four-star Green Star Retail Design rating from the GBCSA.

Using the Green Building Council of South Africa’s (GBCSA’s) Green Star Retail Centre V1 rating tool, the extension of the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria has been awarded a four-star Green Star Retail Design rating.

Developing the first phase of this R2 billion redevelopment on environmentally friendly design and construction principles, the project team implemented a number of significant sustainable strategies.

First of all, building materials were sourced locally, in close proximity to the site, which helped to lower CO2 and other harmful emissions from transporting the materials. Timber came from environmentally responsible forests, while the reinforcing steel used in the project has a high recycled content and ordinary cement in the concrete was reduced by 30% through substitution with fly-ash.

Waste management
More than 70% of the pre-construction and construction waste was repurposed by using wood offcuts to make mulch, and surplus building materials such as bricks were ground down for landscaping or filling purposes.

Focusing on preventing waste and minimising waste as a by-product of production, a waste and recycling management plan (WRMP) was put in place to manage the collection, storage, treatment and disposal of all waste. The end goal is to recycle 57% of the waste generated, which will ultimately result in diverting up to 80% of the waste produced away from landfill.

Water usage
To optimise water performance, a rainwater harvesting system with extensive capacity and water-wise landscaping was designed. In addition, low-flow sanitary fittings and metering of the major water uses contribute to a reduction of municipal water use.

Potable water consumption in the phased section was also reduced by approximately 70% in comparison to a conventional building of this type.

Indoor environment quality
The minimum regulatory fresh air requirements set out by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) are exceeded by 150%, and ample access to daylight is made possible through the use of glass and skylights. In addition, paints, sealants and adhesives with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were selected.  

Energy consumption
With the goal to reduce energy consumption by about 50% when compared to a reference building with design properties as stipulated in SANS204, an energy-efficient heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system was installed.

The chilled water air-handling units run on a 100% full outside air economy cycle when the conditions are favourable and have CO2 monitoring for demand-controlled outdoor air. Large fans and chilled water pumps make use of variable speed drives, which allows only the optimum quantity of air and water to be delivered in order to meet minimum building demands. Thermostatically controlled variable air volume dampers, in turn, deliver only the necessary quantity of air required by each shop based on the heat load.

All proficient lights are run on occupancy and time controls, which are monitored through an integrated building management system, ensuring energy levels are checked regularly for any incongruities.

The design of the reconfigured centre further includes facilities for alternative transport, preferential parking for fuel-efficient vehicles and integration into the mass public-transport system. Cyclists are given dedicated parking and showers, while bays for scooters or motorbikes are located close to mall entrances to incentivise people to be part of the low-carbon-emission philosophy.
Due for completion in November this year, the shopping centre will become the largest centre in Africa, and one of the greenest.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Menlyn Park Shopping Centre for the information given to write this article.

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