As developed countries have started exploring and experiencing Green Buildings, developing countries and South Africa in particular have too realised the positive effect that they have on the environment as well as businesses themselves.
Following the international trend, South Africa has very quickly adopted the Green Attitude that has been a reality for countries like Australia and the USA, for years. Business owners are looking to Property Development Companies for office space that is energy efficient in as many ways as possible. For a business, moving their business into Green Buildings allows them to benefit in various ways.
- Reduce costs (electricity)
- Positive Marketing Opportunities
- Moral Value
- Decrease Carbon Footprint
- International trend
- Encourages staff to be energy efficient in other areas of life
Renting or buying office space in a Green Building, a business not only saves money on a monthly basis but the image provides the attractive aspect to clients and potential clients. Enquire about Green Building rental or purchase.
South African companies are becoming more interested in making use of a Green Building. Depending on the Star Ratings the building has, there are various levels to which the building is energy efficient. These Star Ratings range from 3 Star to 6 Star. In South Africa, a 4 Star Rating is easily reachable.
Green Buildings in South Africa; how do we achieve effective results?
There are various aspects that are addressed when trying to be energy efficient. Whether a building is adapted to suit the Green Building requirements or it is built from scratch, the primary concern is keeping electricity costs down.
Electricity usage can be divided into 3 categories, within the office space environment.
- Lighting (uses 30% of electricity every month)
- Air Conditioning (uses 60% of electricity every month)
- Uses (computers, geyser, electronics, appliances)
To decrease energy consumption within any of the above electrical categories, Green Buildings attempt to change the way in which the electricity is used. Light bulbs are replaced with energy efficient globes that use sensors to be turned on and off. These low- watt fittings last for approximately 10 years.
When air cons are turned on, they require 3 times the amount of energy to power up as they do to run throughout the day. In an attempt to control this energy consumption, Green Buildings encourage businesses renting office space to open windows. This encourages airflow throughout the office space. Using the air con system as sparingly as possible is a major Green Building contributor.
Other factors (more relevant for new Green Buildings) are:
- Renewable concrete or steel
- Locate building in open space or close to public transport
- Include bi- cycle racks on property
- Efficient air cons
These factors may be expensive but in the long run, they save on costs. The more popular Green Buildings and energy efficiency becomes in South Africa, the more in- demand and attractive these buildings become for office use.