The Link located in Rosebank. Image credit: BusinessTech
The Link in Rosebank, the first South African office for international shared workspace technology company WeWork of the US, has achieved a four Green Star ‘design’ and a five Green Star ‘as built’ rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).
The building was designed by Paragon Architects, with Paragon Interface carrying out the interior fit-out, for developer Redefine Properties. “The entire team is very proud of our ‘as built’ rating. This was only possible through close collaboration with WBHO, the contractor and WSP, the green building consultant.
The ‘design’ versus ‘as built’ scores reflect how much hard work and dedication everyone put into the project in order to achieve a score beyond the client’s expectations,” Paragon Architects senior Project Architectural Technologist Warren Wesson says.
“A Green Star rating is no longer perceived as an extra cost, but as a significant investment. It has become the new norm,” Wesson points out. The track record of the Green Star rating system, developed originally by the Green Building Council of Australia, has already seen developers reap significant benefits in terms of operational costs and general end-user experience.
“The wellbeing of staff has become a top priority for tenants. Studies show that the healthier the environment, the more productive staff can be,” Wesson highlights. The Link was designed so as to afford a 360° view of the surrounding urban area, while maintaining a high degree of natural light for a comfortable internal environment.
Key Green Star initiatives at The Link in Rosebank
- Indoor environmental quality (ventilation rates, management of volatile organic compounds, daylight glare control, etc.)
- Energy (greenhouse gas emissions, lighting power densities, etc.)
- Management (building tuning, commissioning, waste management, etc.)
- Transport (fuel-efficient bays, cyclist facilities, mass transportation for commuters, etc.)
The difference between the two ratings for The Link is that ‘design’ is the target, a clear strategy for all professionals to adhere to while ‘as built’ is the final audited result of those planned strategies at the end of the project. The Link was awarded a four Green Star ‘design’ rating in the early construction phase, which met the client’s brief. However, additional innovation points were achieved through passive building techniques and environmental considerations. This meant that the project was ultimately awarded a five Green Star ‘as built’ rating.
It was always the intent of the project team to ensure that the building met the maximum Green Star requirements as far as they could within their allowable budgets, Wesson points out. Green Star strategies are extremely complex, and sometimes have very little to do with the actual architectural building aesthetics. “It is more about how the building is managed during construction, ensuring correct building material specifications and also co-ordinating efficient MEP disciplines such as water, waste, mechanical and electrical,” Wesson concludes.