Lakeside Green Building

The Move Towards a Sustainable Exxaro

Mid-2019 will mark a momentous occasion for Exxaro, South Africa’s largest and foremost black-empowered coal and heavy mineral companies, who will make the move into their new Lakeside offices in Centurion. As the resource company takes the necessary steps towards the Exxaro of Tomorrow, a key focus is on responsible usage; conserving natural recourses; and reducing the burden of pollutants on the environment.

The Lakeside Offices project therefore targets a Green Star SA Office v1.1 Design and As-Built rating, and incorporates various sustainability features that serve to minimise their impact on the environment. The Green Star Office tool is the most used tool since it became operational in 2008. It serves to rate newly constructed office spaces, by assessing the environmental attributes of a project related to site selection and location; CO2 emissions; construction materials and practices; efficient use of resources; and innovative design.

The tool aims to reduce the environmental impact of development through direct and indirect initiatives, and encourages a new approach to the design and construction of buildings by rewarding best practice and excellence. It ensures that effective design strategies are implemented without overlay of operational management and user behaviour, and allows different designs to have their environmental initiatives fairly benchmarked.

The following sustainability features have been incorporated in Exxaro’s new Green building:

Improved Energy Efficiency

The new Lakeside offices will include efficient building systems (air-conditioning, lighting, domestic hot water heating, lifts and escalators) that will ensure reduced energy consumption. In fact, the building will include over 40 energy meters that monitor and manage overall energy consumption. Energy efficient lighting, with an average lighting power density of less than 1.5W/m2/100Lux, will be installed which achieves the highest score under the applicable Green Start credit. The lighting fittings throughout the office will then be equipped with both occupancy and daylight harvesting sensors that will also contribute to the overall energy efficiency of the building.

To add to this, the installation of Photo Voltaic (PV) array with generation capacity of 300 000kWh/year, will offset the heating load of the building over a period of a year. And lastly, a building performance dashboard will be available in public areas to educate both occupants and visitors about the sustainability initiatives implemented, encouraging them to apply these best practices inside, and outside of the office.

Improved Water Efficiency

Overall water consumption is another focus with the new Exxaro building expected to consume 76% less in this area in comparison to a national best practice building. Efficient sanitary fittings and fixtures will be installed with low flow rates, with 93% of the taps in the building fitted with the innovative Makido aerator. This will limit the flow rate to 1.9L/min, which is significantly lower than the accepted Green Star flow rate of 4L/min.

What’s more is that rain water will be reused for toilet and urinal flushing, and for landscape irrigation with a 158kL water storage tank for its collection. Smart nozzles, soil moisture sensors, automatic controllers and xeriscape plant selection will also be put in place to reduce potable water for landscape irrigation. Over 30 water meters will be installed to monitor and manage water consumption and assist with leak detection.

Exxaro remains focused on reducing their carbon footprint and creating a sustainable place to house their employees. This is the first step to many more initiatives that will benefit not only the environment, but Exxaro staff and members of surrounding communities too.