Karl Bremer achieves a 5 Star Green Star SA Design rating

Karl Bremer1

The Karl Bremer Bellville Health Office has been awarded a 5 Star Green Star SA (GSSA) Office v1 Design rating (representing South African Excellence!) as administered by the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA).

We are excited to announce that the Karl Bremer Bellville Health Office has been awarded a 5 Star Green Star Office v1 Design certification by the Green Building Council of SA, representing South African Excellence! Karl Bremer Bellville Health Office is situated in Bellville (Cape Town). The development also achieved a SEC rating in May 2015.

The Karl Bremer Bellville Health Office, located on the Karl Bremer Hospital erf, comprises of a North and South wing, connected by a common core. 

AGAMA Energy was appointed by the client and owner - The Department of Public Works, Provincial Government Western Cape. As the Green Building Consultants we managed the Green Star process all the way until the successful achievement of this certification.  

Some of the environmentally sustainable initiatives included:

1. Blackwater Treatment Plant

The project has been designed with a blackwater treatment plant (BWTP). All fixtures and fittings will discharge into the BWTP (i.e. all basins, showers, toilets and urinals). BWTP's are typically installed only where a municipal sewage connection is unavailable. It is uncommon to install a BWTP where a municipal connection is available (like that of Karl Bremer Office Accommodation). It is anticipated that no 'blackwater' will be discharged to municipal sewer.

2. Treated Blackwater Supplying Recycled Water to HVAC Cooling Towers

The project has an on-site blackwater treatment plant, where the treated water is re-used for HVAC cooling tower make-up water supply. The Project Team has done extensive investigation into this. The design estimates are that the treated water will supply over 76% of the total annual HVAC water demand (i.e. approximately 1.1 million litres of mains potable water saved per annum). When treated water storage tanks are full, excess treated water will overflow to the irrigation storage tanks. If irrigation tanks are full, the water will overflow to the retention pond which will replenish ground water.

3. Harvesting of HVAC Bleed-off for Re-use

HVAC bleed-off is harvested and re-used for toilet & urinal flushing. The harvested bleed-off is stored in the same storage tanks as the harvested rainwater. These tanks supply supplementary water for the flushing of toilets and urinals. Because of the additional harvested water from the HVAC bleed-off (i.e. in addition to rain water), it is probable that only harvested water will be used for toilet & urinal flushing (i.e. no mains potable water).

4. 1-in-100 Year Stormwater Infiltrated into the Ground

The stormwater infrastructure for the development has been designed such that for storm events of up to and including 1-in-100 year events, stormwater will not leave the site by entering the municipal stormwater infrastructure. This is achieved due to four Bioretention areas. These Bioretention swales are incorporated as part of the natural landscaping of the site. The Bioretention areas are designed in such a way that they treat and infiltrate the stormwater into the ground (i.e. natural water table).

Due to the above 4 innovations, 100% of all water (waste water and stormwater) is either re-used onsite or infiltrated to groundwater (i.e. no water leaves the site in any municipal infrastructure).

5. Socio-Economic Category (Pilot)

The fifth Innovation point comes from the project far exceeding the number of credits required to achieve the Socio-Economic Category (SEC - Pilot) certification.

In addition, the project has focussed on enhanced commissioning to ensure that the building operates as intended by the design. The commissioning of all services and systems will be undertaken in accordance with CIBSE requirements, by an Independent Commissioning Agent and will also include tuning of the building systems on a monthly basis for a year after completion, to ensure that seasonal variations are incorporated.

See more on this project.

Ann-Mari Malan