203 Oxford surpasses initial Green Star targets

203 Oxford surpasses initial Green Star targets

203 Oxford, a building in the Oxford Parks precinct developed by Intaprop, achieved a 5-Star Green Star Office v1.1. Design certification in July. This latest addition to the precinct, a mixed-use area comprising offices, retail and residential, is a premium grade commercial development.

Oxford Parks will be managed as a green precinct, which means that all buildings are being designed to a minimum standard of 4-Stars in terms of the GBCSA’s Green Star standards. Covering just over 10500sqm, the building has four floors including 500sqm of ground-floor retail space and a 200-seater atrium. The building is the new home to Life Healthcare, one of the largest private hospital operators in South Africa.

Although, 203 Oxford was designed to target a 4-star rating from the onset, the team decided to push for 5 Stars instead. One of the ways this was achieved was through Innovation points in the following credits:  

  • Exceeding local connectivity – selecting sites within a built-up urban environment is believed to limit the effect of urban sprawl and the damage caused by cities to the peripheral landscape. Accordingly, eight amenities are within 400m walking distance of the office building, thanks to its proximity to Rosebank Mall.
  • GSSAAP Team – five members of the design team and four members of the contractor’s team were enrolled into the GBCSA New Buildings online course.
  • Financial transparency – the developer undertook financial reporting for the development, noting a 1,05% green premium. 203 Oxford has shown that, when sustainability is the goal from the planning phases, very minimal additional costs will be incurred.

Bain Fowler, Development Manager at Intaprop, comments:

Previous experience has taught us that if you get the right people involved early enough, it pays off. For this building, which is the largest single-tenanted building in Oxford Parks phase 1, we included green principles from the start rather than having to panel beat backwards. The architectural designs went through a process of energy modelling, trying to maximise energy efficiency while not compromising on comfort.

Etienne Barnard, architectural designer at dhk, says, “We always work closely with a ‘green’ consultant when the brief dictates a Green Star rating. For the new Life Healthcare head office, we worked with Solid Green who advised us on many aspects, making the process considerably easier from our side.”

Barnard continues, “As the building has a glazed façade, thermal comfort was one of the main priorities. We applied insulation at roof level as well as performance glazing, in order to reduce reliance on air conditioning. All glass used on the upper levels of the building has an energy performance rating, and double glazing was used in some areas on the façade. Due to the cost of double glazing, ‘spandrel’ panels were also introduced – these are opaque panels with a solid insulated backing and glass on the outside to blend with the rest of the façade. The ratio, which was calculated based on the specific location and orientation of the building, was 40% ‘spandrel’ and 60% vision glazing.

At the retail level on ground floor, however, all the glass had to be clear. Thermal comfort was achieved here by pushing the glass line back into the building, so the building levels above form an overhang that provides shade at ground level.

Sensible use of resources was another important aspect in the design. Low flow sanitary fittings were installed to minimise the demand on potable water. Heat pumps were used for hot water, and light fittings were selected based on energy efficiency. In addition, the roof was designed to carry photovoltaic panels, although these will only be installed at a later stage.

Three main requirements had to be met before the project commenced with demolition and construction – a Waste Management Plan (WMP), an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), and a Hazardous Waste Management Survey on existing buildings. To reduce waste to landfill during building operations, a dedicated waste recycling storage area was provided in the basement for paper and cardboard; plastic, glass and cans; and metals.

It is important that a development like this tries to capture the stormwater and reuse it within the building or within the precinct. Accordingly, the project is targeting the Watercourse Pollution credit, with a design that diverts minimal pollutants and trash to municipal stormwater channels.

Finally, being part of the Oxford Parks precinct, where all buildings are targeting a Green Star rating, the development presented new opportunities to implement sustainability on a bigger scale in terms of shared amenities. Shared car parking means that fewer parking bays are needed than the local planning allowance stipulates. Alternative modes of transport are also encouraged, such as carpooling, public transport and cycling – the development has made provision for cyclists to park their bikes safely, and showers are provided. And, as a precinct dominated by office buildings, the developer has ensured that there are ample ground-floor amenities such as restaurants, a gym and coffee shops.

By including green principles from the outset, for both the precinct and its buildings, the ambitious vision of Oxford Parks is that, once complete, the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.

Project Team

Owner Intaprop/ Oxford Parks Pty LTD
Accredited professional Solid Green
Architect Turnkey Interiors – Building and DHK- Basement
Electrical engineer RWP Consulting Engineers
Fire engineer WSP
Lift specialist Schindler Lifts
Mechanical engineer Adaptive Resource Engineers
Quantity surveyors Gro2 Consulting
Structural engineers Pure Consulting
Sustainable design review Solid Green
Sustainable building consultant Solid Green
Wet services Izazi
Main contractor Concor
Project manager Morta Project Management
Interior designer Turnkey Interiors
Landscape designer Insite Group
BMS systems professional Adaptive Resource Engineers


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