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4-Star As-Built rating for 29 Richefond Circle
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4-Star As-Built rating for 29 Richefond Circle

In September 2020, 29 Richefond Circle received a 4-Star Green Star As-Built rating – a commendable achievement that recognizes that the development’s sustainable design initiatives have been carried through to practical completion and occupancy for future tenants.


Developed by Growthpoint Properties, this 3770sqm contemporary boutique office building is situated in the scenic neighbourhood of Umhlanga Ridge, within walking distance of the Indian Ocean. Comprising two basement floors, two office floors and a third-floor roof area, the building has implemented sustainable architectural initiatives and building services that reflect best practice.

Greg Gordge, partner at Elphick Proome Architecture, explains that orientation, views and flexibility were design determinants in this multi-tenanted building, which needed to accommodate any type of tenancy within certain allowances. “While the building’s footprint was restricted by the site, its favourable orientation and position on the site allowed the southern aspect to be opened up, thus delivering views towards the sea,” says Gordge.

The north, east and west facades were more controlled, with strip windows on the north façade to control solar ingress; and double-glazed fenestration on the east and west facades to control heat gain while allowing natural daylight into the spaces.

The three-storey office offering, with an entertainment area at roof level, was designed around a central core housing the building’s ablutions, services and vertical circulation. This allows a corridor to run between two sectionalized, open-plan office spaces, designed around the notion of maximum flexibility. Gordge adds that, aesthetically, the effect of a floating box was created by encapsulating the upper two floors in a concrete surround, while the remaining floors are glazed with infill brickwork. The restrained colour palette in a series of greys was determined by the Umhlanga Ridge Management Guidelines.

Nomamfengu Mbele, Sustainable Building Consultant at Solid Green, explains that, prior to construction, a comprehensive Environmental Management Plan was developed and implemented throughout the development of the building to minimize the impacts of construction work on the local environment.

The building also targeted over 70% of demolition and construction waste to be reused or recycled – however, the contractors far exceeded this expectation during construction, realizing almost 100% reused or recycled waste. A conscious choice of the materials used within the structure ensured the use of concrete with a reduced Portland cement content, and reinforced steel made of 92% recycled content.

Energy modelling was carried out during the design phase to establish an annual benchmark for energy consumption of 160 kWh/m2/per annum – a 42% improvement over a SANS 204 notional building. Because accurate data is key to understanding and managing building systems, and to assessing opportunities for energy savings, sub-metering of major energy consuming systems was installed to guide the behaviour of occupants and users, which is critical to reducing resource consumption.

In terms of Indoor Environmental Quality, an air-cooled HVAC system supplies fresh air at a rate of 2.5l/s/person for 95% of the usable area. All selected gaseous and fire suppression systems and thermal insulants have an Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) of zero; while only low VOC adhesives, sealants and carpets were used.

Sub-metering of all major water uses was implemented, to monitor and manage consumption. The project has implemented a 5000-litre harvesting system, which supplies recycled water to all low flow sanitary fittings. In addition, the xeriscaped garden surrounding the development will not be irrigated after its initial 12-month establishing period.

All building systems were successfully commissioned to ensure efficient operations as designed. With this As-Built certification, the developers of 29 Richefond Circle are continuing to demonstrate leadership in the green building sector by driving positive change.

Project Team

OWNER: Growthpoint Properties
ACCREDITED PROFESSIONAL: Solid Green Consulting
ARCHITECT: Elphick Proome Architecture (EPA)
ELECTRICAL
ENGINEER: DBA Consulting
FIRE ENGINEER: WSP
LIFE SPECIALIST: Woollatt & Clarke
MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Spoormaker & Partners
QUANTITY SURVEYORS: FWJK
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: ARUP
SUSTAINABLE BUILDING CONSULTANT: Solid Green Consulting
WET SERVICES: Spoormaker & Partners
MAIN CONTRACTOR: Trencon
PROJECT MANAGER: Betts & Townsend Construction Project Management
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT: SHE Sage
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Land Art Studio

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