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Ballito Hills Lifestyle Centre certifications
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Ballito Hills Lifestyle Centre certifications

Ballito Hills Lifestyle Centre, developed by Balwin Properties, achieved a 6-Star Green Star Public & Education Building (PEB) certification in April this year. Part of the upmarket Ballito Hills Lifestyle estate, the building also achieved a Net Zero Carbon Level 1 rating in March – with both certifications undertaken by Solid Green.


With a total gross floor area of 1523sqm, the single-storey community centre offers a plethora of business and leisure amenities to the estate’s residents such as a gym, laundromat, offices and spa. The concept of a traditional rustic farmhouse rooted in nature, peacefulness and simplicity underpins the implementation of simple initiatives which contribute to the sustainability of the entire estate.

Alex Varughese, Modelling and Simulations Consultant at Solid Green explains that a 60kWp photovoltaic solar array will supply energy to all the building’s facilities, actively reduce peak electrical demand, and produce 83.28MWh annually. When modelled during the project’s design stages, the building showed a 108% improvement over a Green Star baseline building, with energy usage anticipated to be 18kWh/m²/year. This will significantly contribute to the Net Zero Carbon rating, together with features such as efficient lighting, individual switching for all enclosed spaces, and natural ventilation for over 90% of the spaces.

Nomamfengu Mbele, Sustainable Building Consultant at Solid Green, adds that ample natural light without glare was achieved using large overhangs and clerestory windows. Together with views to the exterior for 60% of the Occupied Area, this offers a strong sense of seasonal and diurnal cycles. A high level of thermal comfort was also ensured by addressing the internal operative temperatures through modelling and ensuring they are within the ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 Acceptability Limits for at least 98% of occupied hours.

To assist with gathering key information vital to managing building systems and to assessing opportunities for resource savings, sub-metering of major energy and water consuming systems is in place. Water efficient fittings and a grey water system installed to reuse water used in the ablutions for irrigation purposes, go a long way to reducing the lifestyle centre’s water consumption.

Balwin Properties has exceeded the Green Star credits required for this certification by implementing several innovation measures. Five members of the design team and four members of Balwin’s contractor team completed the GBCSA’s New Buildings online course. In addition, Indoor Air Quality monitors will be installed which are linked to the Solid Insight platform to measure and communicate the air quality in each space.

Other innovations include implementing biophilic design to prioritise the human-nature connection and to create a mood of rest and wellbeing through the use of colour, light and texture. And over 8% of the contract value was made up of materials with high recycled content such as reused tyres and rubber in the flooring materials (which exceeds the Green Star benchmark of 1%). Circuit level metering was also used to support the Net Zero target – so that each light and power socket on each space is monitored in order for the facilities management team to intervene accurately whenever there is an unusual trend in energy consumption.

A project specific Environmental Management Plan was developed and implemented throughout the duration of construction to minimise the environmental impact associated with building activities, and a project specific Waste Management Plan was developed and implemented to minimise the contribution of waste going to landfill. The lifestyle centre also promotes the use of alternative fuel vehicles, motorbikes and bicycles with designated parking spaces near building entrances for occupants with zero to low carbon emitting modes of transport.

In addition to the Lifestyle Centre certifications, Ballito Hills estate has 1320 residential units that have received preliminary EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) certification, by achieving 20% savings in the Energy, Water and Materials categories.

Ballito Hills Lifestyle Centre has implemented sustainable design and building service initiatives which can be recognized as world leadership. By setting ambitious targets with these key certifications, the Estate has demonstrated both vision and commitment towards more sustainable construction practices and operations.

Project Team

Owner Balwin Properties
Accredited Professional Solid Green Consulting
Architect VTC Architecture
Electrical Engineer Elliott, Breytenbach & Gray Consulting Engineers & Project Managers
Mechanical Contractor Ebm-Papst South Africa
Quantity Surveyors Balwin Properties
Structural Engineers KCE Engineering
Sustainable Building Consultant Solid Green Consulting
Main Contractor Balwin Properties
Project Manager Balwin Properties
Environmental Consultant LEAP Enviro
Facilities Management Company Landsdowne Property Company
Interior Designer LYT Architecture
Electrical Contractor Romor Electrical
Construction / Fit-Out Contractor Balwin Properties
BMS Systems Professional Solid Insight

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