First Capital Bank: Zambia’s first Green Star rating

First Capital Bank: Zambia’s first Green Star rating

The First Capital Bank Head Office in Lusaka, which was recently awarded a 5-star Design rating, is the first building in Zambia to achieve a Green Star rating. This required commitment from both the client and the professional team.

As the First Capital Bank head office was the first to pursue a Green Star rating in Zambia, Solid Green had to undertake a local context report to adapt the GBCSA’s rating tool to the Zambian context and legislation. This process was then followed by the development of a Green Star design strategy.

Resource efficiency

Energy modelling was carried out by Solid Green in the early stages of the project. This allowed energy efficiency to be achieved through passive design, optimum shading, and an efficient lighting design. The design provides optimum daylighting, while minimising heat gains and catering for daylight glare control, and gives building users good visual access to external views while working.

Although the building’s roof area is not large enough to accommodate a solar installation to cater for 100% of the building’s energy demand, a 92 kWp PV system has been installed. This will significantly reduce the building’s dependence on fossil fuels, minimising both operational utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Water is an increasingly valued resource. Rainwater will be harvested and treated to supplement water used in the bathrooms, and low-flow sanitary fittings have been specified. These measures reduce both consumption and operational costs.

Reducing emissions

To create a healthier and more production space for building users, fresh air is being supplied without recirculation of extract air. Provision has been made for indoor pollutants to be extracted from printing and photocopy areas, while paints, adhesives, sealants, carpets and flooring with low volatile organic compounds have been specified for interior spaces.

 Other emissions have also been reduced through the use of refrigerants and insulation materials with Zero Ozone Depleting Potential. Furthermore, secure bicycle storage areas and cyclists’ showers have been provided to encourage the use of non-motorised transport and reduce emissions from vehicles.

Management, Operations and Monitoring

 During construction, the main contractor was required to implement an approved Environmental Management Plan, along with a Waste Management Plan which guaranteed that at least 70% of the waste generated on site be diverted from landfill through recycling.

Energy and water sub-metering, building tuning contracts and the provision of a Building User Guide will guide monitoring and operational practices post-construction. The intention of the building contracts is to ensure that all building services operate as designed; and sub-metering will enable the facilities management team to monitor consumption and detect any abnormalities in consumption patterns. In addition, a waste collection facility has been provided for waste separation and storage on site prior to collection by recycling companies.

Kagiso Sebetso, Green Buildings Manager at Time Projects, says:

This Green Star achievement is a first for the Zambian construction sector and would not have been possible without First Capital Bank’s commitment to building sustainability and environmental integrity, a call by the Zambian government. We acknowledge the hard work and determination of the professional team in ensuring that the building meets its Green Star targets – their skills and expertise have made this journey a successful one.

First Capital Bank will have two buildings as a direct result of the dedication and commitment to green building that will support the bank’s ESG efforts. The first building is anticipated to be completed by September 2023 with the other building, which will be available for lease, scheduled for early 2024.


1 Comment

  1. Well done, Chilufya and your team. Wow, good recognition as green building providers.

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