Net Zero Carbon goals for Fuchs Lubricants Headquarters
The new headquarters of Fuchs Lubricants has received a Net Zero Carbon certification from the GBCSA. The office, with a usable floor area of 2554m², is located in Kempton Park and lies within a campus that includes several of the client’s production facilities.7
The Net Zero certification is in line with Fuchs’ world-wide carbon neutrality strategy.
Esther Seabi, local sustainability officer at Fuchs, mentions that her role in the process was to steer for alignment with Fuchs’ sustainability strategy. The process turned out to be a valuable learning experience for her: “We chose Solid Green as a consultant mainly based on their track record. I am not a built environment professional myself, but the sustainability consultant at Solid Green, Chilu Lombe, was great in terms of guidance and post assessment support,” says Seabi.
A key focus of the building was to ensure occupant comfort for at least 80% of the year using outdoor air only. To achieve this, considerable effort was put into optimising the building fabric and specifying a high-performance double glazing to ensure passive design was optimised as much as possible. The architect introduced various other passive design elements into the façade composition to assist with the thermal performance of the building, including cavity façades and large sunscreen details to keep the harsh summer sun off the windows while allowing small heat gains from the lower winter sun.
The architect, Graeme Palmer of GPD Studio, was happy to be an integral part of the Fuchs Net Zero certification. Says Palmer:
It is warming to see that there are many global corporations that want to do all they can to assist with the global climate issue that plagues us at present.
Palmer worked with Solid Green to generate an efficient HVAC specification and associated insulation details that worked together for a low energy solution. The energy modelling done by Solid Green was used to help make informed design decisions on various finishing materials.
A comprehensive metering system was installed to ensure ongoing optimisation of the building’s energy performance during operations. This will ensure the building works to its full potential. With the building fabric optimised, decoupled ventilation was designed into the cooling system to ensure that when outdoor conditions allow, the building can be cooled by fresh air only without having to open windows. In this case, the main cooling system can be kept off completely.
The modelling process enabled energy efficiency measures to be incorporated and building system services to be optimised, to allow the project to reach an impressive energy use intensity of 51kWh/m2/year. The solar rooftop PV system, consisting of 242 solar modules with a system size of 80.1kWp, will have an estimated power production of 138,525kWh/year to assist the building to achieve net-positive performance.
Overall, we believe that Fuchs Southern Africa has an energy efficient head office that epitomises the reward that can be achieved if built environment consultants work together to reduce our deadly carbon emissions.
Owner: Fuchs Lubricants
Accredited professional: Solid Green
Architect: GPD Studio
Electrical engineer: MNS Engineers
Mechanical engineer: Midrand Air
Project manager: Draglobal