5 Parks Boulevard: A Sustainable and Innovative Workspace
Oxford Parks’ 5 Parks, developed by Intaprop, is setting a new benchmark for sustainable and innovative workspaces by targeting both a 6-Star Green Star SA Office v1.1 Design certification as well as a Net Zero Carbon Level 1 (modelled) certification.7
5 Parks is located in the Oxford Parks precinct in Dunkeld, close to Johannesburg’s core business, leisure and transport hubs, making it easily accessible to employees and visitors alike. Sustainability was at the forefront of the design approach and every aspect of the building has been carefully considered to reduce the building’s impact on the environment.
The site is surrounded by green spaces and features a network of walking and cycling paths, providing a seamless connection between the building and its surroundings. This location has enabled the design of a workspace that not only prioritises adaptability but also promotes a healthy and active lifestyle.
The open-plan layout of 5 Parks provides a flexible workspace that can be adapted to the needs of the modern workforce. The building features a range of workspaces, from private offices to collaborative spaces, providing employees with a variety of options for how they work. The design of the workspace encourages collaboration and communication, promoting a sense of community and belonging among employees.
The building also incorporates a range of amenities, including showers for staff cyclists and a rooftop terrace, offering people spaces to relax and recharge, and encouraging an active lifestyle.
The indoor air quality and lighting system of the building have been designed to prioritise occupant comfort and wellbeing, with an impressive fresh air supply rate and a focus on natural lighting. At least 95% of the nominated area is supplied with fresh air at a rate of 10l/s/per person, which is a significant 33% improvement over the per-person requirements of SANS 10400-O:2011.
“Studies have shown that increased reliance on artificial lighting negatively impacts occupant health and wellbeing,” says Jennifer Dean, Sustainable Building Consultant at Solid Green Consulting.
The building integrates daylighting methods and external views so that occupants can have a visual connection to the outside environment and potentially reduce eye strain or other related health issues.
Reflecting on Materials
The building incorporates aluminium windows and doors as one of the numerous products manufactured with post-consumer recycled content. The benefit of working with suppliers who use less virgin material in their manufacturing process means less strain on the environment and natural resources, as well as extending the useful life of products that would otherwise go to landfill.
Resource efficient systems and Renewables
According to the GBCSA’s Technical Manual, a net zero carbon building is described as:
A building that is highly energy-efficient, and the remaining energy use is from renewable energy, preferably on-site but also off-site where absolutely necessary, so that there are zero net carbon emissions on an annual basis (Net Zero).
The building features a solar PV installation with a capacity of 217.10 kWp and an annual energy production of 340 900 kWh. Energy efficient LED lighting was specified in the design and motion sensors will ensure maximum energy efficiency of lighting systems.
Water efficient sanitary fittings and landscape irrigation systems have been installed, reducing the building’s reliance on the mains water supply.
Smart Solar Control
The building’s solar control system has been meticulously designed to provide a comfortable and productive environment for occupants while reducing energy consumption. To ensure maximum efficiency, Solid Green carried out detailed modelling, taking into account the overshadowing from neighbouring buildings, primarily on the eastern facade. Factors such as floor, tenancy, and placement of windows were taken into consideration during the zoning process.
Performance glazing was carefully chosen to control the bulk of the solar gains, and automated blinds have been strategically zoned and grouped to ensure optimal solar control. These blinds have been designed to work seamlessly with sun sensors and internal lux meters, enabling them to determine the ideal slat angle throughout the day, ensuring that occupants are not affected by glare. Both wireless and hardwired base building switches have been provided for override, providing full control to occupants.
Targets and Monitoring
The project entails a comprehensive approach towards minimising the ecological footprint of the building. Targets have been set to achieve maximum efficiency in resource consumption.
Energy and water consumption and peak demand figures are measured using smart meters that are connected via an impact interface to the building management system (BMS). The BMS provides real-time monitoring, including system failures and sudden increases of consumption beyond a certain level, enabling quick detection and resolution of any anomalies. It also facilitates analysis of consumption over time so that irregular usage patterns can be identified. The BMS monitors and manages all services, with a focus on HVAC, electrical metering, PV monitoring, generators, water supplies, tank levels, backup pumps, and smoke detectors.
In addition, the project aims to divert 70% of waste generated during construction from landfill by implementing effective waste management strategies. Waste recycling within the building will be encouraged through infographics displayed in the foyer, outlining the items that can be recycled and providing information on ways to recycle and reduce landfill impact. The tenants will be motivated to participate in the waste management programme to ensure maximum sustainability of the building.
Integrated design = Success!
“In addition to our ambitious Green Star and Net Zero certification targets, Oxford Parks’ 5 Parks sets a new benchmark for modern workplaces,” says Bain Fowler, Development Director at Intaprop.
With an innovative design approach that prioritises sustainability together with occupant wellbeing and adaptability, we believe that we have succeeded in creating not only a workspace but also a community where employees can work, relax, and connect – with each other and the surrounding environment.